Gibbons offers an explanation of holiday roots and traditions in this companion to Christmas Is... "Whimsically decorated borders of wee ghosts and pumpkins frame the playful illustrations," wrote PW. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Completely reworked art and slightly expanded text from the 1984 Halloween gives this update a brand new look. Gibbons covers the history of the holiday, customs surrounding it, and the reason for symbols such as spirits, jack-o'-lanterns (a miser named Jack carrying a hollowed-out turnip trying to find heaven), and black cats. A sign of the times, this version carries a warning about always having an adult accompany trick-or-treating. Watercolor illustrations are brightly detailed, looser and less stylized than the previous edition, and include plenty of costume ideas for the careful observer. Instead of Gibbons' near-patented last page of boxed informational tidbits, this one has a response-generating "Boo." You can never have enough Halloween books and this one belongs on the holiday shelf even if you already have the first edition. 2002, Holiday House,
— Susan Hepler
This remake of Halloween (1984) brightens the original's gloomy tone with larger, redrawn illustrations featuring lots of happy-looking children and the occasional, not-particularly-scary, witch or ghost, paired to such reassuring lines as "today [skeletons] are used to scare people and have fun," and "weird and scary stories are enjoyed by all." Rewriting the text and adding some detail, Gibbons fills in the holiday's past, but focuses most closely on how it is celebrated today, adding warnings (not in the previous edition) that pumpkin-carving and trick-or-treating should only be done with parental assistance. Though this holiday standard has never gone out of print, there is enough new and recast material here to make it a treat, rather than a trick, even for libraries that just bought fresh copies of the old edition. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)