Hallowilloween: Nefarious Silliness from Calef Brown

Overview

Are you ready for Hallowilloween?
With wolves, witches,
and everything in between?
A human collage! A shrunken head?
An evil Vumpire not quite dead . . .

This collection of fourteen scarily silly poems is a real Halloween treat! Calef Brown showcases the spooky side ...

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Overview

Are you ready for Hallowilloween?
With wolves, witches,
and everything in between?
A human collage! A shrunken head?
An evil Vumpire not quite dead . . .

This collection of fourteen scarily silly poems is a real Halloween treat! Calef Brown showcases the spooky side of his imagination with clever wordplay and wonderfully weird illustrations that leave readers and werewolves howling. Great read-aloud fun.  

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A modern master of nonsense verse reaches new heights of giddiness with this Halloween-themed collection. . . . Nefariously silly indeed."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Brown's acrylic illustrations add to the creepy silliness: an artful mix of naive and stylized, whimsical details and vibrant color. Young readers will relish the wordplay and find themselves torn to choose a favorite among this wacky menagerie."—School Library Journal, starred review
Publishers Weekly
In jokily menacing poems, Brown delivers satisfyingly off-kilter rhymes: "Jack is a rare wolf./ A covered with hair wolf./ A crouch in the doorway/ to give you a scare wolf." An assortment of weird and memorable figures include "the Oompachupa Loompacabra," which devours goats by luring them with chocolate bars; the "vumpire" ("When managers argue,/ he makes them feel sleepy"); and Dorian Gray's opposite, "Gory René." The outlandish humor and stylized acrylics, a balance of spooky and whimsical, put an entertaining spin on Halloween. Ages 5–8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Fronk
What lies behind the cat's big orange toothy grin on the cover? It might be a lyric about the battle between two alley cats. Or it might be Calef Brown's latest collections of whimsical and original poems about Halloween. Brown has put together some very clever and amusing poetry for the ghoulish time of year; something that one does not see very often. Each poem takes up about a page with some very unusual rhymes. Gory Rene suffers from a "hideous mange" while a square-headed green individual claims to be "Frankensteinesque" but not Frankenstein. Other poems focus on a vampire, a mummy, witches from Texas and the Grim Reaper. The large, bright acrylic illustrations also are atypical for many Halloween illustrations. They use other colors in addition to the expected orange and black and may appeal more to reluctant middle school readers. It is nice to see a book of poetry for Halloween that could inspire similarly written poems by beginning writers and to see some unique settings for some traditional Halloween characters. The opening "table of contents" page is a bit challenging to read but it hints wonderfully at some of the characters that are to soon appear in the book's contents. This original collection can be a new way to celebrate the October holiday. Reviewer: Elizabeth Fronk
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Brown's playful collection of poems and paintings is likely to inspire as many giggles as it does shivers. Readers meet a werewolf named Jack, Duncan the shrunken head, and an unhappy mummy: "Why oh why/was I so badly mummified?/Where is the pride/in good mummification?" Gory René admires his self-portrait, a faithful rendering of his festering sores and hideous mange until his painted image turns oddly handsome, and in shame, he hides it away in the attic. "The Vumpire" stares at the back of players' necks; and the "Oompachupa Loompacabra" lures goats with chocolate bars, then "gobbles up their brains." Brown's acrylic illustrations add to the creepy silliness: an artful mix of naive and stylized, whimsical details and vibrant color. Young readers will relish the wordplay and find themselves torn to choose a favorite among this wacky menagerie. Fans of Eve Merriam and Lane Smith's Halloween ABC (1995) and Spooky ABC (2002, both S & S) will be won over by Brown's whimsy.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780544105119
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/13/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 40
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Calef Brown began his career as a tour guide at an early age, when he discovered the simple joy of pointing things out. He is also an artist, writer, and frequently a blue elephant. Mr. Brown’s illustrations have appeared in many magazines and newspapers, and his paintings have been exhibited in N.Y., L.A., S.F., and other places without fancy initials, like Osaka and Rome. He lives in Maine.

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