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Los Gatos Black on Halloween

Los Gatos Black on Halloween

4.5 8
by Marisa Montes, Yuyi Morales (Illustrator)

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Follow los monstruos and los esqueletos to the Halloween party in this bilingual poem written by Marisa Montes, with illustrations by award-winning author and illustrator Yuyi Morales

Under October's luna, full and bright, the monsters are throwing a ball in the Haunted Hall. Las brujas come on their broomsticks. Los muertos rise from


Follow los monstruos and los esqueletos to the Halloween party in this bilingual poem written by Marisa Montes, with illustrations by award-winning author and illustrator Yuyi Morales

Under October's luna, full and bright, the monsters are throwing a ball in the Haunted Hall. Las brujas come on their broomsticks. Los muertos rise from their coffins to join in the fun. Los esqueletos rattle their bones as they dance through the door. And the scariest creatures of all aren't even there yet!

This lively bilingual Halloween poem introduces young readers to a spooky array of Spanish words that will open their ojos to the chilling delights of the season.

Los Gatos Black on Halloween is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year, the winner of the 2008 Pura Belpre Medal for Illustration and a Pura Belpre Honor Book for Narrative.

Award-winning author and illustrator Yuyi Morales is the author of Caldecott Honor and Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Medal-winning Viva Frida, Pura Belpré (Illustration) Medal and Pura Belpré (Narrative) Honor book Los Gatos Black on Halloween, stunning bilingual bedtime story Little Night/Nochecita, Rudas: Niño's Horrendous Hermanitas, and other picture books for young readers. She also illustrated Thunder Boy Jr., written by Sherman Alexie.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Halloween and the Day of the Dead overlap in this atmospheric, bilingual romp. Montes (Juan Bobo Goes to Work) composes serviceable stanzas, using English and Spanish words as synonyms: "Los gatos black with eyes of green,/ Cats slink and creep on Halloween." This dual-language approach can be redundant ("At medianoche midnight strikes..."), yet Morales (Harvesting Hope) holds readers' attention with surreal, faintly macabre spreads in dim turquoise and clay-brown hues, illuminated by fuschia and flame orange. Witches fly broomsticks like skateboard whizzes, a headstone references Mexican comic Cantinflas and sallow-faced muertos dance until children arrive: "The thing that monsters most abhor/ Are human ninos at the door!" Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Amie Rose Rotruck
Marisa Montes describes the traditional images of Halloween in verse in this picture book. She describes black cats, jack-o-lanterns, witches, ghosts, and other monsters that come out at Halloween. However, for many key words, Montes substitutes Spanish (i.e. "Los Gatos Black" for "Black Cat"). This allows children to learn the words in context while reading an entertaining story about Halloween. All the monsters gather at Haunted Hall for their Halloween ball, until they are frightened away by the worst creatures ever: kids on Halloween! Each page has a four-line verse with one or two Spanish words substituted for English, enough to challenge a child, but not so much to make the lesson obvious. There is a glossary in the back as well. Yuyi Morales' illustrations convey lots of action and color in muted Halloween tones.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Montes smoothly incorporates Spanish terms into a rhythmic poem describing a moonlit Halloween night. Los esqueletos rattle bones and clatter in a dance, los fantasmas "drag their chains" and "shriek their pains," and los muertos emerge from their graves to join other creatures at a haunted casa for music and dancing. However, the party stops dead with the arrival of trick-or-treaters, which causes the frightened spooks to hide, for "The thing that monsters most abhor/Are human ni-os at the door!" The full-bleed paintings create a creepy mood with curving lines, fluid textures, and dusky hues. Rounded figures dance across the atmospheric spreads, which depict blank-faced skeletons, a toothy werewolf, and a child zombie with glowing eyes. The pictures are eerie enough to tingle spines, but the effect is leavened with bits of humor (witches perform skateboard tricks on their brooms, a vampire admires himself in a mirror that reflects only his clothing). The poem's cadenced rhymes and descriptive language build suspense until the satisfying ending. Spanish words are easy to understand in context, but are also defined in a glossary with pronunciation guides. This book is just right for children who are beginning to find typical Halloween fare a bit too tame.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Montes's vivid poem, replete with the appropriate creepiness, describes all of the usual-and some not-so-usual-Halloween suspects. Under the full moon, los gatos slink, yowl and hiss. Las brujas fly on their brooms. Los esqueletos rattle their bones. Pumpkins burn, mummies stalk, the wolfman prowls, the dead rise and ghouls and zombies march across the pages, all parading toward a haunted mansion for a monstrous ball. Eerie music resonates throughout the night, and all of the creatures begin to waltz, boogie and bop-until tres loud raps ("Rap! Rap! Rap!") sound at the door. Who could it be? Not children trick-or-treating! Suddenly the creatures vanish. Nothing scares a monster more than human ni-os, particularly on Halloween. Spanish words, perfectly defined by context, flow smoothly throughout the atmospheric, rhymed text and are officially defined in an accessible glossary at the story's end. Morales's dark, glowing pictures of inventively proportioned ghosts and other sinister night creatures provide the ideal accompaniment. A spooky seasonal treat and a great choice for any collection. (Picture book. 6-8)
From the Publisher

“Just right for children who are beginning to find typical Halloween fare a bit too tame.” —School Library Journal

“This spookiness is what Halloween is all about.” —Booklist

“A spooky seasonal treat and a great choice for any collection.” —Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Joan Kindig
Children love Halloween and not just for the candy. Kids like to be scared ever so slightly as long as they ultimately feel safe. Disney knew this and used scary characters like the bad fairy, Maleficent, in Sleeping Beauty who gets her comeuppance when Sleeping Beauty is kissed awake. Los Gatos Black on Halloween is a wonderful romp of all things scary on Halloween like black cats, jack-o-lanterns, witches soaring on their broomsticks, skeletons rattling, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and haunted houses. The story is told predominantly in English but Spanish words are scattered throughout for children to easily learn. The story rhymes which makes the "scary factor" lessen and Morales' illustrations keep the children grounded. Yes, all of these scary things abound on Halloween but the scariest thing of all for the monsters on Halloween? Young children trick-or-treating, of course! The surprise ending will tickle young readers as they see that they themselves are indeed very scary in their costumes. Alonsa's narration borders on spooky, but deliciously so, so listen to be sure your child won't be frightened. Sitting on mom or dad's lap while this story unfolds will be all the safety children need. Extras include a glossary of Spanish words as well as an interview with the author. This book won two Pura Belpre Awards one for the author and one for the illustrator. Reviewer: Joan Kindig, Ph.D.

Product Details

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.87(w) x 11.32(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Marisa Montes has written several books for young readers, including Juan Bobo Goes to Work, which won a Pura Belpré Honor. She lives in northern California.

Yuyi Morales is an author and artist. She has won numerous awards, including a Caldecott Honor, the Jane Addams Award, four Pura Belpre Medals, and three Pura Belpre Honors. She divides her time between the San Francisco area and Veracruz, Mexico, where she was born.

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Los Gatos Black on Halloween 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
pinkystar06 More than 1 year ago
Fun read for Halloween!! I enjoyed the way this book had Spanish and English words. When Spanish was spoken it even had the English word in the next line or couple of words to help you translate. It's a great book for Halloween and it isn't to scary for kids!
HMatthew More than 1 year ago
Los Gatos Black on Halloween is wonderful picture book with a storyline that incorporates spanish words into the rhyming text. Even for non-spanish speaking children reading this book it is not hard understanding the spanish words because they are so perfectly placed into the english text, and if you are still guessing at a word there is a glossary in the back of the book. The use of spanish words can only enhance and enlighten the minds of the children who read this picture book. In the book we see all these monsters, ghosts, witches, and vampires coming together on Halloween night to." throw a monstrous ball." When there is a knock at the door and we see that it is just a couple of children trick-or-treating, we learn that it is not the children that should be scared of monsters on Halloween because it is in fact the monsters who are scared of the little children! The dark ominous illustrations give the book the right eerie "Halloween" feel and only enhance the text even further bringing the reader into this spine-chilling world. I can not wait for Halloween to come around this year because I know this book will be read in my house to get everyone, even the adults into the holiday spirit.
JMIKELABS More than 1 year ago
Los Gatos Black on Halloween definitely deserved the Pura Bulpre Award. The dark color scheme brings the story to life and gives it that Halloween edge. The way that they imerse the spanish words into the story is awesome. I love the fact that both english speaking children and spanish speaking children get the chance to read and understand the story. English speakers get that bonus of having the definitions of the spanish words at the end of the story. The story has a great flow to it and you don't even realize that you are reading a spanish word. The detail in the illustrations are so beautiful. It's almost as if you are really there. On Halloween night, black cats, witches, skeletons, ghosts, vampires, werewolves and corpses all come out and gather at the haunted mansion. There's dancing, socializing, music and they are just literally having a ball. In the midst of all this fun, there's a knock at the door. It's the one thing that they are truly afraid of, human children! Isn't that a weird twist. Who would have ever thought that these ghosts and goblins would actually be afraid of humans. That's why sometimes things aren't what they seem.
ElsVermeersch More than 1 year ago
This book is a jewel... the text,the drawings, layout... It is even inspiring for a Halloween play !!!! We've had it for two years and even out of the Halloween season my daughters still want to read it !! My oldest of 8 memorized part of the text and used it to go and tell the neighbors instead of the classical "trick or treat" rhyme on Halloween eve!! They loved it!!! This book should be on the top list for Halloween!!
Shannett More than 1 year ago
This is definitely a great for children of any age who arent easily scared. Not only is the the authors writting style awesome! the illustrations just take it to a whole new level. Now back to the writting style. The author incorporates spanish in a way that introduces non-spanish speaking children to a whole new language, its easy to understand because the spanish compliments the english. I would reccommend this anyone who wants to have the halloween experience all year round. However i would reccomend it to any child who is easily frightned.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This picture book has a wonderful rhyming storyline about the different monsters that come out on Halloween night including little ninos (children). "Los Gatos Black on Halloween" Author Marisa Montes incorporates Spanish words into the book not only for end rhyme purposes but also to introduce a second language to children. This book could be used for enhancement or for a familiarity basis. Montes adds in Spanish words and then follows them with the English word in the next sentence to help non-Spanish speaking readers understand the story. Not only does the book provide these sentences to help the reader but it also includes a glossary at the end of the book to facilitate pronunciation and meaning of the Spanish words.
ashleyutsa More than 1 year ago
Oh my goodness, this book is absolutely great! I loved reading every page and pronouncing the spanish words. The spanish words are not hard to guess as to what they mean because there are context clues to help you understand them. There is also a glossary in the back of the book for you look up the spanish words if you cannot figure them out or need a reference. The story is about different kinds of monsters (i.e. witches, zombies, werewolves) who all make their way together into a mansion when someone knocks on the door. The trick or treating children are the ones knocking on the door and the monsters are scared of them! It was a cute little twist because children are supposed to afraid of monsters. Also, the illustrations are fantastic and although dark and somber in the spirt of Halloween, they sure do light up the text. One thing I did not expect was for it to be a rhyming book. I love rhyming books and this book would be great for a teacher or parent who is teaching their students ro children how to rhyme. All in all this book is great for children and adults of any age to get into that Halloween spirit.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Montes, Marisa, Los Gatos Black on Halloween New York: Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2006 Illus. by Yuyi Morales. ISBN-13: 978-0-8050-7429-1 In her latest award-winning book, Montes (Juan Bobo goes to Work) tells the rhyming story about Halloween that incorporates Spanish words with English. Each page describes the different creatures that come out of hiding to attend the monster ball. The vivid descriptions and rhyming words allow the reader to really dive into this book. The surprise ending offers a twist to the story that puts at ease children who might have been scared by this tale. It allows them to see that monsters really aren¿t that scary. The illustrations by Morales (Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book) are incredible and show her childhood in Mexico. In fact, they are the best part of the book. The rich colors and great attention to detail grab children¿s attention and give them a lot to look at. They add fun to the story and let the readers use their imagination as well. Though this story is great for older children, it is one to be careful about with the younger ones, as it might cause their imaginations to run a little too wild. But what is a Halloween book for if not to scare us! Trick or Treat? Definitely a treat. Mallory Texas Tech University