Los Gatos Black on Halloween

Los Gatos Black on Halloween

4.5 8
by Marisa Montes, Yuyi Morales
     
 

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Follow los monstruos and los esqueletos to the Halloween party

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

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Overview

Follow los monstruos and los esqueletos to the Halloween party

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.

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466809352
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
08/22/2006
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
32
File size:
21 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
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/illustrator whose books have won the Pura Belpré Award, the Christopher Award, and the Jane Addams Award. She lives in northern California.


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/illustrator whose books have won the Pura Belpré Award, the Christopher Award, and the Jane Addams Award. She lives in northern California.

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