Omar's Halloween

Omar's Halloween

by Maryann Kovalski
     
 

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Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2007

Black cats howled. Wind moaned.

Halloween was coming.

Like children everywhere, Omar is excited. This year, after trick-or-treating with his friends, Omar is planning a party. They will bob for apples and tell ghost stories. Best of all, Omar will wear the scariest costume. It'll be so scary

Overview

Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2007

Black cats howled. Wind moaned.

Halloween was coming.

Like children everywhere, Omar is excited. This year, after trick-or-treating with his friends, Omar is planning a party. They will bob for apples and tell ghost stories. Best of all, Omar will wear the scariest costume. It'll be so scary that someone might even faint. But like so many children at Halloween, Omar can't decide what he should wear. Nothing seems scary enough, and by the time Halloween arrives, he still hasn't decided.

Omar panics! At the last minute, he had only one choice; a plain old not scary ghost . . . or is he?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Omar the bear, Kovalski's teddyish series hero, cannot decide upon the ideal Halloween costume. Like the title character of last season's T. Rex Trick or Treats by Lois G. Grambling, illus. by Jack E. Davis, Omar aspires to being "the worst kind of scary." He considers disguising himself as a spider or bat, until his friends praise those creatures' pest-control talents. When the big day arrives, he glumly trick-or-treats as a ghost; to his great luck, a downpour turns his simple white sheet into a terrifying disguise, complete with mud and twigs. Kovalski's unfussy colored-pencil drawings may lack polish, but Omar's story is well and warmly told. Ages 6-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Sheilah Egan
Omar the bear is planning a Halloween party. The invitations are sent and his parents help him buy pumpkins, apples, decorations, and other goodies; but, Omar does not have a really scary costume for himself. At first he wants to be a scary spider but Elsie tells him that spiders are helpful creatures and eat bugs that harm farmers' crops. "Oh, I didn't know that." Elsie suggests he should be a ghost. Omar does not want to be a ghost--not scary enough. So then he decides to be a bat; but Thomas tells him that bats are great flyers and catch "nasty" bugs--bats are no longer scary either. Finally, in desperation, he accepts his mother's billowy sheet-ghost costume. As the costumed friends proceed around the village, everyone pronounces that Omar makes a "cute" ghost. He only wanted to be scary--NOT cute. Then a rain storm blows up and everyone scrambles to run to Omar's house (wonderfully decorated and awaiting the revelers). Omar trips on the trailing edges of his sheet and ends up falling into a sticker bush, dragging through a muddy gully, and becoming covered with leaves and twigs sticking out of the mud clinging to him. His arrival at his own home results in the shrieks of dismay and fright that Omar has aspired to the whole night long. "It was Omar's happiest Halloween." The illustrations are cheerful, brightly colored--simply charming--and they nicely underline the action of the storyline.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Omar wants to wear the scariest costume to the Halloween party at his house. He thinks a spider costume would be just the thing, until he learns that spiders are helpful in eating bugs. A ghost outfit just isn't scary enough. Time is running short, and Omar is running out of ideas. At the last minute, the little cub ends up with the simple ghost costume he had been avoiding. While trick-or-treating, no one is even remotely afraid of him. Suddenly, it begins to rain, and Omar becomes separated from his friends. He falls into a thorny bush, and then a mud puddle, and is covered with dirt and debris. He finally reaches home, where the party is in full swing. When he enters the house, all of his friends are terrified at what they see. The ghostly sheet is now dingy, and leaves and branches protrude from it, creating a scary costume indeed. The simple text is easy enough for primary-grade readers, and it effectively captures the small bear's frustration and ultimate success. The soft, warm fall colors bring to life the bear's cozy home and surroundings, while touches of Halloween gloom give an appropriate punch to the story. Buy where other "Omar" books are popular.-DeAnn Okamura, formerly at San Anselmo Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"Omar's Halloween is an excellent holiday book with a universal message that reminds children to never despair as even the worst days can turn out to be the best.

"Highly Recommended."

-- CM Magazine

"The simple text is easy enough for primary-grade readers, and it effectively captures the small bear's frustration and ultimate success. The soft, warm fall colors bring to life the bear's cozy home and surroundings, while touches of Halloween gloom give an appropriate punch to the story."

-- School Library Journal

"The illustrations are cheerful, brightly colored,--simply charming--and they nicely underline the action of the storyline."

-- Children's Literature

"Kovalski has a knack for depicting a safe, cozy environment of family and neighbourhood without being bland or condescending. Omar's weird expressions of disgruntlement as he tries out different costumes are funny and create character that goes beyond the usual trick-or-treating tale. At the same time, his ambitions and frustrations are utterly believable and true to his age (about 6) - all features that make this a satisfying picture book. Like its predecessors, this is a good early reader for those at about a Grade 2/3 reading level."

-- The Toronto Star

"Maryann Kovalski's wonderful illustrations and gentle story will definitely be a hit with young readers in the weeks leading up to Halloween. This book will be a welcome addition to the seasonal story section of school and public libraries."

-- Resource Links

"Youngsters will enjoy the troubles Omar, the bear, has when he searches for a really scary Halloween costume. . . The full-color pages will entice youngsters who are just beginning to read."

-- Polish American Journal

"Omar's Halloween is an endearing story, accompanied by vibrant and engaging illustrations, will delight young readers. Maryann Kovalski used gentle humour to tell her story, which is sure to get your little one excited about Halloween."

-- The Telegram, St. John's, NL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781550415599
Publisher:
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
Publication date:
07/28/2006
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.38(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.43(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Maryann Kovalski is a Fitzhenry and Whiteside author.

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