Trick-or-Treat: A Happy Haunter's Halloween

( 1 )

Overview

This frighteningly funny collection of Halloween poems is perfect for sharing!

It?s that time of year again?

The wind is howling,
the leaves are blowing.
A sliver of moon
is barely showing.

And the happy haunters are ready for a monstrous good time! In this collection of ...

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Overview

This frighteningly funny collection of Halloween poems is perfect for sharing!

It’s that time of year again…

The wind is howling,
the leaves are blowing.
A sliver of moon
is barely showing.

And the happy haunters are ready for a monstrous good time! In this collection of fifteen sweet, silly, and seriously fun rhyming poems, young readers will meet hungry ghouls, sneaky ghosts, and frisky skeletons, all who love partying in the moonlight. It’s a Halloween spook-tacular like no other!

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Sarah Harrison Smith
…vividly colored…Trick-or-Treat is fun to read aloud but accessible and appropriate for the youngest readers in the family; spooky enough to whet their appetites for the eve, but not so frightening they'll hide in the closet when the doorbell starts ringing.
Publishers Weekly
Fifteen short and often silly poems introduce Halloween monsters and spooks that ham it up in Carpenter’s in-your-face digital cartoons. An enormous pink monster devours everything in sight, including the words of its poem, which appear inside his gaping mouth: “I eat spiders./ I eat slugs./ I eat any/ kind of bugs./ I eat cats/ and doggies too./ I eat rats/ (they’re fun to chew).” A creepier entry portrays a girl’s dark night of the soul after reading the names on tombstones: “I’ve read them all and now I’m done./ I’ve seen my name on every one.” A gently ghoulish collection of Halloween poems to provoke both giggles and chills. Ages 5–8. (Aug.)
September-October 2013 Horn Book Magazine
"These Halloween-y poems told from shifting perspectives—the scared trick-or-treating youngsters’ and the creepy monsters’—are great for both the expert cadence (they sound smashing aloud) and also the balance of tone. Some are mildly chilling.... Others are humorous.... The digital illustrations embody this mix, too: children wide-eyed with fear are greeted by benign-looking creatures just having a good time. A fun-filled, jaunty Halloween treat."
September 2013 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"This collection of fifteen original Halloween-themed poems offers a playful variety of rhyming verses that mix longer descriptive pieces in with limericks and lists; the resulting collection is both entertaining and chock-full of crowd appeal. Humor abounds...and the fear factor never reaches beyond playfully spooky, making it a great selection for the younger set..... Carpenter’s high-contrast digital compositions are...amusingly imbued with a retro graphic feel; most spreads are day-glo bright, with a multicultural cast of human/monsterly figures shining out against a dark purple nighttime."
Booklist
"Leppanen can sling around Halloween iconography with the best of them.... Carpenter’s angular digital art has a Molly Bang–style boldness and uses bright primary colors to contrast the various ghoulies against (mostly) dark and brooding backgrounds. The ominous undertones of some of the poems are lightened by the art’s humorous details. Got an event involving a huddle of nervously giggling kids and a flashlight beneath the reader’s chin? Here’s your book."
NYTimes.com
"Leppanen and Carpenter’s book is vividly colored and only sort-of-scary in a way that will seem familiar from TV cartoons and “Monsters Inc.”: grinning acid-green witches fly through purple skies; skeletons play Ping-Pong; and a mummy-mommy, wrapped in grave cloths, packs spider eggs for her mummy-son’s school lunch…. “Trick-or-Treat” is fun to read aloud but accessible and appropriate for the youngest readers in the family; spooky enough to whet their appetites for the eve, but not so frightening they’ll hide in the closet when the doorbell starts ringing."
Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan Attebury
Goblins and ghouls, witches and black cats, monsters, ghosts and skeletons flit around on the pages of this hilarious Halloween poetry book. The opening poem "Halloween's Eve" sets the pace for the fun spooky rhymes that follow. Its lines include words such as howling blowing, eerie, shadows, terror, shrieks, and whistling. It accompanying double-spread illustrations show costumed kids ready for a night of traditional trick-or-treating. Noises in the night, rattling bones, playful parties, and mummy mischief are some of the highlighted topics covered in other poems. The poems are especially good as read-alouds or easy enough for some readers to enjoy alone. All poems are packed with gripping action verbs and twists capable of producing giggles. Most of the fanciful illustrations are set against backgrounds of black, purple, or oranges in keeping with the Halloween subject. This book is a winner for homes and classrooms gearing up for October 31st. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
Kirkus Reviews
Overall, Leppanen's collection of 15 poems--some clever, some funny, some creepy and some ho-hum--should get kids in a Halloween frame of mind. On October 31st, just about anything can happen, as these selections prove. Readers can consider what they would do if their shadows stopped following them or how they would cope with a wickedly grinning monster that they notice only when brushing their teeth before bed (it's perched on this child's head). Some poems allow kids to ponder how different life might be if it was always populated with such creepy creatures. If their mothers were mummies, would they serve "worms on toast" for breakfast or pack "spider eggs for lunch"? Do pingpong-playing skeletons get the shivers, since they are nothing but bones? Is it ever a good idea to invite a ravenously hungry ghoul into the house? Does it make sense that witches ride mops instead of broomsticks when it rains? Carpenter digitally illustrates each poem with a double-page spread saturated with bright colors against the relatively darker backgrounds of nighttime. His cartoon characters comically display the slight frights they experience. But nothing is new or truly exciting here, leaving this average effort lacking in tricks or treats. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Fifteen spooky poems, each with its own spread, celebrate Halloween as youngsters in costume share the night with a variety of ghosts, goblins, and unknown fiends. Bright neon colors contrast smartly with dark, brooding backgrounds as skeletons enjoy a cookout in the graveyard and Frankenstein goes trick-or-treating. A sliver of moon and a sprinkling of stars light the dark as, "Witches on broomsticks/fly over treetops./Except when it rains,/then they use mops." One verse extols the pleasures of a mummy mommy: "She reads my favorite horror story/and makes up extra parts-real gory." Another lists reasons that a vampire makes a wonderful daddy: "You can fly with him in the full moonlight./When someone picks on you, he'll bite!" Young readers will identify with the children searching for monsters under the bed and the source of strange noises at bedtime. They will also be reassured by the final verse, "Happy Haunter," featuring a smiling girl tucked into bed, safe from the creatures carousing outside on the rooftops. This collection of funny-scary verses is sure to delight even the faint of heart.—Mary Jean Smith, formerly at Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442433984
  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,416,052
  • Age range: 5 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: NPL (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Debbie Lepannen is an award-winning author of children’s poetry. She lives with her family in Duxbury, Massachusetts.

Tad Carpenter is an acclaimed illustrator, designer, and teacher. He and his wife live in Kansas City, Missouri. Visit him at TadCarpenter.com.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    Highly Recommended, your children will love the poems!

    Loved the book! The poems were so adorable & funny! My nieces & nephews loved hearing the poems read to them! The book was enjoyed by all.

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