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Trick or Treat

Overview

“The last day of October had finally arrived. The empty house at the end of the street mysteriously came to life.” Oliver, the ghost who lives in that empty house, lives for Halloween! He always has a big party. To get ready, he puts dust on the furniture, welcomes the spiders, wakes up the black cats, and delivers his invitations! This time, though, one envelope goes astray and two human trick-or-treaters show up. Are treats—or tricks—in order? Simple, cartoonish watercolor and pencil illustrations complement ...

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Overview

“The last day of October had finally arrived. The empty house at the end of the street mysteriously came to life.” Oliver, the ghost who lives in that empty house, lives for Halloween! He always has a big party. To get ready, he puts dust on the furniture, welcomes the spiders, wakes up the black cats, and delivers his invitations! This time, though, one envelope goes astray and two human trick-or-treaters show up. Are treats—or tricks—in order? Simple, cartoonish watercolor and pencil illustrations complement this sweet tale of the spirit of generosity and acceptance.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
While trick-or-treaters visit houses, Oliver, a cheerful and smiley-faced ghost is having his own Halloween party in “the empty house at the end of the street.” First appearing as gray silhouettes at the door, the party guests (skeletons, witches) all turn out to be friendly. But as the party gets underway, two unexpected guests arrive, and it’s up to Oliver to decide whether to be scary or nice. There’s nary a hint of frightfulness in Landry’s watercolors, making this a good pick for readers who like their Halloween fare on the mild side. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"Landry has carefully crafted a seemingly simple tale about graciousness, generosity and openness to new friendships and packaged it into what is sure to be a perennial Halloween favorite."—Kirkus

"More treat than trick . . . Carve a pumpkin, dim the lights, and read Trick or Treat for a spooktacular holiday storytime."—Horn Book

"A good pick for readers who like their Halloween fare on the mild side."—Publishers Weekly

"The line-and-watercolor drawings capture the fun of the mix-up, and the pithy text with a neat twist will suit the young ones."—Booklist

"A suitable addition to collections of non-scary Halloween tales."—School Library Journal

"Schools, libraries, and families that want to celebrate Halloween with young and/or timid children will definitely want an invitation to Oliver's party."—Bulletin
Children's Literature - Remy Dou
Halloween comes around once a year, as does Oliver's Halloween party. But as his friends begin to arrive, it becomes obvious this is no ordinary festive occasion. Could it be the spiders? Could it be the black cats? Maybe it is the fact that the Spooky Bones Band is made up of skeletons! Oliver's friends are comprised of witches, skeletons, and bats. That is because Oliver is actually a ghost. Do not tell that to Cow and Jack, the two sweet little boys that show up to the party after accidentally finding an invitation. The pair joins the merriment, dancing with skeletons and chasing ghosts. When the fun is over, Cow and Jack leave impressed by their new friends' realistic Halloween costumes. The following morning Oliver finds a birthday invitation from Cow and Jack on his doorstep. Oliver might just have to ignore the dress code or risk revealing to Cow and Jack he was not wearing a costume! Landry offers readers a cute alternative to spooky Halloween books. It is difficult not to associate Oliver with Casper, a similarly friendly ghost. Although the illustrations are equally quaint, there are often continuity errors between them and the storyline that even a four-year-old can pick up. Without major decisions being made, character transformations, or lessons being taught, a recommendation would only be in order for readers looking for a sweet, but easily-forgotten story. Reviewer: Remy Dou
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Oliver, a friendly ghost living in an empty house, has a lot of work ahead of him in preparation for his Halloween party. He glides in ghostlike fashion out the door to deliver invitations to the witches, to skeletons Skully and Jake, and to the bats in the cave. However, as he hurriedly heads home, he drops an invitation in front of two human children. Back inside, Oliver must perform the ghost version of preparing for guests: dusting the furniture (by applying dust on it), inviting spiders inside, waking black cats, and making sure that the jack-o'-lanterns are ready. Soon the partygoers arrive; the witches have brought their brooms to share rides, and Skelly and Jake are ready to perform as the "Spooky Bones Band." Then, the two little accidental guests arrive, dressed up as a cow and a jack-o'-lantern. After some quick conferring with the other guests, Oliver decides not to frighten the children, but to welcome them. The children believe that Oliver and the other guests have terrific costumes. They all have a great time, and the next day they invite Oliver to Jack-o'-Lantern's upcoming birthday party. The illustrations, done in watercolor and pencil, are simple, uncluttered, and cartoonlike. Each page has one to two sentences of text. A suitable addition to collections of non-scary Halloween tales.—Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Oliver the ghost is all prepared for his Halloween party after delivering invitations to his scariest friends--but what will he do when two young trick-or-treaters show up unexpectedly at his door? In the hustle and bustle of getting everything ready, Oliver mistakenly drops an invitation to his party, and it lands near two human boys who are happy to be so honored. When night falls, Oliver's guests start to arrive. The witches, the skeletons and the bats are greeted with a "BOO" from Oliver, but "a little cow and a little jack-o'-lantern" arrive and shout "Trick or treat!" Everyone, host and guests alike, is nonplussed. After some awkward moments full of plans to whisper hexes and cast spells, Oliver shouts, "TREAT!" Once welcomed, the two boys enjoy a night of dancing with skeletons, chasing ghosts and riding brooms with witches. With economical wording, flat illustrations executed in pencil and watercolor and clever foreshadowing, the story further impresses by delivering a most satisfactory ending. The morning after Halloween, Oliver discovers an invitation from young Jack inviting him to his birthday party. Landry has carefully crafted a seemingly simple tale about graciousness, generosity and openness to new friendships and packaged it into what is sure to be a perennial Halloween favorite. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547249698
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/21/2012
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Leo Landry is the author and illustrator of Grin and Bear It, Eat Your Peas, Ivy Louise, and Space Boy . He lives with his wife and daughter in Easton, Massachusetts. For more information, visit http://www.leolandry.com/.

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