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Bri Meets Books

Children's and YA literature reviews.

Halloween.inddIt’s almost Halloween, and one of my favorite things about working at a bookstore is seeing all the new Halloween titles come in! There’s always quite a few, and so once I learned about The 13 Days of Halloween, I accepted the invitation to the blog tour.

Carol Greene’s 13 Days of Halloween is a picture book written in verse about a persistent (and peculiarly green-skinned) suitor and his object of affection. It’s a parody of the classic “12 Days of Christmas” song but these gifts are much, much more macabre. Also more fun.

The first day brings not a partridge, but a vulture in a dead tree. The second, two hissing cats. The third, three fat toads. All throughout the strange courting, the female ignores her would-be suitor, until the thirteenth day when she gives him a present. The ending of 13 Days of Halloween takes you by surprise. Judging by this, the title could easily become a crowd favorite, with scary voices, and a dramatic flourish at the clever ending. I think kids will ask for this story over and over, because of its catchy verse and ghoulish content.

The illustrations by Tim Raglin (The Wolf Who Cried Boy) add the perfect element of creepiness to the story: things are definitely not living in his haunted world, but they’re not too terrifying for a toddler either. Flipping through the book, the little touches Raglin makes stand out  – the skeleton of a pink poodle, with little tufts of fur still remaining, or the angry toads dressed in bonnets a few pages later, and sipping magic potion. My favorite: the spider who weaves a web next to the opening words, and as the story progresses, she winds her way up and down the pages. It’s little touches such as this and the fun sing-song rhyming that make 13 Days of Halloween a treat.

Thanks go to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for sending me a copy for review and for the blog tour invitation.

Title: The 13 Days of Halloween
Author:  Carol Greene (Illus. by Tim Raglin)
Date: September 2009
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Pages: 32
Format:  Hardback

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