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Los Gatos Black on Halloween Hardcover – August 22, 2006


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Frequently Bought Together

Los Gatos Black on Halloween + Just a Minute!: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book (Pura Belpre Medal Book Illustrator (Awards)) + Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book
Price for all three: $38.57

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Children's Halloween Books
Visit the Children's Halloween Bookstore to find everything from pumpkin picture books to spooky chapter books.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (August 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805074295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805074291
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 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 niños 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 poems 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 2. A cat's green eyes stare out from the book's cover. Inside, there are more of los gatos--as well as las brujas (witches), los fantasmas (ghosts), and los esqueletos (skeletons looking like they have come from a Dia de los Muertos celebration. The pithy, rhyming text tells a frightening, if familiar, story. The ghosts and ghoulies are off to a Monsters' Ball at Haunted Hall, and though there's plenty of scary stuff around, the guests are most frightened by the children who come knocking at the door for trick-or-treat. Montes' evocative poem deserves exceptional artwork, and Morales obliges. Her soft-edged paintings glow with the luminosity of jewels, and her witches, werewolves, and corpses are frighteningly executed. Therein lies what may be a problem for preschoolers. These fiends aren't particularly kid-friendly; they are dead-eyed, Day of the Dead folk who scare. For slightly older children, however, this spookiness is what Halloween is all about. The Spanish is neatly integrated into the text, but for those who need clarification, a glossary is appended. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The poems flow smooth and are humorous.
Lauren
The author Marisa Montes does a terrific job making the text rhyme while incorporating dozens of Spanish words within the book.
Teresa
The wonderful children's picture book is a great story to read around the time of Halloween.
Samantha

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Maria on March 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Los Gatos Black is my all-time favorite Halloween book. It shrieks and howls and creaks and made me laugh and shiver at the same time. Montes' words leap off the page and Morales' artwork shines and shimmers and conjures up images of her native Mexican Day of the Dead. It is breath-taking...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karen Ehrhardt on March 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love the concept, love the text. Ah, but the illustrations are the main treat - better than a bagful of Snickers and Atomic Fireballs! So spooky, so rich, and full of delicious details - you can get lost in them for hours!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. C. Porter on May 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Halloween is my favorite holiday and now it has a new tradition: a book to be read on October 31, and throughout the year.
"Los Gatos Black on Halloween" is as rich and delicious as a slice of pumpkin pie. All the creepy creatures from the other world are gathering for their yearly bash at the local haunted house. Ghosts and Ghouls, Witches and Vamps, dance and cavort until the scariest monsters of all come trick-or-treating at the door. Marisa Montes' rhyming text is spot on.
And Yuyi Morales' illustrations kick the whole thing up to an even more supernatural level. She layers rich cultural references (Is that an Aztec giving the conquistador the raspberry?) and witty humor (the vain vampire checking his hair IN A MIRROR) into her astounding artwork, reminiscent of the finest Mexican muralists.
This little trick is a definite treat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Readerly Type on November 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best Halloween picture books I've ever read. Working as a Youth and Teen librarian, I see a lot of picture books about Halloween, many of which are just so-so. This book caught my eye with its beautiful artwork and clever, lyrical rhymes. Though it's not truly bilingual--the text is mostly English with a sprinkling of Spanish--the Spanish flavor comes through strong in the pictures and the music of the rhyme. The story covers many denizens of Halloween: ghosts, skeletons, monsters, mummies, witches, vampires, werewolves, and, of course, black cats. They gather at a haunted house to celebrate the holiday together. The story is spooky, without a doubt, but not scary, with a great twist at the end. There's a glossary in back for the Spanish words, even though the text and pictures make the meanings clear. This book makes a fun read any time of year (especially for a year-round Halloween fan!).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. R. Taylor on October 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Both me and my wife (a first grade teacher) really loved this book. It has great artwork (the first thing I look for), a really fun poem that incorporates Halloween words Spanish (teaching them through context), and cute ending. A great Halloween book for the classroom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Manseau on November 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book for diversity in your classroom. Words are defined in the back for easy reference. You can adapt this book for extension lessons every easily.
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The author does an excellent job incorporating Spanish words throughout this book. The words are placed in such a way in which I can easily ask my 1st graders to use inference clues to figure out what the words mean. I know that "code-switching" can be frowned upon in education, but this book provides a very fun way for students to see and hear new Spanish words. The book is not scary, but it is spooky and very interesting for the kids because there are several Halloween characters in the book: vampires, mummies, werewolves, and so on. The Mexican culture is also very strong in the book (which I love) and it is a good way to incorporate some discussion about Day of the Dead and the way that other countries celebrate their version of Halloween. This is my go-to book for a Halloween read aloud story that I know my students will love.
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Who could scare los muertos? This is a fun and spooky, seasonal book that is easy to read as the poem flows with Spanish words that are perfectly defined by the context that surround them. Also, it is a great choice to introduce knowledge, or at the very least an awareness, of foreign language in a friendly sort of way. The illustrations are dark and packed with action. This keeps with the spooky theme that the author created with the beat of the poem, which serves as "a direct route to the emotions" (Temple, Martinez, & Yokota, 2011, p. 187). The creepiness is also set as the eyes absorb the eerie images, but no worries because the mood is lessened with the humor in the words. Overall, I think this is a very fun and imaginative book, and the twist at the end is a surprise that I feel children would really enjoy.

References:

Montes, M. (2006). Los gatos black on Halloween. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
Temple, C., Martinez, M., & Yokota, J. (2011). Children's books in children's hands: An introduction to their literature. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
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