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Los Gatos Black on Halloween Hardcover – August 22, 2006

34 customer reviews

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$14.34 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 11 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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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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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • 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: 8.9 x 0.4 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #517,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover
Los Gatos Black on Halloween
1st to 3rd grade
Bilingual Instruction

'Los Gatos black on Halloween' is great concept book on the topic of Halloween and the Spanish culture on that day. . Its author Marisa Montes does an incredible job at keeping a rhyming pattern while incorporating Spanish words that are defined in the sentence below or in the same sentence. I would recommend this book for 1st to 3rd graders who are being introduced Spanish. Marisa Montes does not leave the reader from understanding the spanish words as she give context clues in the same paragraph. There are no main characters in the book because its considered a poem of the events that occur on Halloween night. The illustrator Yuyi Morales focus on the Mexican Culture perspective of Halloween characters and uses oil as her medium with light brushstrokes that can be seen on the pages. The illustrations complement the literature on the page so the reader is able to relate the sentences to pictures on the page. The reader is able to infer what the Spanish word used in the sentence by also taking a good look at the illustrations on the page and guessing what the common highlighter character or item that overtakes the page. The type of colors that are used also gives this book its character and mood. Dark colors illustrate the time of day is night. The mood is set to be ominous in the beginning and its transformed to a joyous time of night when all the ghouls and gals celebrate on Halloween night in their own mansion. Little do they know creatures that walk among the day are paying them a visit.
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By Lauren on October 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Los Gatos Black on Halloween is a very cute rhyming story about Halloween. The story mixes in some Spanish vocabulary in a way that wouldn't confuse young readers because the translation is right below it but at the same time is not repetitive at all. I really love how the author was able to mix in another language's vocabulary in such a simple and easily understandable way. She does offer a glossary in the back just in case the reader isn't able to understand what is being said which is very helpful since children are all at different levels. The poems flow smooth and are humorous. The descriptive language is also nice because it gives multiple synonyms for the reader to see. This is a great book for all audiences especially around Halloween time. I found it quite humorous and I'm sure younger readers would just love all the different Halloween characters covered in this book. The illustrations are great. They are fun and mainly dark warm colors but still manage to be eye catching. Between the text and the pictures, the reader has so much to look at on each page. The illustrator put in hints of Mexican culture in the illustrations also with what the characters are wearing and the surrounding buildings.
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