If the only "really clear thought" you had as a kid was "Get candy," you'll be at one with comedian Jerry Seinfeld's first children's picture book, Halloween
. This nostalgic view of Halloweens past will ring true with everyone who remembers the trials and tribulations of trick-or-treating--from the stupid masks with thin gray rubber straps and cheap little staples to the humiliation of having to wear a winter coat over your store-bought Superman costume. Of course, the smart-alecky Seinfeld puts his own stamp on things in a voice that is so distinctly his: "Come on lady, let's go! Halloween, doorbells, candy, let's pick it up in there." He wants "name candy" only, make no mistake, and even trick-or-treats with an organizational cabinet on wheels, with drawers labeled "Crunchy Things," "Sour Things," "Rejects," etc. James Bennett's exaggerated, hilarious, expressive illustrations of the young Jerry (yes, it looks exactly
like him) suit the over-the-top story to a T. Unusual child's-eye perspectives on parents (and friends up the sidewalk who won't wait up) add energy to a book that is already sugar-charged. Like Jerry's standup routines, Halloween
focuses on the minutiae and will make you laugh even if you try to resist. (Ages 6 to adult) --Karin Snelson
From Publishers Weekly
According to Seinfeld (and most kids would agree), the trick-or-treating mindset involves two words: "Get candy." In this sugar-fueled nostalgia trip, a familiar-looking boy with beady eyes and a savvy smirk targets name-brand chocolate bars. "I'll wear anything I have to wear... to get the candy from those fools who are so stupidly giving it away," he pants. Seinfeld's junior doppelganger shops for a Superman costume with an uncomfortable plastic mask ("Remember the rubber band on the back of those masks? That was a quality item. Thinnest gray rubber in the world"), and his impatient friends occasion some observational humor that adults will enjoy as much as their progeny (" `You guys, wait up!' Kids don't want other kids to wait, they want them to wait up"). Bennett, who has drawn for MAD magazine, gets Seinfeld's skeptical frown and white sneakers just right, and his visual gags complement the comic's incredulous voice. When Mrs. Seinfeld makes her boy wear a winter coat over his Superman outfit, the book presents a mock-heroic portrait of the Man of Steel, muscular arm punching the night sky and brown corduroy over his cape. After the coat fiasco, young Seinfeld dresses as a nitpicky accountant, with a green visor and a filing cabinet for "chewy things," "sour things" and "rejects." This smart-alecky monologue disrespects grown-ups, apples and marshmallow peanuts - just the thing for jaded candy-chasers. All ages.
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