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Scary, Scary Halloween Paperback – September 19, 1988


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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 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 19, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089919799X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0899197999
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 8.6 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Two green eyes shine in the night sky and someone whispers, "I peer outside, there's something there/ that makes me shiver, spikes my hair./ It must be Halloween." As the unnamed narrator looks on, a skeleton, a ghost, a vampire, a werewolf, witches, goblins, gremlins, a devil and a mummy pass by. The monsters are in fact children dressed up in Halloween costumes, but Brett's pictures are deliciously scary. They strike a perfect balance between the children's costumes and their imaginary personae, drawing readers into a make-believe world. When the children go indoors, the narrator and his friendsa gang of adventurous pussycatsstalk the streets to prowl till dawn. Luminescent colors glow eerily in the darkened neighborhood; this holiday poem possesses all the atmosphere of the spookiest Halloween.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3 A Halloween offering that is sure to be snatched up year-round by children on the prowl for scary books. The rhymes are full of repetitions that give the text the quality of a chant. These marching rhythms advance a band of Halloween creatures along a winding country road. Bunting's strong verbs and Brett's clean, clear line drawings and vivid palette bring a devil, skeleton, ghost, etc., to life, and the effect is exciting but not in the least sinister or fear-inspiring. (Bunting's language does become a bit turgid at points, however.) The creatures are a troupe of spirited trick-or-treaters, but this is not known by the mother cat who tells story. Nor are readers aware of the identity of the narrator at the beginning. But as the parade progresses, and three more little eyes appear in the dark, readers begin to get a sense of those eyes warily watching the spectacle from a safe distance. Brett creates skillful shifts in visual perspective and effectively interprets the book's final turnabout: the tiny eyes, mere points of light, clustered under a house, are hidden so long as the trick-or-treaters are about. But when all is quiet, they suddenly blossom into cats that form their own parade and claim Halloween, just as the rising golden harvest moon at the book's beginning blossoms into a milky moon above them. Carefully planned and executed, illustrations and text nicely unified, this is well designed for group use and a fine introduction to Halloween story programs. Susan Powers, Berkeley Carroll Street School, Brooklyn
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Eve Bunting has written more than 200 books for children, many of which can be found in libraries around the world. Her other Clarion titles for very young readers include My Big Boy Bed, which was also illustrated by Maggie Smith, and Little Bear's Little Boat, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. She lives in Pasadena, California.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I collect Halloween books.
AJ
It has a great rhyming story, and the illustrations are spectacular.
Mom in Hooville
My 3 year-old son is really into Halloween and LOVES this book!
Ava S.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By margie on October 26, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
we bought this book when my son was about 3 years old. he immediately memorized every word, every sound we made when we read it together, and every picture. he used to lay in bed "reading" it to everyone (with voice inflections, too!). i still know the book by heart, and it brings back wonderful memories every time i see it. i buy it for every child i know each halloween. enjoy!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Becky on October 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a teacher, Eve Bunting and Jan Brett are my favorites. The illustrations bring the story to life and it is just scary enough for the very young. In this day and time however; when I read the book to my kindergarten children I usually paraphrase "in praise of Halloween" and "on hallowed Halloween" just because I don't want to upset parents.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By hcabats on November 4, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My son is just turning 3 and borrowed this book from the library to get him excited about Halloween ...did it ever! We didn't know how much he was taking it in until one night when we were very tired and reading it to him...we stopped to yawn and he filled in the rest of the story in a very scary scary halloween whispered voice! So much fun - we are buying it! GREAT pictures and colors that go right along with a GREAT story! I will probably buy this for all my niece and nephews for next Halloween!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. Thureson on October 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
I just discovered this book and took it home to my two year old and he loved it.

The writing style is simple and straight forward, and has just the right amount of spookiness- it was neither too scary, nor too mundane. The illustrations are clear and attractive, and fun for a small child. My son enjoyed pointing out the different monsters as we flipped the pages.

As soon as I was finished reading it my son asked me to read it again, and for a children's book, I cannot think of higher praise.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I read this book to my daughter when she was 2. At 6, she still loves it, as it doesn't "scare" her anymore. We bought the audio version and love when the Mother Cat says, "Shhh, my love." It's an annual tradtional reading for us!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Terrie on November 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I love this little book about Halloween night! It has the usual bright, colorful work that we have come to expect from the talented Jan Brett. Eve Bunting's fun-filled rhymes have just the right amount of spookiness for little ones. The Halloween images are fresh and creative and include the autumn ambiance of the orange Chinese lantern flowers on the cover. You will see a marvelous, flowing ghost, a jaunty dancing devil, a hunched and sauntering werewolf and so much more. Be sure to notice the mummy costume...what kind of kid is in there under those winding cloths? This will be a Halloween treat for any little goblin that you love.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jane Doe on September 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
I personally found the writing style a little stilted in the book. For example, "A devil prances, fiery red, with horns asprouting from his head." and "Thunder, thunder up above! 'What is it, mother?' 'Shh, my love! It's just the thump of creature feet, A creature in a winding sheet."
It reads more like a poem, not the way we speak naturally. If you like a poetic style, you'll probably love this book. But if you want a more relaxed book, then don't buy it.
But anyway, having said that, my four year old son liked the book. The pictures are scary, but not gruesome. Probably a little too scary for a toddler.
Illustrated by Jan Brett, of course the pictures are well-done, but to be honest it's not on the same level as her other works. There is not nearly as much detail as she usually puts in. (For example, no borders filled with tiny illustrations.) The art doesn't look much different than most Halloween books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JR Corry on October 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
This delightful little book has all the charm and spookiness of the holiday it represents. As a twenty-two year-old adult, I think this book has equal appeal for adults and children.

Jan Brett's luscious, beautiful pictures perfectly depict the gorgeous darkness of Halloween night and the vibrant colors of different costumes (or are they really monsters?) Accompanied with these pictures are the rhymes of Eve Bunting's wonderful poem, with words easy enough for kids to understand but spooky enough to give even adults a chill.

Both the poem and the pictures, like Halloween, are fittingly creepy and even haunting while still being fun. Together, they make this book the perfect package for anyone wanting to enjoy the true essence of all Hallow's Eve. I earnestly invite you to enjoy this, my dears (polishes fang, retracts claws).
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