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The Costume Copycat Hardcover – August 17, 2006
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2–On Halloween, Angela is always upstaged by her older sister. When she is four, she is forced to cover her pretty fairy ensemble with a jacket, and her sisters rabbit outfit gets all of the attention. The next year, she dons the bunny suit, but a rainstorm transforms her into a soggy rat, while Bernadettes plastic witch hat and cape remain pristine. The next Halloween, Angela wears the hat and cape, adding makeup for a really ugly effect, but Bernadette steals the show with a beautiful gypsy dress. By age seven, Angela is fed up with being a copycat and makes herself a stylish ghost costume. Chicken pox keeps Bernadette from trick-or-treating and, with no older sister to overshadow her and a great getup, Angela is finally the star. She enjoys the glory, but also saves a special treat for her sister. The detailed watercolor-and-ink illustrations include wonderful facial expressions and scenes that capture the joy of Halloween. Warm hues and homey backdrops keep the tone light. Filled with gentle humor, this is a fun, non-preachy story about the challenges of being a younger sibling. Use it as a holiday selection or when exploring family relationships.–JoAnn Jonas, Chula Vista Public Library, San Diego, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Maryann Macdonald lives in New York, New York.
Anne Wilsdorf lives in Laussanne, Switzerland.
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So what's a little sister to do? Under a sort of "imitation is the best insurance against costume-wise sisters" theory, Angela goes the next year as a bunny. Smart! But the next year is muddy, and the white bunny suit soon resembles (according to Mrs. Walker) a rat. Bernadette's black witch's costume is only enhanced by mud. And so it goes, year after year, until Angela is 7. At that point, she gets tired of her copycat ways backfiring, and goes for an original design. Furthermore, Bernadette can best her because Bernadette has the measles, "So Angela went trick or treating with Gerard Schwartz."
Finally, Angela gets the attention that always went to her sister, even the gauche Mrs. Walker delights in her costume and gives her TWO cany apples. What's even more impressive, however, is that Angela's costume skills are matched by a new maturity: She gives the second apple to her measled sister!
Ms. McDonald explores several aspects of sibling rivalry, neither over-dramatizing nor shirking away from Angela's hurt feelings and anger. The year-over-year narrative feels surprisingly clear and natural, and the ancillary characters (Mrs. Walker, Mrs. Walker cat, the parents, young Gerard dressed as a TV) add to the depth. In playful, energetic watercolor and ink pictures, illustrator Anne Wilsdorf captures the collective energy and excitement of kids meeting on the street, as well as conveying Angela's emotions. It's an excellent mixture of outer and inner moments. Whether you have a sib rivalry problem or not, this is a fun, absorbing, humorous, and colorful book (I loved the pictures of the costumes). You'll want to read about Angela and Bernadette even when Halloween is not looming.
I definitely think this book is worth buying. The story and illustrations are really wonderful.