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Halloween (Byron Preiss Book) Hardcover – September 1, 2002

3.9 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Series: Byron Preiss Book
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316706256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316706254
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By audrey frances TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An hysterical Seinfeldian take on all things Halloween-ish, including masks made with cheap staples and the thinnest rubber bands in the world, disappointing costumes, life's perceived ups and downs and, of course, candy Candy CANDY!!! I'd say this is more a book for parents than kids, more for Seinfeld fans than others, but enjoyable for all. James Bennett's illustrations are Pixar-ish and fall-down funny, filled with comic elements, sly digs and caricaturish facial expressions that perfectly capture one's imagined little Jerry.
On an attached cd, the author reads/performs the book in front of a live audience. I probably would have preferred spending a few dollars less to have just the book, but it is fun to listen to Seinfeld perform the material at least once.
This is a fun book-cd combination, and sure to have the family laughing together.
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Format: Hardcover
"Halloween" is a visual representation of Jerry Seinfeld's classic riff on the holiday. While this book doesn't really add to the monologue, it is a superb visual representation of it. The humor is typically dry, but it is also so earnest, and common, that one can't help but laugh. Who among us hasn't been brutalized by the smothering, plastic Halloween mask with the stupid elastic that keeps breaking? And the illustrations are just a riot; they are colorful, clever and perfectly illustrate the writing.
I would have to agree with some of the other reviewers that this isn't a book for children. Not because there is anything wrong with the language or themes, but because it too accurately portrays a child's point of view. A kid would read this and think, "Yeah, so?" because Seinfeld so perfectly represents their experience that they wouldn't appreciate the irony. As an adult, however, I have been revisiting my own Halloween conquests and catastrophes all day thanks to this wonderful book.
Enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover
Jerry Seinfeld's standup routine on halloween is one of my favorite pieces of art ever. It is truly art if you look at it, his entire career is an art form that takes such simple everyday stuff and makes it unbelievably funny. His work is nothing short of brilliant and Halloween captures that brilliance in a childrens book.
The book itself may be geared for children, at least it appears so, but I think that an older audience would benefit more from reading this. As i mentioned, I love his standup bit on halloween and seeing illustrations to go along with the words was something I felt was really unique and interesting. The pictures themselves were very playful and properly done, nothing too fancy but they fit the mood.
I think this book would make a unique addition to a childs library. For a young person, it would be a bit of an educational experience as well being humorous. I don't know how to support the educational statement exactly, I just think that in order for youngsters to get the most out of this book, they have to think differently about it than other books they are used to.
I think the general idea for Halloween by Jerry Seinfeld was for everyone to just enjoy the hell out of it. I guarantee that no matter what age you are, you can pick this book up, relate to it, smile a lot and just be happy you took my advice. No trick....this ones a real treat.
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Format: Hardcover
HALLOWEEN is being marketed as a children's book, but it's really more for adults. The author of the book is none other than Jerry Seinfeld and the book is written in the comical, whimsical, monologuic style that makes Seinfeld's comedy so funny. However, much of the humor will be lost on children because it's on a level that most kids under the age of ten just won't understand. The illustrations are brilliantly done, capturing the nostalgia and greed of Seinfeld's rambling, memoir-like story. Therefore, though children may not understand all of the book's humor, they will enjoy listening to the story and looking at the pictures.
This special edition of the book also includes a cd of Seinfeld performing his story live. The cd is funny. However, even though it contains the exact same words as the book, it isn't as memorable as the storybook it accompanies.
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By A Customer on May 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Eehhhhhhh......not so much for kids. It is quite a funny take from an adult's perspective, but doesn't have a good flow for a children's book. I don't think that smaller kids would actually get the jokes, as he is describing situations that occur when you are older and still desire the CANDY! experience. The book just doesn't have a good "flow" for the K and above range, though kids hitting 10-ish will relate. As the format is a picture book, I just see big gaps in content and style for it's designated audience. As a kid's librarian, I see adults giggling over the book, but not much interest for the little guys. I agree with the other disappointed reviewer, and am a little suprised by the professional review magazines. I think they were a little swayed by the Sienfeld name.
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Format: Hardcover
Do not buy this book expecting it to be a kid favorite. It's not for children. Rather, it's designed for adults who are nostalgic for the old days of door-to-door trick-or-treating when we didn't have so many worries and fears.
If you are over 30 and have kids, go ahead and read it to them, but they won't get it and might not even enjoy it, as even the pictures will be a bit over their heads.
Think of it more as a coffee table book, or something to keep in the bathroom at Halloween time to flip through for a quick giggle.
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