Trick or Treat
by Leo Landry; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary Houghton 32 pp.
8/12 978-0-547-24969-8 $12.99
Landry’s cheery watercolor and pencil illustrations and calm palette signal that this Halloween story is more treat than trick; together, the straightforward text and simple compositions build suspense and inject humor into this not-scary ghost story. On the way home from delivering invitations to his Halloween party, ghost Oliver doesn’t notice when “a lone envelope slipped from his bag and twirled to the ground.” In the accompanying illustration, two boys stand on the ground directly in the envelope’s flight path (and unaware of Oliver floating by overhead). Later that night, while “two trick-or-treaters make their way…from house…to house,” Oliver’s party gets underway. Witches, skeletons, and bats join black cats, spiders, and ghosts for broom rides and jamming with the Spooky Bones Band. But when “a little cow and a little jack-o’-lantern” unexpectedly arrive, all the partygoers stop in their eerie tracks. It’s the moment of truth…is Oliver a friendly ghost or a scary spirit? The answer is never really in doubt — not for the unintentionally invited guests nor for young readers. Carve a pumpkin, dim the lights, and read Trick or Treat for a spooktacular holiday storytime.
From the September/October 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.