cover image Shivery Shades of Halloween

Shivery Shades of Halloween

Mary McKenna Siddals, illus. by Jimmy Pickering. Random, $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-385-36999-2

Impish monsters, ghosts, bats, pumpkins, and vampires bring dashes of humor to this color primer, which opens with the question, “What color is Halloween?” In the pages that follow, answers come in the form of often-chilling rhymes that evoke the moods of 10 colors. “Halloween is black. Cat and cauldron,/ Cloak and hat,/ Mouth of cave,/ Vampire bat,/ Inky-slinky, hairy-scary,/ creepy-seepy/ Blot of black,” writes Siddals; elsewhere, she makes the case for red (“Tip of fang,/ Flash of cape,/ Horns and tail,/ A gash, a gape”). Pickering balances out the menace in some of the rhymes with cartoon characterizations that are far from frightening—on the “red” spread, a pint-size devil covered in bandages glowers at the vampire on the opposing page who, just maybe, has been testing out his fangs on him. Ages 2–5. Agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Shannon Associates. (Aug.)