cover image The Story of the Jack O'Lantern

The Story of the Jack O'Lantern

Katherine Tegen, illus. by Brandon Dorman, Harper, $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-143088-6

In this jack-o'-lantern origin tale, miserly Jack makes a deal with a cloven-hoofed stranger. When the man returns for his payback, he throws a burning coal at Jack, hitting Jack's pumpkin and creating "the beginnings of a smile." Condemned to forever walk the earth, disgruntled Jack watches a boy in a modern neighborhood place a jack-o'-lantern in a window. Dorman's cinematic scenes and Tegen's matter-of-fact prose ("On Halloween, some people believe ghosts and spooks will leave their graves and wander the earth again") provide genuine chills. Ages 3–8. (Aug.)