cover image Trick or Treat, Crankenstein

Trick or Treat, Crankenstein

Samantha Berger, illus. by Dan Santat. Little, Brown, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-45809-2

This series’ winning formula of visual comedy blended with deep-seated empathy scores another bull’s-eye. White-skinned kid monster Crankenstein, who turns green when he’s cranky, has a favorite day of the year, and it “rhymes with Schmalloween.” But what occurs this year is “NOT what Crankenstein had in mind.” As he wakes up with a toothache, his little brother laughs at his homemade costume and swipes his candy, and he trick-or-treats at a house that gives out toothbrushes, the character’s signature “Mehhrrrr!” is accompanied by plenty of grouchy grimaces. As in Berger and Santat’s previous collaborations, the day is redeemed when Crankenstein realizes he’s not alone: friends surprise him at his house wearing Crankenstein masks, a sight so endearing and funny that his crankiness vanishes. Whether readers get grumpy because of rained-out trick-or-treating or an adult who makes them wear a coat over their costume, they should find plenty of comfort and laughs here. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)