cover image Carl’s Halloween

Carl’s Halloween

Alexandra Day. FSG/Ferguson, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-374-31082-0

What better time than Halloween for rottweiler babysitter Carl and his human charge, Madeleine, to get up to a little mischief? In this holiday addition to Day’s long-running series, when Madeleine’s mother steps out to visit Grandma, she invites daughter and dog to pass out Halloween candy at home. They have other ideas, donning costumes (a necklace for Carl, a feathered hat for Madeleine) and setting out to acquire candy of their own and attend a Halloween party. Day’s paintings exude a tender, homespun charm, underscoring the idea that Madeleine is safe as can be with her stalwart protector. Cozy details abound—vintage-looking paper decorations adorn the party where costumed children (and Carl) bob for apples and play a toilet-paper mummy-wrapping game—and Day concludes with a zinger, as Madeleine’s mother returns to tell them, “Next year, you two will be able to go trick-or-treating yourselves.” Ages 3–7. (Aug.)