cover image The Halloween Showdown

The Halloween Showdown

Eileen Ross. Holiday House, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1395-9

Debut illustrator Reed's aggressive brushwork adds intensity to this longish folktale about a cat whose granddaughter has been kitten-napped by a witch. The white feline, emerald-green eyes aglow, stalks to her foe's cottage while pounding a flame-orange pumpkin drum: ""Thub, thub, thub-a-dub, thub."" Along the way, she meets three humble helpers--a spider, frog and bat--whose special talents save the day in classic fairy-tale fashion. The upbeat ending turns ""a scary Halloween showdown into a fun-filled Halloween hoedown."" Ages 4-8. (Sept.)