cover image Halloween Cuties (Piggyback Pals #1)

Halloween Cuties (Piggyback Pals #1)

Joyce Wan. Cartwheel, $8.99 (10p) ISBN 978-1-338-89189-8

Rendering upbeat text and candy-colored critters, Wan’s visuals embrace a kawaii appeal in this layered Halloween-themed board book. On the first page, a “happy pumpkin/ smiles wide,” sitting among friendly faced acorns and mushrooms. A boxy black cat next peeks out with wide purple eyes, and an owl subsequently perches atop a branch, surrounded by fireflies. The overall effect is decidedly sweet—even as a “spooky bat” departs a gabled house cast in silhouette, clouds and shooting stars look on with smiles, and a pale purple spider that appears throughout provides welcoming accompaniment. When a final moment brings the friends together, “sharing goodies and giggles,” it’s for a simple, treat-filled declaration of holiday joy: “What a magical night!” Ages up to 3. (July)