cover image Herbert’s First Halloween

Herbert’s First Halloween

Cynthia Rylant, illus. by Steven Henry. Chronicle, $15.99 (36p) ISBN 978-1-4521-2533-6

A piglet learns what trick-or-treating is all about in this gentle father-son story. “Herbert was not sure about Halloween,” begins Rylant. Herbert’s father attempts to share his love of the holiday, starting with an old photo of himself in a cowboy costume. Herbert remains skeptical, but asks, “Can I be a tiger?” Father and son get to work on the costume and decorations, and Herbert practices his roar for the big night. Henry’s warm domestic scenes bring to mind the pig family at the heart of Jean Van Leeuwen’s Tales of Oliver Pig as Rylant highlights the comfortable bond between parent and child. Wearing a cowboy outfit, Herbert’s father accompanies him for a night of trick-or-treating. With his first Halloween a success, Herbert is already planning next year’s costume. Perhaps he’ll be back for other holiday firsts, too. Ages 2–4. Author’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. Illustrator’s agent: Robin Rue, Writers House. (Aug.)