Sunday, October 25, 2009

Book Review #23: THE 13 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN by Carole Greene; illustrated by Tim Raglin

by Carol Greene
illustrated by Tim Raglin

Pub. Date: September 2009
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Format: Hardcover, 32pp
Sales Rank: 17,707
Age Range: 4 to 8
ISBN-13: 9781402230967
ISBN: 1402230966

Description (from the publisher):

"On the first day of Halloween my good friend gave to me: a vulture in a dead tree."

Children will love to sing along!

Everyone knows "The Twelve Days of Christmas," but are you ready for The Thirteen Days of Halloween? In this delightfully offbeat story, a dashing ghoul tries to win his ghostly love's heart with heaps of hilarious gifts ranging from broomsticks and bats to cauldrons and cats! Carol Greene's lively verse is perfectly complemented by Tim Raglin's enchantingly erie illustrations. Children of all ages will love to sing along. The result is a frightfully funny Halloween tale you'll never forget.

My Rating:  4.5 Stars out of 5

My Thoughts:

The kids and I were so excited to recieve this book for review from Sourcebooks, Inc. As soon as it arrived we sat down, opened it up, and started singing, laughing, and - yes, I'll admit it - even snorting! There were  squeals of horrified delight and plenty of eewww-yuks as we flipped through the pages and tried to carry the tune. The concept is simple: a green-skinned lord woes his likewise hued lady with vultures, hissing cats, and assorted creepies and crawlies all to the tune of The 12 Days of Christmas. Of course, being Halloween, we get Day 13. And that brings me to my only complaint. On the first reading, after the rollicking fun of the first 12 days, the "choose your own ending" of the 13th day fell flat as a lead balloon. With subsequent readings, we were prepared for the ending and continued the fun by trying to think up what could be the grossest or scariest final present. But you know what they say about first impressions -- I would have given this book a full 5 stars if the ending had been better.

However, I still strongly recommend this book -- the concept is fun, the string of presents are silly and gross, the illustrations are colorful, bouyant, and imaginative. Once they realize what is expected at the end, the kids enjoyed trying to outdo each other imagining what could be the most hilariously horrible 13th present. And I have to admit, it's a catchy little tune . . . "and a vulture in a dead tree."

Carol Greene wrote her first poem when she was six years old (it was about a spider). To date she has published over a hundred books for children. Carol also likes to read, sing, and make teddy bears. She lives in Webster Groves, Missouri, with her cat Dulcie.

Tim Raglin brings his wacky imagination and wonderfully odd cast of characters to The Thirteen Days of Halloween. His previous books include Five Funny Fights, Pecos Bill, and The Birthday ABC. He received a silver medal from the New York Society of Illustrators for his book Uncle Mugsy & the Terrible Twins of Christmas. Mr. Raglin lives in his hometown of Independence, Kansas.

Thank you to Sourcebooks, Inc. for providing me a review copy of this book.


Anna said...

I didn't like the ending either. Especially since the accompanying illustration shows the character opening a box...and I wanted to know what was inside!!

Still, my daughter and I liked the book, mainly for the illustrations and the fact that it's a book you can sing. Glad you and your kids liked it, too.

Diary of an Eccentric

Zibilee said...

I think this book would be perfect for my friends two young boys. They aren't yet old enough to read by themselves, but they love books with really colorful illustrations, and I think the story sounds really unique. I will be mentioning this book to their mom. Thanks!