HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Scary, Scary Halloween
Author: Eve Bunting
Illustrator: Jan Brett
Publisher: Sandpiper, republished in 1988
ISBN-13: 978-0899194141 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0899194141 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0899197999 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 089919799X (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Bunting, Eve. Scary, Scary Halloween (published in 1986 by Clarion Books). Two green eyes shine in the dark of night and an unnamed narrator whispers, “I peer outside, there’s something there that makes me shiver, spikes my hair. It must be Halloween.” A skeleton, a ghost, a vampire, a werewolf, witches, goblins, gremlins, a devil, and a mummy all pass by along a winding country road. These monsters are in fact children dressed up in Halloween costumes. After the children go indoors, the narrator and his friends, a bunch of pussy cats, stalk the streets and prowl till dawn. When our boys were little, we liked to supplement their studies of special days by reading books such as this one, which was a favorite of our older son Mark.
There are some in the homeschool community who wish to avoid Halloween altogether, but for those who don’t mind it, this book is full of march-like repetitions that give the story the quality of a chant. Author Eve Bunting’s strong verbs help to bring the costumed figures to life. And illustrator Jan Brett’s pictures are deliciously scary, striking a perfect balance between the children’s costumes and their imaginary characters and drawing children into a make-believe world. The effect is exciting and just spooky enough for the very young but not in the least sinister or fear-inspiring. Eve Bunting has written more than 200 books for children, including My Big Boy Bed and Little Bear’s Little Boat.