February 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Herbert’s First Halloween by Cynthia Rylant | SLJ Review

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redstarRylant, Cynthia. Herbert’s First Halloween. illus. by Steven Henry. 32p. Chronicle. Aug. 2017. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781452125336.

Toddler-PreS –Herbert, like many other young children, is just a little bit anxious about his first Halloween. The text is simple yet conversational. The clear but somewhat muted illustrations allow for a slow, thoughtful exploration about this upcoming challenge. Father is very patient, letting Herbert make his own decisions about what he will be and carefully measuring the little one step-by-step for a tiger costume. Herbert’s confidence increases as he practices his roar in the closet. As his courage grows, so will that of the children enjoying his story. The pumpkins are carved with happy faces and named Jack, which will help dispel fear of the holiday. The spread depicting the overview of neighborhood children out trick-or-treating is somewhat lit; readers will be able to identify all the costumes. Rylant and Henry know children well and it shows; this book is sure to become a dog-eared favorite. VERDICT This winning introduction to Halloween meets young children where they are, and will be a welcome addition to all libraries. Day care centers and new parents will appreciate it greatly.–Elizabeth Swartz, Warrior Run School District, PA

This review was published in the School Library Journal September 2017 issue.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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