Alpha Oops!

H Is for Halloween
40p. 978-0-76363-966-2.
K-Gr 3—In this sequel to AlphaOops! The Day Z Went First (Candlewick, 2006), Kontis and Kolar reintroduce readers to their cast of alphabet players. The book begins with the letter Z directing the letter H to start the show because, "Halloween can't start with any other letter." Appearing entirely out of sequence, the individual letters then make brief appearances dressed up as characters that begin with their respective letters: "Z is for zombie. N is for nightmare." The tentative letter B attempts to shine, but he continually encounters problems; at one point his buccaneer costume is taken by P (Pirate) and in another scene a blackbird sits on his head. B perseveres and steals the show by delivering the final line of the play, "B is for…BOO!" Kontis's text is rhythmic and comical, and readers who are comfortable with the alphabet will delight in the silliness of this story. Kolar's illustrations are imbued with a sense of nighttime theater magic, and the slightly muted jewel-tone hues set the scene perfectly. A winsome union of humorous text and art, this light, fresh book is an ideal addition to holiday collections.—Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI
This entertaining alphabet book purposely jumbles the letters, starting with H for Halloween and proceeding in random fashion through various Halloween-y words: "F is for Frankenstein. / C is for creature." Crisp, colorful digital illustrations depict the playfully spooky spectacle as the letters gather to perform a show.
The alphabet’s mixed-up order and the Halloween theme and vocabulary are sure to appeal to a wide audience. As the letters make their appearance on stage, an amusingly harried character also arranges the alphabet in a line at the bottom of the page, reminding readers of the correct order. The letters display exuberant personalities perfect for the book’s theater setting, such as when V happily complies with E’s call for an encore. Jewel-toned artwork is full of funny Halloween creatures, including a disappointed jack-o-lantern, a grumpy skeleton with a mop, and smiling bats.

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