Oh, Halloween Tree

S. & S./Little Simon. Jul. 2024. 14p. Board $7.99. ISBN 9781665956710.
PreS-K–“Oh, Halloween Tree,/ oh, Halloween Tree./ How crooked are thy branches?” Unique to the genre of children’s piggyback songs, this Halloween board book reimagines the jingle, “O Christmas Tree,” by spinning the spooky story of the Halloween Tree. Youthful vampires, werewolves, witches, and other creepy characters gather in an electrically frightening forest as mysterious creatures lurk in the shadows. Preparing for a spine-chilling shindig, the ghoulish gang hunts for a splendidly scary tree to decorate; first considering eerie evergreens until they notice a bare, gnarled tree emanating a greenish glow. The twisted tree is chopped, hauled home, and propped in a cauldron that is oozing raspberry pink slime. Its branches are strung with cobwebs and glow-in-the dark lights, decorated with bats, skulls, and eyeball ornaments, and finally topped with a candy corn star. Elys’s color-charged board book is a vivid visual treat serving a creative concept sure to appeal to a young preschool audience. Unfortunately, this monster mash is disrupted by an awkward meter in some verses, making it tricky to sing with. Nonetheless, the rhythm of the story will stir both delight and slight fright in young readers.
VERDICT A spirited, spooky board book sure to entice readers to decorate a Halloween tree of their own.

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