Review Blog

Sep 12 2019

Is it Halloween yet? by Susannah Chambers

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Illus. by Tamsin Ainslie. Allen and Unwin, 2019. ISBN: 9781760297404. 24 pg.
(Age: 4 - 6) Recommended. Themes: Halloween, Family, Humour. What fun to read about a warm and loving family and the tricks and dressing-up for Halloween! Emily is a little girl who is very impatient for Halloween to come. She wants to make a Jack-o-lantern; she spots a vampire bat in a tree and paints her cat black to make it into a witch's cat. As she creates havoc with her creations, her patient mother looks after her baby brother while doing household chores and working on her daytime job. Grandma is also around, gardening and making a Halloween costume for Emily.
Tamsin Ainslie has perfectly created a warm, loving, busy and creative family with her delightful water colour illustrations that abound with humour and warmth. There are lots of fun details for a reader to pursue, especially the myriad of bats and little ghosts that are strung throughout the house. Readers will laugh out loud as they see Mum wrapped around with toilet paper with Emily say 'Are you SURE it's not Halloween yet . . . Mummy?'
The narrative is delightful, with Emily often asking a question or making a statement on one page and her busy mother replying and not noticing just what Emily is up to. This is a really enjoyable book for both children and adults and is one that would become a family favourite when read aloud. And a bonus page at the back contains instructions for making an origami bat that will be welcomed by families and teachers alike.
Pat Pledger

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