Creepy Carrots and The Best Halloween of All

Lynn:  EEKS!  Right from the start with cover and end papers, readers can tell that these carrots are something out of the ordinary in Creepy Carrots (S&S 2012)!  It seems that Jasper Rabbit had a passion for carrots.  He LOVED them and he ate them every chance he got.  And then one day…they started following him!  Oh they were sneaky about it.  He’d catch a glimpse but when he turned around quickly or got someone else to look, they’d be gone.  But Jasper knew they were out to get him!  Of course no one else believed him which made it all the worse.  So Jasper decided it was time to take steps.  One day he built a huge and impenetrable enclosure around the carrots of Crackenhopper Field and his problems were solved forever.  Somebody else was pretty happy too but I won’t spoil the surprise.

Peter Brown uses black, grey and orange to illustrate this funny story and who would have guessed that carrots could be creepy?  This will make a great if slightly unusual book for Halloween story times and it’s a nice individual book too as readers will have fun spotting the wily vegetables from the safety of a cozy lap.  Just don’t share this with a child who’s already convinced that carrots are pretty horrifying!

Cindy: Lynn found this fun Halloween picture book, The Best Halloween of All by Susan Wojciechowski (Candlewick 1998) recently and shared it with me. Boy, the parade of Halloween costumes that left our house over the years came marching back into my head. Ben is 7 and has endured a lifetime of embarrassing,  uncomfortable, or otherwise unacceptable costumes to complement his older brother’s cool costumes. Who wants to be the cute rabbit to a brother’s awesome magician outfit in a cape? Not Ben!

This year is going to be different, though. Ben has his own ideas!

This is a perfect story for pre-Halloween costume selection and to celebrate the drive for independence in our young goblins. It’s an older title that I missed originally, but I’m glad to have read it now. Susan Meddaugh’s illustrations add just the right touch to the fun. My artsy daughter always wanted to make her own costumes, and she could create a lot out of a paper bag too. Those homemade, child-made costumes always made for the best Halloween of all!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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