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Trick or treat?
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School Library Journal Review
Gr 1-3-Martin and Sampson aim their book at children who enjoy hearing, or trying to get their own mouths around, silly words. Trick-or-treating in his apartment house with his mother in tow, a young "Dracula" collects treats on each floor, until a magician on the 10th hits him with a trick: "Now everything is WACKBARDS!" As the child makes all of his previous stops in reverse, instead of Jelly Beans, he gets a stream of "Belly Jeans": likewise, Chocolate Sticks change to "Stocolate Chicks," Caramel Pops to "Paramel Cops," and so on. Meisel keeps the tone light in his spacious, simply drawn cartoons, portraying everyone wearing maskless costumes and, generally, smiling as armies of little blue jeans, police officers, and other wacky offerings march into the lad's apparently bottomless sack. And, it takes only a paternal hug at the end to break the spell, leaving the diminutive Count and his parents happily contemplating a teetering mountain of sweets. Children will giggle, and salivate, too, at this sugary bit of Halloween foolery.-John Peters, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Gr. 1^-3. What seems to be a one-note book with fun illustrations and clever names for kids to chatter aloud takes an inspired jog midway that will keep kids laughing and also put their brains to work. A little boy goes trick-or-treating, promising his mother that he will knock only on doors of the people he knows in the apartment building where he lives. He begins on the second floor, with Knicker Knocker's door, then Slipper Slopper on floor three, and so on, getting treats each time. But when he reaches Magic Merlin's door, treats become tricks and suddenly everything's "Wackbards." He gets Beanut Putter, Ceanut Pups, and Parmel Cops from his costumed neighbors. What's a hungry trick-or-treater to do? Meisel's cartoon illustrations take full advantage of the topsy-turvy story, adding lots of comic holiday detail to keep little ones alert. The fun is in the pictures, and the challenge is in figuring out the visual joke and the backward names. --Stephanie Zvirin
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