Happy Happy Halloween!

On this Halloween day, Debbie Glade reviews two very special Harper Collins books, sure to send chills up your spine and put a child-like grin on your face.

After reading The 13 Nights of Halloween ($16.99, Harper Books, Ages 4-8), it was no surprise for me that first-time author Guy Vasilovich has a rich background in animation and comic strip creation. The illustrations are spooktacular, combining the charm you’d expect from a young children’s book with the dark shadows and glowing colors that really bring Halloween to life.  It reminds me a bit of a Tim Burton movie. The story is set to The 12 Days of Christmas type verse, but with a Halloween theme, of course. “…4 icky eyeballs, 3 baseball bats, a 2-headed snake and a bright shiny skeleton key.” I love, love the way this book looks, and you will too!

Another spooky book that offers superior illustrations is Hampire! ($16.99, Harper Books, Ages 4-8) written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrated by award-winning artist, Howard Fine. As you can tell by the book’s cover, Hampire is, well, a big, fat pig! He lives on a farm with many other animals, and one moonlit night he leaves his pen, growling and howling and saying, “I need to sink my fangs in food!” Naturally this frightens all the other animals on the farm, who try desperately to run away, fearing the giant pig will eat them alive. But what Hampire really wants is not what they think. The story is cleverly written in verse, you are sure to enjoy. I cannot say enough about the marvelous illustrations. Oh how they bring this cute story to life!

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