'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 20 October 2019

Review: Is It Halloween Yet?

Pumpkins turned into jack-o'-lanterns. Bats, ghosts, pointed hats and black cats.

Spooky themed food and candy.
Costumes of ghosts, mummies, witches and bats.

Is it Halloween Yet? by Susannah Chambers and Tamsin Ainslie is a story about a little girl, Emily, and her excitement for the arrival of Halloween.

During the day Emily repeatedly tries to draw Mum away from her ordinary day of household chores and studio work, to prepare for Halloween. No pumpkins, well a watermelon or two are just perfect for carving into jack-o'-lanterns. Is it a fruit bat in the tree or a vampire bat?

As the day progresses, Emily's decorating takes on new heights, bunting of bats, ghosts and spider or two. How can she turn Mr Lumpy, the white cat, into a witches' black cat?

Undeterred by Mum's distraction of drawing illustrations and building a flat pack, Emily enthusiastically prepares squishy eyeball treats while her little brother watches on.

Then just before Dad gets home, Emily explores the most important decision of all, what will she dress up as for trick-or-treating? Will Emily choose to be a unicorn princess, superhero, a kitten or something else?

Chambers and Ainslie have created funny and engaging Halloween story with a bit of an Australian flavour. It depicts the exuberance of childhood juxtaposed to the busyness of adult daily life. Yet the creators also show the love within this family, via words of endearment and the action of doing things together.

At the end of Is It Halloween Yet? there are instructions on how to fold an origami bat and for further activities, visit the book's page at Allen & Unwin's website to download an activity sheet pack.

Now that Halloween is almost here, that means that Christmas is only around the corner. Tamsin Ainslie has illustrated a few Christmas themed books that you might like to read in December; When I Love You at Christmas and Count My Christmas Kisses.

If you liked the Australian flavour of Is It Halloween Yet? then read Susannah Chambers' CBCA shortlisted picture book, Snow Wombat.

Title: Is It Halloween Yet?
Author: Susannah Chambers
Illustrator: Tamsin Ainslie
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $19.99
Publication Date: 3 September 2019
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781760297404
For ages: 4 – 6
Type: Picture Book