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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Children's Book Review: Shivery Shades of Halloween by Mary Mckenna Siddals and Jimmy Pickering

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

A rollicking, rhyming Halloween romp—in every color!

What color is Halloween? Why, it’s as green as an “eerie glow, evil grin, vile brew, clammy skin,” as white as “cobwebs clinging, a misty trail, a skull, a spook, a face gone pale . . .” Children will learn their colors as they follow a cute little creature on his adventure through haunted halls, moonlit forests . . . perhaps even a Halloween party! Jimmy Pickering’s stylized settings and adorable monsters add a blast of colorful creepy-crawliness that will make kids giggle. Who knew that learning colors could be such spooky fun?

     Shivery Shades of Halloween is just the perfect treat for your kid this Halloween season! It's bursting with colors, the silly rhymes and tongue-twisting word pairings make it super fun to read aloud (and occasionally laugh together when mommy's tongue gets twisted in a knot when trying to keep up with the rhythm), and it's just such a great way to learn about the many colors of Halloween! 

     When thinking about Halloween, certain colors come to mind right away, black, orange and purple being the first ones to pop into our heads. But did you know Halloween is way more colorful than just that? Halloween is also red, brown, yellow, blue, gray, white and green! And thanks to this beautifully illustrated little book your child will learn to spot the other, less-obvious colors of Halloween, and to associate them with many different adjectives (for example: blue is chilly-spills, gloomy-doomy, dreary-weary). 

    Jimmy Pickering's illustrations are not horribly detailed, but they have this gorgeous Halloween-y quality to them that just works here. The blues and the whites are chilly and frosty, the grays are cool and nicely textured (stone-like, well-shaded), the yellows and oranges are glowy and shiny.. He knows what effect will work with what color and thanks to that his illustrations are vibrant eye-catching and wonderful to look at. The colors are saturated and rich, and they really pop off the pages.

     Mary MacKenna Siddal's writing draws you in and instantly puts you in a trick-or-treating mood. The rhymes are simple, but very engaging, and the descriptions of colors are just too silly to read them with a straight face. They make for a very entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny read, and I think parents will love them just as much as kids will. 

     Overall, Shivery Shades Of Halloween is a fantastic and spell-binding book. A creative and mesmerizing way to teach your child about colors and the spirit of Halloween. This is definitely one of the best Halloween-themed picture books I've seen around this season. Your child will love it!

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