Wednesday, October 6, 2010

5. Hallowilloween

Written and illustrated by Calef Brown
$16.99, ages 5-8, 40 pages

Don't look now, nonsensical beasts are on the prowl and they're sure to make you giggle.

Brown, the master of silliness, returns with a celebration of 14 things to be wary of on All Hallows Eve.

He begins with the furriest of brutes, a werewolf named Jack who crouches in the doorway.

Jack's a "give you a scare wolf," a "constantly burping and fouling the air wolf," he writes.

And he's right over there on the page right beside you, so try not stare!

If you're feeling hungry, you might want to pass on supper with the Grim Reeper, who recites drop-dead epitaphs, or the raven on a tarantula ranch who likes his vittles crispy.

"This is the home / and humble haven / of Old Napoleon / the hungry raven / who gorges on spiders / each day at lunchtime. / Munch, munch, munch. / He calls it 'crunch time.'"

And by all means, never tarry if alley cats begin to hiss and scowl.

"Those fools who meddle / or get in the middle / end up in the hospital / covered in cat spittle," Brown says matter-of-factly.

And if you see the Witches of Texas, practicing hexes, watch out!  In conical ten-gallon hats, they do the two-step and fill up a cauldron with newts before starting a sinister feud.

There are also goons about, like the Oompachupa Loompacabra. This shadowy fiend gobbles up the brains of goats by luring them with chocolate bars 'til nothing but horns, hooves and wrappers remain.

If you're feint of heart, Gory Rene may be too gross to see. His original painting "perfectly captured his awful decay" until one day his hideous mange grew so handsome Gore Rene hid the portrait away.

Other creatures are more peculiar than scary. Take the Frankenstinesque Frankenstein, who sits at his desk doing decoupage as an homage "to the human collage -- that's me!"

And if you happen to know a scarecrow, Brown warns, you'd be wise to read this epitaph:

"A word of advice / to my replacement, / now standing guard / in pumpkin patch: / Never scratch an itch / with a kitchen match."

The book's namesake says it all, Halloween is time to have a ball: just read about the ants who masquerade in silly hats in the hollow of a willow.

Happy Hallowilloween!

1 comment:

  1. I love the language in this one -- e.e. comings meets halloween meets kids!