Saturday, October 30, 2021

Review - The Secret Halloween Costume

The Secret Halloween Costume

by Sophie Vaillancourt
illustrated by Karina Dupuis
Date: 2021
Publisher: CrackBoom! Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 34
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

A Halloween story for little ones!

Charlotte is a young witch. For Halloween, her family insists she must wear her darkest clothes and scariest makeup. After all, a witch must be spooky! But Charlotte doesn't want to follow tradition - she wants to wear something that reflects who she is. She asks her grandmother to sew her a secret costume... But what will it be?

An adorable Halloween story about an enthusiastic little witch who follows her heart and inspires others to do the same!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This simple Halloween story has appealing illustrations and an okay message... as long as you interpret it a certain way.

Charlotte is a witch, but she's had enough of being scary. On Halloween, all the witches dress up in their scariest clothes and makeup. It's tradition! But Charlotte is tired of the whole scary thing, and when her friends find out how she's feeling, they try to help her find a new costume.

I have no problem with any of this. What kind of bothers me, though, was that when Charlotte gets to school and shows off her new costume, that isn't the end of it. She assumes all the other kids dislike scary stuff as much as she does, and proceeds to bring out a bunch of non-scary costumes, declaring: "No one has to be scary for Halloween." She follows this by saying that the kids should wear whatever they like, but I thought it came off as a little pushy on Charlotte's part, since the kids all seem to be happily decked out in their scary costumes and makeup. Then the teacher declares that the kids are free to wear whatever they like, implying that everyone was literally forced to get scary... which perhaps should've been addressed with more than a weak excuse about tradition. (As far as I know, a tradition isn't a mandate.)

Anyway, I'm sure this book will appeal to kids, as it's bright, appealing, and fairly inoffensive. Some of them might wonder, though, what's so wrong with a scary costume on Halloween.

Thank you to NetGalley and CrackBoom! Books for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3 out of 5

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