Friday, July 01, 2016

BOO! Guess Who? Little Blue Truck's Halloween by Alice Schertle

Little Blue Truck
and his good friend Toad
are going to a party
just down the road.

"Beep! Beep! Beep!"

says Little Blue.

"It's Halloween! You come, too.

Brightly colored leaves are swirling in the breeze, and jack o'lanterns grin from gateposts and dooryards, as Toad drives Little Blue Truck down the road. Who's that ahead?

Who's this clown
with the big red nose?
and a cap that jingles
wherever he goes?

Under the mask,
who do you see?

"Baa!" says the sheep.
"It's me! It's me!"

One by one, the costumed animals are waiting by the road--Duck in a tutu, a queenly Cow in a crown, Pig with scraggly hair under a tall, pointed black hat, Hen in a feathered pirate hat, and Horse sporting a dragon's fiery breath, wings, and spiked tail. Little Blue Truck stops for each one to ask "Who do you see?" and each party-goer is found under the flap saying "It's me!" Soon Little Blue's loadbed is full of costumed friends who unload at the barn to sample the treats and dance to the music.

The barn is jumpin' and the party is in full swing. But where are Toad and Little Blue Truck?

And who is that looking like a giant ghost--with great big glassy glowing eyes?

Under that sheet it can only be...

It's you-know-who!

"Beep! Beep! BOO!"

In a delightfully designed board book edition, it's Alice Schertle's Little Blue Truck's Halloween (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), all ready to introduce preschoolers to the custom of dressing up to celebrate Halloween. There are clues for the youngest toddlers visible under each disguise, and a lift of each super-sturdy flap reveals the animal's distinctive sound (Quack! Moo! Cluck!) as he or she unmasks and offers an ID. Author Alice Schertle is a past master of of jolly-metered quatrains and predictable rhymes which offer pre-reading skills for tots which also help the emergent reader solo on this story, and with the familiar illustrations of Jill McElmurry, this new one, out in plenty of time to have on hand for the spooky season, adds to the admirable list of books in the Little Blue Truck series.

Sorry to end on an old cliche'.
But there's only one thing I can say!

Little Blue Truck's Halloween is adorable!

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