Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

J is for Jack O’ Lantern: A Halloween Alphabet

J is for Jack O’ Lantern: A Halloween Alphabet

Denise Brennan-Nelson
Illustrator:  Donald Wu 
Non-Fiction Picture Book  Series
For ages 5 to 11
Sleeping Bear Press, 2009   ISBN: 1585364436

For millions of children autumn is not so much about falling leaves, harvest festivals, and cooler days. No, for many children autumn is about Halloween. It is about buying or making a costume, decorating homes with carved pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and parties.

This delightful book celebrates the traditions of Halloween and, for older children (and even adults) it provides information about how these traditions came about. For example, did you know that the ancient Celts were the first people to dress up on October 31st? They wore masks and blackened their faces to scare off the souls of the dead, which they believed walked the earth on the night of October 31st.

For every letter of the alphabet, the author of this book looks at some aspect of Halloween; B is “for Boo,” H is for a haunted house, and so on. A rhyming quatrain captures the essence of what the word is describing, often using humor to give young readers something to smile at. Then there is a sidebar full of further information. This section expands on the quatrain. This format makes it possible for readers to enjoy this book on many levels. There is the art, the alphabet component, the poem, and the sidebar full of interesting details.

This title is one in a series of delightful alphabet books published by Sleeping Bear Press.