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“Soon the clock in the hall bongs thirteen sad bongs. The Halloween Queen croaks out thirteen ‘so longs’! As I look behind me, she slips out of sight. She won’t be the same again after tonight.” –The Halloween Queen
The Halloween Queen
by Joan Holub
It’s Halloween and time for trick-or-treating. But there is one little girl who is afraid to go near her neighbor’s house. However, the Halloween Queen has the best candy on the whole block and hosts a fun party too. What is the little girl to do?
Young readers will relate to the little girl, who is excited to dress up for Halloween but scared by the neighbor house’s scary decorations. The person who lives in the house clearly loves Halloween, because “a ghost haunts her front yard, and bats hang out back. Wolves howl from her rooftop. Cats hiss from her trees.” Once inside the woman’s house, the little girl realizes there was no reason to be afraid. The cute conclusion reveals that the woman, who dressed as a witch, is actually the little girl’s teacher.
The book’s full-page illustrations use all the fall colors and are full of black cats, orange pumpkins, and white ghosts. Despite skeletons hanging from the trees, flying bats, and a green witch with spiders on her glasses, the illustrations are not scary but are festive and cartoonish. Each page has two to four short, rhyming sentences. Even though The Halloween Queen is a picture book, the story is intended to be read aloud to a child rather than for the child to read it for the first time independently.
The Halloween Queen is best suited for young readers who are still frightened by the thought of monsters being out on Halloween night. Readers will enjoy looking at all the kids who are dressed up: a monster, a vampire, a cat, and a cowboy can all be found within the pages of the book. For a fun, Halloween read that reminds readers that there is nothing to fear on Halloween night, be sure to grab a copy of The Halloween Queen! For more wonderful, witchy fun, add The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches by Alice Low to your reading list.
Drugs and Alcohol
- When the girl is afraid to go up to the door of a house, some of the kids call her chicken.