Friday, January 25, 2008

Los Gatos Black on Halloween

LOS GATOS BLACK ON HALLOWEEN; Marisa Montes, illustrated by Yuyi Morales; New York: Henry Holt, 2007; unpaged. Picture Book.
Why review a book about Halloween in January? Because Montes and Morales came close to sweeping the Pura Belpre awards for Hispanic children's books in American Library Association's recent competition, in both the illustration and authorial categories. Rightly so. Montes' clever Halloween rhymes combine Spanish and English words perfectly so Anglo children will learn, from context, the Spanish words. Also, combined with Morales' luscious Day of the Dead-like illustrations, the text is spooky enough to raise a chill for daring kids--and their chicken-lipped parents.

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