Black and Bittern Was Night

Robert Heidbreder, Author, John Martz, Illustrator
Robert Heidbreder, illus. by John Martz. Kids Can, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-55453-302-2
Reviewed on: 07/22/2013
Release date: 08/01/2013
Written in alliterative nonsense verse in the vein of Carroll’s “Jabberwocky,” Heidbreder’s Halloween tale tells of “skul-a-mug-mugs” (rattle-boned skeletons) that commandeer Halloween night, chasing “tall-bigs” (adults) inside and pre-empting plans for trick-or-treating. But skul-a-mug-mugs are no match for candy-craving, costumed kids. In Martz’s crisp, none-too-scary digital cartoons with highlights of orange, gold, and dark blue, an all-out “scare-fest” ensues between the rival gangs: “Strong-sure tyke-tots/ out-movvered skul thunder./ Nip-swift child-tide/ skit-skuttled their foes:/ The skul-a-mugs jellied/ from top-tip to toes.” Author and illustrator match wits in this cheeky and sophisticated readaloud that imagines the ultimate in Halloween skullduggery. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!