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QUEEN OF HALLOWEEN (Ann Estelle Stories)

Author: Mary Engelbret

Illustrator: Mary Engelbret

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Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Anne Estelle is dressed as a beautiful fairy, ready to go trick or treating with her best friend Michael. Not everyone has "happy" costumes, sometimes the road doesn't have enough light, and oh, that house looks really scary. Is Anne Estelle going to give up on a fun night ... and all that candy? This is a seasonal story about having courage to face all those scary trick-or-treaters.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 7; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 2.1

Age of Child: Started reading with girl nearly 7 years old.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter loves Halloween, so she immediately went for this book in the pile. She totally related to Ann Estelle and her fears: she loves being a princess, but the Halloween ghouls scare her. We have read this book at least once a week for a month now.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fun Halloween tale. The illustrations are colorful, friendly, and light-hearted. As we saw, Ann Estelle is an easy character to connect with. We love that the message is understandable for younger kids, and the story is still interesting when kids start to read on their own.

Pros: Kids who love trick-or-treating will enjoy this story that wraps courage in a Halloween package.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least! If you've got a preschooler, you're likely to read this for several years. It would make a fun holiday tradition.


Educational Themes: The story makes it easy to talk about feelings, particularly fear. The emphasis of the story is Ann Estelle's search for bravery on Halloween ... and her personal discovery of bravery. The author subtly creates the opportunity for parents to talk about responsibility and communication, as Ann Estelle's dad is part of the "background."

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book series, Halloween, emotions

Date(s) Reviewed: October 2008

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