Although set in the northern hemisphere where Halloween takes place in autumn, And Then Comes Halloween is a beautiful introduction to the excitement and preparation that surrounds Halloween. Holly Meade’s watercolour and collage illustrations add brightness and texture to the story.
“When autumn spiders weave silver webs from pillar to post, and the wind whispers winter, and the bones of trees begin to show…
Then it’s time to decide what to be”
Tom Brenner has produced a magical composition of words. And Then Comes Halloween is rich in description, effectively capturing the anticipation and excitement of preparing for Halloween. There is a beautiful pattern that appears with the arrangement of passages in the story. On each page the children wait for signs of the Halloween season before undertaking each phase of their preparation.
The children wait for geese to fly south before hanging decorations. They wait for neighbours to rake leaves before buying, scooping and carving pumpkins. They wait for the last day of October before grabbing their bag or bucket.
I’ve never really been a participator of Halloween festivities, but after reading this delightful book I know I’ve been missing out on something special. More than just trick-or-treating, And Then Comes Halloween illustrates that Halloween is about celebrating, preparation, cooperation, community and friendship.
Author: Tom Brenner
Illustrator: Holly Meade
Publisher: Candlewick Press (Walker Books)