One Fox: A Counting Book Thriller by author/illustrator Kate Read

Reading Level: 2 – 6 years

Publisher: Peachtree Publishing Company

Publication Date: October 1. 2019

Who would have thought that a counting book for children could create tension and unnerving moments then leave readers feeling safe and victorious at the end? A sly fox thinks he found a meal in the hen house but birds of a feather flock together in this picture book. Word selection matches the books theme. Brightly colored collage illustrations with some black backgrounds add chilling moments i.e. eight beady eyes and ten sharp teeth. This is another story that can be read anytime of the year however with the right voice, a Halloween fright could be delivered before a snug ending.

Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale by author Marjuan Canady and illustrator Nabeeh Bilal

Reading Level: 3 – 7 years

Publisher: Sepia Works, LLC

Publication Date: November 18, 2013

A young boy named Winston loves eating callaloo which is a popular Caribbean meal. His aunt asks him to go to the store to buy a bush that she needs to make more callaloo. On his way, Winston stops to buy not one but two frozen treats and eats them. He boards a train and suddenly finds that he is no longer in New York but on the beautiful island of Tobago. He decides to get some crabs. Winston encounters several Caribbean folklore creatures that are somewhat creepy and mysterious after he collects the crabs and eventually releases them. He learns not to take more than he needs. This story is entertaining and teaches a lesson about greed. Unfamiliar words are bold throughout the text. There is a glossary in the back of the book. My Book Eyes enjoyed learning about the Caribbean mythical creatures. Illustrations match the text and add gloom, darkness and slight scare when needed but nothing that a young child couldn’t handle. This picture book ends happily with Winston safe at home. It can be read anytime of the year however, it would be a great read at a Halloween party by a storyteller who knows how to tell a spooky story.