Review: Halloween Night by Majorie Dennis Murray


  • Then laughing and giggling the children all came,
  • Their feet treading lightly over the lane,
  • All silly and giddy and looking for sweets,
  • All shouting together,
  • Trick or treat!


What Happens:¬†Halloween Night is a fun, festive rendition of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” that features all of the spooky and whimsical elements that you would expect while keeping things funny and age appropriate.

It’s Halloween night, the greatest night of the year for ogres, goblins, witches, ghost, vampire, mummies, and all other assortment of nightmarish creatures! The ogres plan to throw a raccus party in their appropriately themes haunted mansion home. All members of cast and crew pitch in to make sure that the celebration is the best one yet. The witch makes a stinky brew to share with her guests. The goblins fill treat bags with nasty little treats. The ghost provides the music while the banshee pours the drinks. Even the ravens do their part and alert the guests when the treat or treaters, here referred to as “tricksters” come looking for candy.

Of course, the kids take one look inside of the mansion and decide to tuck tail and run! The party guests are pleased that they’ve been able to scare away the little tricksters and they enjoy the rest of the night sans humans, declaring that this was the best Halloween bash they’ve had so far.

The good: This is one of those books that doesn’t make me choose between loving the text or loving the illustrations–both are awesome. The illustrations are lively and rich enough that I could definitely tell the story without words but the prose is so good that I’d never want to. Each illustrations manages to capture the spirit of each character. The witch, for example, is appropriately creepy while maintaining a kind of garish hysteria that all of the best witches have. None of the rhymes sound clunky and everything flows nicely. I can tell this is going to be a dream to read aloud for storytime.

The not so good: Nada!

Rating: 5/5 stars!

Citation: Murray, Marjorie Dennis. Halloween Night. Illustrated by Brandon Dorman, Greenwillow Books, 2008.



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