A bite-size exploration of Halloween hues.
A green-spotted caterpillar costume (worn by a black child), a blue balloon held by a white tot in a clown costume, orange pumpkins, and more are presented, each on its own double-page spread, to help little ones learn their colors. The two-dimensional art, which looks to be cut-paper collage, employs bold images with rounded shapes in highly saturated tones. With two unrhymed sentences per page, the text is simple and encourages interaction: “Say hello to these two white ghosts.” The board book is shaped like a squat pumpkin, which serves the internal pages poorly. Hats, flashlight beams, and the moon are cropped at odd angles due to the book’s protruding stem. This problem persists in the other two titles releasing simultaneously in the First Celebration series. In Thanksgiving Counting, Mom’s hair is strangely excised by the book’s turkey contours, and an elf’s hat is partially missing in Christmas Colors & Counting. While the Thanksgiving tale makes a nod to diveristy with a family that has skin tones from white to medium brown, some may find the inclusion of the Native American in stereotypical garb troubling. The Christmas offering of the series is the most successful, as it presents clear objects (candles, buttons on a gingerbread cookie, and reindeer noses) for little fingers to count.
This book and its companions need more holiday sparkle and less everyday meh.