Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Review: Ant and Honeybee: A Pair of Friends at Halloween

Written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by G. Brian Karas, Ant and Honeybee: A Pair of Friends at Halloween features two engaging insect friends who are preparing for trick-or-treating. Honeybee is content for them to dress up once again as pilgrims, but Ant is ready for something different. After much discussion, the two decide to go as a washing machine and a dryer. After fashioning the costumes out of cardboard boxes, the pair are ready. The trouble is everyone they meet while trick-or-treating misjudges what they are supposed to be. Beetle thinks they are a pair of dice. Butterfly is convinced they are chunks of Swiss cheese. Mrs. Snail mistakes them for a couple of ice cubes. A stove and a dishwasher is Old Man Spider's guess until Mrs. Spider sets him straight. The duo are really dancing computers. To make matters worse the two friends get caught in a downpour. By the time they reach Cricket's house they are soaked and their costumes are soggy blobs of cardboard. When Cricket opens the door, he asks them what they are supposed to be. The two friends quickly come up with an answer. Ant is an anthill and Honeybee is a beehive. And together they make a perfect pair!

This is a charming story, well told and sprinkled with puns that are perfect for this age group. Megan McDonald, creator of the Judy Moody and Stink series, writes from experience. As the youngest of four, she wore her siblings' hand-me-down pilgrim costumes for many a Halloween. Karas's cartoon-like illustrations compliment the text, as when he shows Ant thinking up costume ideas. All in all, a delightful early reader for Halloween.

Pencil and Eraser

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