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Author: Sam Garton

Illustrator: Sam Garton

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Publisher: Balzer + Bray, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2015

Material: hard cover

Summary: Otter loves Halloween. He is so excited to pick out a pumpkin and create a scary costume. Then the trick-or-treaters show up and Otter is terrified. He hides under the bed until his Otter Keeper helps him make a costume that hides his eyes so he can't see the trick-or-treaters. This is a seasonal picture book that talks about fear and problem solving.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 9 to 12

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 3

Age of Child: Read with a 4-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter enjoyed the book, and asked to read it a couple of times. She loves Halloween right now so I figured it would be a hit. I was surprised by how much she liked it.

Adult Reader Reaction: This book was okay. It didn't have the strongest story line and thought the Otter character is a little strange. Why would the Otter Keeper have a wild animal? Even so, it was worth a read because my daughter loved that it was about Halloween. There are never enough holiday books out and kids love them.

Pros: When you want a Halloween story, this is a cute one.

Cons: The characters are a bit strange. The story is okay, but there are stronger ones out there.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Your child probably would only want to read it around Halloween and there are stronger Halloween books to purchase. Definitely worth checking out from the library.


Educational Themes: The obvious part of the story is Halloween and some of its traditions. Dig a little deeper and you can talk about fear and being scared, and brainstorm (like the Keeper did) different ways to deal with it.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - Halloween, picture book series, emotions, problem solving

Date(s) Reviewed: October 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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