Los Gatos Black on Halloween
Los Gatos Black on Halloween

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Annotation: Rhyming text about Halloween night incorporates Spanish words, from las brujas riding their broomsticks to los monstruos holding a monstrous ball.
Catalog Number: #15035
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition Date: 2006
Illustrator: Morales, Yuyi,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-8050-7429-5 Perma-Bound: 0-605-13043-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8050-7429-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-13043-2
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2005020049
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
A cat's green eyes stare out from the book's cover. Inside, there are more of los gatos well as las brujas (witches), los fantasmas (ghosts), and los esqueletos (skeletons looking like they have come from a Día de los Muertos celebration. The pithy, rhyming text tells a frightening, if familiar, story. The ghosts and ghoulies are off to a Monsters' Ball at Haunted Hall, and though there's plenty of scary stuff around, the guests are most frightened by the children who come knocking at the door for trick-or-treat. Montes' evocative poem deserves exceptional artwork, and Morales obliges. Her soft-edged paintings glow with the luminosity of jewels, and her witches, werewolves, and corpses are frighteningly executed. Therein lies what may be a problem for preschoolers. These fiends aren't particularly kid-friendly; they are dead-eyed, Day of the Dead folk who scare. For slightly older children, however, this spookiness is what Halloween is all about. The Spanish is neatly integrated into the text, but for those who need clarification, a glossary is appended.
Horn Book
This book weaves Spanish words into an English poem, defining the Spanish seamlessly within the stanzas. Eerie yet whimsical illustrations, which include twists on traditional Day of the Dead imagery, provide the backdrop. The details on each page will encourage careful observation, and the surprise ending is enjoyable. Glos.
Kirkus Reviews
Montes's vivid poem, replete with the appropriate creepiness, describes all of the usual—and some not-so-usual—Halloween suspects. Under the full moon, los gatos slink, yowl and hiss. Las brujas fly on their brooms. Los esqueletos rattle their bones. Pumpkins burn, mummies stalk, the wolfman prowls, the dead rise and ghouls and zombies march across the pages, all parading toward a haunted mansion for a monstrous ball. Eerie music resonates throughout the night, and all of the creatures begin to waltz, boogie and bop—until tres loud raps ("Rap! Rap! Rap!") sound at the door. Who could it be? Not children trick-or-treating! Suddenly the creatures vanish. Nothing scares a monster more than human ninos , particularly on Halloween. Spanish words, perfectly defined by context, flow smoothly throughout the atmospheric, rhymed text and are officially defined in an accessible glossary at the story's end. Morales's dark, glowing pictures of inventively proportioned ghosts and other sinister night creatures provide the ideal accompaniment. A spooky seasonal treat and a great choice for any collection. (Picture book. 6-8)
Publishers Weekly

Halloween and the Day of the Dead overlap in this atmospheric, bilingual romp. Montes (Juan Bobo Goes to Work) composes serviceable stanzas, using English and Spanish words as synonyms: "Los gatos black with eyes of green,/ Cats slink and creep on Halloween." This dual-language approach can be redundant ("At medianoche midnight strikes..."), yet Morales (Harvesting Hope) holds readers' attention with surreal, faintly macabre spreads in dim turquoise and clay-brown hues, illuminated by fuschia and flame orange. Witches fly broomsticks like skateboard whizzes, a headstone references Mexican comic Cantinflas and sallow-faced muertos dance until children arrive: "The thing that monsters most abhor/ Are human niños at the door!" Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Montes smoothly incorporates Spanish terms into a rhythmic poem describing a moonlit Halloween night. Los esqueletos rattle bones and clatter in a dance, los fantasmas "drag their chains" and "shriek their pains," and los muertos emerge from their graves to join other creatures at a haunted casa for music and dancing. However, the party stops dead with the arrival of trick-or-treaters, which causes the frightened spooks to hide, for "The thing that monsters most abhor/Are human ni-os at the door!" The full-bleed paintings create a creepy mood with curving lines, fluid textures, and dusky hues. Rounded figures dance across the atmospheric spreads, which depict blank-faced skeletons, a toothy werewolf, and a child zombie with glowing eyes. The pictures are eerie enough to tingle spines, but the effect is leavened with bits of humor (witches perform skateboard tricks on their brooms, a vampire admires himself in a mirror that reflects only his clothing). The poem's cadenced rhymes and descriptive language build suspense until the satisfying ending. Spanish words are easy to understand in context, but are also defined in a glossary with pronunciation guides. This book is just right for children who are beginning to find typical Halloween fare a bit too tame.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Word Count: 357
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.0 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 110385 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.2 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q43120

Follow los monstruos and los esqueletos to the Halloween party Under October's luna , full and bright, the monsters are throwing a ball in the Haunted Hall. Las brujas come on their broomsticks. Los muertos rise from their coffins to join in the fun. Los esqueletos rattle their bones as they dance through the door. And the scariest creatures of all aren't even there yet! This lively bilingual Halloween poem introduces young readers to a spooky array of Spanish words that will open their ojos to the chilling delights of the season. Los Gatos Black on Halloween is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year, the winner of the 2008 Pura Belpre Medal for Illustration and a Pura Belpre Honor Book for Narrative.

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