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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Carrie Can't Choose a Costume: Choosy Carrie Books, Book 1 is a social issues picture book written by Joy Hardin and illustrated by Valentina Nuzzo. Halloween is one of Carrie’s favorite holidays, and autumn is definitely her favorite season, but this year it’s all different. Carrie just can’t figure out what costume to wear for the costume contest in school, and it’s making her very upset. Her mom has lots of great ideas and will always be there to help Carrie try to figure her best idea, but the perfect costume is just not happening this time around. Should she be a ghost? A knight? A mermaid? Carrie wants to be the one with the best costume, but what should it be? Her dad’s got plenty of good ideas too. Then Carrie came up with the best idea of them all.
Joy Hardin’s holiday-themed picture book is an imaginative and entertaining book that follows a young girl who has trouble making decisions as she explores her costume-making options. Like Carrie, I love Halloween, and I found myself vicariously enjoying her excitement and understanding the stress she feels at having to decide what to do. I loved how she passes up on her mom’s suggestion to be a queen and considers being a brave knight instead, likewise her choice of being a football player rather than a cheerleader. Carrie’s final decision is brilliant as well, as I had expected, seeing the effort she put into the process. Hardin’s book is fun and inspirational, and it gets kids to think beyond gender and other traditional options. It also highlights how some kids, and adults, just have a harder time making a decision -- and that’s okay. Valentina Nuzzo’s fun illustrations will really help to get young readers excited about Halloween and their own choices for this year’s costume. Carrie Can't Choose a Costume: Choosy Carrie Books, Book 1 is most highly recommended.