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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Halloween with Snowman Paul is a holiday-themed children’s picture book written by Yossi Lapid and illustrated by Joanna Pasek. Halloween is a magical time indeed, but there’s something about Snowman Paul that makes the holiday even more exciting. There’s a big old tree with a brightly lit treehouse perched on its side. Wooden steps form a rising circle around the tree’s sturdy trunk until the intrepid explorer finally reaches the front door. But who will dare to even approach that treehouse? At every step, a dire warning is posted about the dangers that lurk within. One warning hints of creatures from outer space. The second cautions the unwary about the bubbling green potion that can turn a boy or girl into a mouse. There are spiders, black cats, grouchy ghosts and dragons galore that defend the treehouse, but anyone who does get past the warning signs and enters that cheerful, lighted room inside may receive the most pleasant of surprises.
My eyes lit up when I discovered Yossi Lapid’s children’s picture book, Halloween with Snowman Paul. You see, I’m one of Snowman Paul’s biggest fans. Lapid and illustrator Joanna Pasek have worked together to create some of the most imaginative and beautifully illustrated picture books I’ve come across. At first, I wondered how Snowman Paul would escape the limitations of the season and be able to entertain us in late fall, but then I remembered that Halloween is, after all, magical. I loved the build up of suspense as the boy approaches each of the four warning signs, and I found myself beaming with delight as he encounters aliens and their space ship and the other delightful, if spooky, creatures that bar his way to the treehouse. Pasek’s watercolors are beyond inspired; they glow and offer a wealth of detail to delight and astonish the reader. Her use of washes to create the sky and that incredible full moon is inspired and masterful, and the warm welcoming smile of Snowman Paul tops it all. Halloween with Snowman Paul is a marvelous way to introduce the holiday to youngsters during a story time session. The easy-to-read font and simple vocabulary also make this book a perfect first primer for young readers. Halloween with Snowman Paul is fabulous and spooky fun, and it’s most highly recommended.