Book Review of Trick or Treat, Alistair Gray
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The Children’s Book Review
Trick or Treat, Alistair Gray
Written by Lindy Ryan
Illustrated by Timea Gazdag
Ages 5+ | 38 Pages
Publisher: Black Spot Books | ISBN-13: 9781645481157
What to Expect: Halloween, culture diversity, managing expectations, living in the moment
Now an award-winning animated film, Trick or Treat, Alistair Gray is a spooky and thought-provoking exploration of one of the West’s most beloved holiday traditions.
On the night before Halloween, Alistair is disappointed when he gets to his school’s Halloween ball. As well as ghosts and witches and monsters, the room is full of princesses, astronauts, cowboys, and fairies! Insistent that Halloween is supposed to be scary, Alistair leaves the party and goes out into the night, hoping to find some real Halloween spirit. There he meets more than he bargained for: a frightening pumpkin spirit explains the real meaning of Halloween as a time to celebrate life and acknowledge the darkness of death that must follow. Alistair returns to the party, gratified to have seen something truly scary. He’s grateful for his place among the living.
The hypnotic rhyming text helps build the gothic atmosphere so crucial to the story’s presentation of traditional All-Hallows’ beliefs but also offers a soothing quality, underscoring the narrative’s message that night and death are nothing really to be frightened of. Notably, the narrative reminds readers about the duality of life and death, light and dark, joy and fright, encouraging them to live every moment to the fullest. Timea Gazdag’s dark, bold illustrations help readers literally see the value of the light that shines in the dark, contrasting moody backgrounds with flashes of color and illumination.
Overall, Trick or Treat, Alistair Gray is spooky, thought-provoking, and beautifully produced—a true Halloween classic in the making.
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About the Author
Lindy Miller Ryan (author) is an award-winning author-editor, short film director, and professor at Rutgers University. Prior to her career in academia, Ryan was the co-founder of Radiant Advisors, where she led the company’s research and data enablement practice for clients that included 21st Century Fox Films, Warner Bros., and Disney. She is the founder of Black Spot Books, a small press with a mission to amplify the voices of women in horror.
Ryan previously served on the Board of Directors for the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and is currently co-chair of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) Publishers Council. She is an active member of the HWA and ITW and was named a Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree in 2020. She has published numerous academic texts as well as writes clean romance novels under the name Lindy Miller, which have been adapted for the screen. Her debut horror novel, BLESS YOUR HEART, will release from Minotaur Books in Fall 2023.
For more information, visit www.LindyMillerRyan.com.
About the Illustrator
Timea Gazdag (illustrator) comes from Hungary, a strange place where everyone is sad. She now lives in the UK, where no one would tell you if they were. She sings, draws, and wonders as she wanders.
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