This beautifully illustrated book offers a timeless message on sharing joy with friends.
Yossi Lapid returns to his Snowman Paul series in Halloween with Snowman Paul, a picture book for toddlers and preschoolers. Joanna Pasek’s inspired illustrations evoke the spooky holiday through a luminous palette and charming scenes that detail a boy’s journey toward a tree house party. Mild mischief culminates in a festive gathering.
The story begins when an unnamed protagonist encounters a series of warnings written on wooden signs. The rhyming signs playfully advise passersby to avoid the tree house and its imaginary risks, which include being carried away by aliens, finding a witch who brews potions to transform people into mice, dancing with a dragon, and meeting a ghost. Once the boy arrives at the party, games and songs commence; threats remain innocent.
Kids familiar with the series, which includes My Snowman, Paul and Snowman Paul at the Winter Olympics, may have a stronger sense of the Snowman Paul character. Those who come to the series midstream won’t find hints on where he came from or a reason for his inclusion as a holiday icon in late October. Presented here as a dragon in costume, he’s a silent, appealing figure drawn as an oversized member of the party. Still, such details shouldn’t pose a problem. The clear, straightforward tale draws on the innate appeal of adventure and surprise. Characters remain stand-ins for any child out trick-or-treating.
Pasek’s beautiful art enhances the work with careful, sweet accents that temper any fright. A witch is featured in pigtails stirring a cauldron near a glowing hearth. The ghost is an expressive dog with pointed ears, and Snowman Paul’s dragon costume remains free of fire. Enchanting details—such as a candy cane in homage to Paul’s winter origins—add unexpected seasonal flourishes. An especially noteworthy use of shadows and light creates delightful atmospheres that balance between nocturnal landscapes and warm interiors.
The book offers a timeless message on sharing joy with friends. Through brief encounters, a boy who begins alone finds wonderment in a spirited community where animals, humans, and magic thrive.
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