Click, Clack, Boo!: A Tricky Treat

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Click, Clack, Boo!: A Tricky Treat Book Poster Image
Animals lure Farmer Brown to holiday fun in spooky sequel.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational value

Kids see common Halloween characters and costumes (in this case worn by farm animals) and can join in on making the creepy, creaky sounds of a spooky night. 

Positive messages

Don't be afraid of Halloween -- just come to our Halloween party and have fun! Try to make a scared person comfortable so he'll have a good time.

Positive role models & representations

The barnyard animals are fun-loving and generous and politely invite Farmer Brown to their party. They want to share their celebration with him.

Violence & scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Click, Clack, Boo! by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin is a fun and gentle Halloween story starring the cows and other barnyard friends from the Caldecott Honor Book Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type and its sequels (including Duck for President). Funny watercolor illustrations show the animals in spooky costumes (Cow as skeleton, Duck as vampire, rats as princesses, cats as bats, sheep as witches) and Farmer Brown in his jammies, hiding in bed from the scary Halloween sounds. An excellent choice for bedtime reading with kids who can't wait for the holiday to come.

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What's the story?

Farmer Brown hates Halloween because it scares him: \"Witches give him nightmares. Pirates give him shivers. Jack-o'-lanterns flicker spooky shadows on the wall.\" So while the barnyard animals are busy preparing for their Halloween costume party, he puts out a bowl of candy for the trick-or-treaters and goes to bed to hide under the covers. But then he starts to hear some creaky, creepy, spooky sounds and finally a \"tap, tap, tapping\" at his door. He gets up and finds an invitation to the party nailed to his door and finally sneaks over to the barn to see what's up.

Is it any good?

CLICK, CLACK, BOO! is a gentle, Halloween-themed story with some of the same appealing characters from Click, Clack, Moo. But here the animals are not in revolt against Farmer Brown. They just want to have a party and include him in the fun!

The simple story is enhanced by the repetition of creepy sounds that seem at first to be scary but ultimately prove to be harmless, such as the "tap, tap, tapping" on a door and window, the "creak, creak, creaking" on the old boards of the front porch, and the "crunch, crunch, crunching" of footsteps on autumn leaves. The friendly, happy ending should send young bedtime readers to sleep with a smile.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Halloween. Do you find it scary or fun -- or both? What's your favorite part of the holiday?

  • What kind of Halloween stories and movies do you like: funny or creepy? What are some of your favorites? Try making up your own Halloween story, and draw a picture of it.

  • What are some of the sounds you think of when you think of Halloween?

Book details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love Halloween and creepy characters

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