A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Teaches kids about all the things that make Halloween special and may inspire creativity. Also reminds kids that mental health is something everyone struggles with sometimes.
Focus on what's really important, and try not to get overwhelmed by things that don't really matter. Halloween isn't about the candy and costumes -- it's about having fun with your community and celebrating the season. It's also never too late to change your mind and try to do the right thing. Taking the advice of others can have positive benefits.
Positive Role Models
Bad Seed is stressed out at the start. He needs to come up with an elaborate costume worthy of the holiday. Overwhelmed, he lies and tries to ruin the holiday for everybody else. Luckily, he learns positive lessons from a neighbor, changes his mind, is able to save the holiday after all. At the end, he opts for a very simple costume made out of a paper bag, and it's perfect. He remembers what's really important!
Violence & Scariness
Bad Seed tries to scare his neighbors by telling them there's a bad thunderstorm and crowd of seed-eating squirrels on their way. At the beginning of the story, when he's melting down, he throws some clothes and costume stuff around.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Good, the Bad, and the Spooky is a Halloween-themed picture book from bestselling author and illustrator duo Jory John and Pete Oswald. In this story, the Bad Seed (the title character of their first book collaboration in 2017) is a sunflower seed in a cranky mood because he can't seem to find the perfect Halloween costume. Despite trying to ruin the holiday for the whole field/neighborhood, he ends up learning some positive lessons from a kindly neighbor and finally understands what Halloween is really about -- and why it's important not to sweat the small stuff. Like Oswald and John's other books, The Good, the Bad, and the Spooky has a witty tone, cute puns, and fun and colorful illustrations, but it also packs in some positive lessons about mental health that kids of all ages can appreciate. This book also comes with over 150 Halloween- and costume-themed stickers inside, which may spark some creativity for families.
Is It Any Good?
This witty take on the stresses and challenges of life is packaged in a story that even young kids can understand. Many kids grasp the pressure that Halloween (or anything that's supposed to be fun) can inflict when you're focused on the wrong things. Now more than ever, recognizing and learning to manage mental health is essential. Author Jory John and illustrator Pete Oswald wrap these issues into a delightful story with positive takeaways, as they have in their other collaborations.
Oswald's illustrations are super cute and memorable, and the whimsical characters (and in this case, their costumes) are just the icing on the cake. The Good, the Bad, and the Spooky has it all: positive messages, memorable and imperfect characters, and an original, breezy story. It also comes with over 150 decorative stickers that may spark some costume creativity.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.