Review: Countdown to Halloween

New releases

Peanuts: Countdown to Halloween With a Story a Day is literary advent calendar, a hardcover book that gives you a two-page prose piece with one illustration for each of the 31 days of October. As an exercise with a kid of the appropriate age — and it would have to be quite young  — that might be a fun effort. However, this isn’t like reading the Peanuts strip itself where adults might appreciate it on another level. These stories (and that’s using the word broadly; the two-page sections are better described as “incidents”) are meant to be simple and not emotionally challenging. Everyone loves everybody else. But that’s standard for prose Peanuts, which is not Peanuts’ strongest medium.

This is not a serialized tale of a single Halloween; indeed, many Halloweens are celebrated within, many pumpkin patches are sat in. We do get one mystery answered for us: “A sincere pumpkin patch didn’t need to be large. It just needed to be made up of sincere pumpkins.”

Looking at the list of writers (hidden in the back), it’s basically the regulars from the Peanuts children books: Tina Gallo, Ximena Hastings, May Nakamura, with two from Patty Michaels, who I don’t think has any released books but there’s a couple on the way. Several of the tales are reworked from 2018’s Happy Halloween, Charlie Brown!

The art is by Robert Pope, who does a good job as always.

If this is what it takes to get your man excited, maybe he’s just not that into you.

If this seems like your thing, you’re in luck: Peanuts: Countdown to Christmas is coming soon!

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