Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet

Written and illustrated by Diane deGroat
Morrow Junior Books 1998
ISBN 0688157661
Ages 4 - 8

Buy this book from or from your local bookseller.

1999 Notable Children's Trade Books
in the Field of Social Studies

Boston Globe Quick Picks

Gilbert's little sister Lola wants to do everything her big brother does. She wants to go to school. She wants to march in the Halloween parade. She even wants to dress up just like Gilbert - as a Martian space pilot. But Gilbert doesn't want Lola tagging along. And he definitely doesn't want anyone else to copy his costume idea. He's determined to have the most unusual outfit in the entire school. A madcap, mixed-up masquerade is in store as both Gilbert and Lola get exactly what they want - in the most unexpected ways! Diane deGroat's sequel to Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink is a real treat!

From Booklist September 1 1998 deGroat's Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink! (1996) is a funny classroom romp about Valentine's Day. The holiday this time is Halloween. Chipmunk Gilbert and his little sister, Lola, prepare their costumes. She's a ballerina, but she wants to be just like him, a space pilot. By mistake he takes the bag with her ballerina costume to school for the parade. He's appalled, but when he discovers that most of his classmates are space pilots, he makes the most of being different, and he twirls triumphantly in his pink tutu to the refreshment table. Of course, then Lulu wants her costume back. De Groat's funny watercolor pictures capture the various animal creatures' very human expressions and body language; and the parade of pig, owl, penguin, duck, rabbit, bear, etc., in outlandish garb captures the dressing-up farce of the holiday.

From Horn Book Nothing could be worse than the fact that nearly everyone in Mrs. Byrd's class has chosen to dress as a Martian space pilot - Gilbert's own beloved costume - for the school Halloween parade. Until, that is, it comes time to change and Gilbert discovers that he has grabbed the brown paper bag containing his sister Lola's pink ballerina costume instead of his own Desparate not to get into trouble for not having a costume, Gilbert squeezes into Lola's tutu, pulls the paper bag over his head, and sets out to switch costumes with Lola. DeGroat's portrayals of Gilbert and his classmates are relaxed and uninhibited, and her orange and yellow hues evoke the muted brilliance of the season. The magic of Halloween is turned on full force in this neighborhood where kids walk themselves to school and the crossing guard dresses up for the holiday. Gilbert's good-natured blunderings make for a kid-appealing Halloween treat.

School Library Journal DeGroat moves her human - proportioned animal cast between a comfortable suburban neighborhood dotted with colorful autumn leaves and a school restroom where boys change clothes. Young viewers will enjoy the glimpses of loudly colored underwear (plus, for many girls, exotic bathroom plumbing.) Despite severely undersized tights, Gilbert isn't made to look all that ludicrous or uncomfortable. Although Lola reclaims her costume for the evening's trick-or-treating, she and her brother at least tinker with gender stereotypes...