Miles Cameron is allowed to go trick or treating for the first time.
Everyone warns him to stay away from Stingy Jack’s house.
If only he had listened…

black dog books, Australia


Halloween in Christmas Hills is a humorous picture book story about Halloween and about appearances and friendship. The text also offers some insight into the Halloween tradition, which is often perceived as being an American custom.

With the humorous illustrative style of Heath McKenzie, who manages to make the illustrations comic and creepy at the same time, this is a fun offering.

– Sally Murphy

‘…this reviewer was a bit skeptical about a Halloween story set in Australia, but Karen Tayleur’s text makes it work. She explores the Halloween traditions in different cultures through the multinational neighbourhood with a real Aussie sense of humour…The ending is satisfying…suitable for anyone who likes a good chuckle, great pictures and stories with zombies.’

– DM, Reading Time

“This picture book is colourful and lively.”

– Magpies

Ages 5-8) Recommended.
What will happen when Miles goes trick or treating to Stingy Jack’s house? Miles Cameron is number 5 child in the Johnson family, and the whole family loves to dress up and celebrate festivals. Dad loves Australia Day, Easter is Mrs Johnson’s favourite, and everyone dresses up as leprechauns on St Patrick’s Day. When Halloween comes around Miles is determined to be part of the fun and even though he is warned not to go to Stingy Jack’s house, he rings the doorbell and gets a big surprise.

This is a fun book that marks the different festivals that are celebrated in Australia and explains that Halloween didn’t originate in America. As Miles tells everyone it ‘began as a Celtic fire festival.’ It will find many fans for its humour and sly illustrations.

Heath McKenzie’s drawings of the wide eyed Johnson family are a delight and every page brought a chuckle as I followed their exploits as they put up Christmas lights, handed out Easter eggs and trouped around the neighbourhood on Halloween in their zany costumes. Working out just what the tricky ending meant was fun too!

Halloween in Christmas Hills is just sheer fun to read – and it could be a useful and very entertaining picture book to supplement a unit of work on festivals.

– Pat Pledger

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