Grant’s Tale of the Hard-Won Rewards of Being Different

Also a touching tale of sibling love and loyalty

When Amayah’s mother suggests that she dress up as a ghost for the Halloween costume contest again this year, she knows she must think of something else if she wants to win a prize. Not a witch or a fairy or a princess but something unique, something “no one else in the world has ever been in the whole entire history of Halloween!”

But when she emerges dressed as a walking bathroom, her creativity is soon met with laughter and ridicule from her classmates. Just as Amayah begins to feel disheartened, her teacher offers a few words of encouragement. And then the judges announce the winners of the costume contest.

Celebrated poet Shauntay Grant has crafted a warm-hearted Halloween tale that focuses on one girl’s ingenuity and the courage it sometimes takes to dare to do something different. While Amayah’s originality is ultimately rewarded, she must persevere through the initial mockery of her peers, a purposeful reminder to young readers that it’s good to be different but it’s not always easy. The story is also a touching tale of sibling love and loyalty as Amayah generously shares her prize-winning costume idea with her little sister and the two of them head off to enjoy a night of trick-or-treating together.

The playful, cartoony illustrations perfectly complement the tone of the story. Brightly-coloured with bold outlines, interesting textures and facial expressions, they whimsically capture the energy and angst that Amayah generates. A delightful new offering for Halloween reading that is not at all scary, this book may serve as inspiration for young readers who have wrestled themselves with the question of what to be for Halloween.

The Walking Bathroom
Shauntay Grant, Illustrated by Erin Bennett Banks
Nimbus Publishing

Written By

Lisa Doucet is the co-manager of Woozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax. She shares her passion for children’s and young adult books as our young readers editor and book reviewer.

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