Since we officially into the month of October, we thought we’d kick off the Halloween book season with a cute story about a dog who proves himself. Dav Pilkey’s The Hallo-Wiener features Oscar, a young Dachshund, who gets teased at school for his irregular shape.
Though he dreams of the perfect Halloween costume, his mother makes him an embarrassing costume instead: a hot dog bun complete with mustard! So as not to hurt his mother’s feelings, Oscar decides to wear the costume, regardless of the torment he knows will ensue. The outfit worsens the ridicule of his judgmental dog friends, who take to calling him the Hallo-Wiener. The cumbersome costume prevents Oscar from getting any candy. By the time he reaches the houses to go Trick-or-Treating, the other dogs have already snagged all the candy for themselves. In the end, Oscar and his bun-shaped costume save the bullies from the trickery that sends them leaping with fright into a pond. The thankful new friends share their Halloween treats with Oscar and redub him Hero Sandwich.
This story is great for children ages 3-6 as it introduces topics of bullying, acceptance, forgiveness, and bravery. Parents will also love Oscar’s kindness toward his enthusiastic mother. Pilkey’s illustrations are cleverly detailed and textured with vibrant use of color. The book is also laden with hot-dog puns galore! The subtle humor in both the text and illustrations are sure to bring lots of laughs to story time.
If you recognize the name Dav Pilkey, that’s because he is the author of the widely popular Captain Underpants series and the 1997 Caldecott winner The Paperboy. Hope you enjoy this treat and Happy (almost) Halloween!