Boris and Bella by Carolyn Crimi – Book #13 in the Countdown to Halloween

Boris and Bella by Carolyn Crimi; illustrated by Gris Grimly

Hello Again! Just 11 more days until Halloween! And just five more days to my first ever storytime! It’s going to be based around Halloween, and some of the picture books I’ve discussed here will be incorporated! I’m so nervous and excited! I hope it will be fantastic!

Anyways, for this entry I’ve chosen a book by Carolyn Crimi; illustrated by Gris Grimly called Boris and Bella.

Bella Legrossi, the messiest monster in Booville, and Boris Kleanitoff, the tidiest monster in Booville, are next door neighbors who rarely got along. One Halloween both of these monsters decide to host a party. When no one RSVP’s and decides to go to a different get together, Boris and Bella crash Harry Beastie’s party to see what is so special. As the two of them brood over how much better THEIR parties would have been, the band strikes up. They decide to show the other guests how it is done, and set aside their differences for a dance or two. They figure out that things aren’t always how they appear. How a person is on the outside doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the same on the inside.

The writing in this tale is fun and playful with the names and places of the monsters being the most interesting part (the Howling Wolfman Band, Cy Clops, and Baggo Bones for instance). The story is somewhat predictable, but the dialogue used by Boris and Bella are what help tie it all together. They use puns and play on words to show their distaste and eventual like of each other.

What really sets this book apart are the illustrations. The grays, blacks greens, and purples that help set that creepy tone are used well. Personally, I love how Bella always has flies swarming around her, depicted by perfectly placed squiggly lines ending in miniature winged creatures. The party scenes are packed with creatures, you can look at these pages over and over again and constantly find something new. The monster party highlights where the author and illustrator have come together. The pictures support the words, and much of the descriptions can be found in the illustrations.

This is a fun read and an adorable love story. I hope you enjoy it!

Quick Facts:

Author: Carolyn Crimi

Illustrator: Gris Grimly

Ages: K-4th

Publisher: Harcourt, Inc., New York, New York

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