Carrie Can't Choose a Costume

Choosy Carrie Books Book 1

Children - Social Issues
17 Pages
Reviewed on 10/13/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Carrie Can't Choose a Costume: Choosy Carrie Books, Book 1 is a social issues picture book written by Joy Hardin and illustrated by Valentina Nuzzo. Halloween is one of Carrie’s favorite holidays, and autumn is definitely her favorite season, but this year it’s all different. Carrie just can’t figure out what costume to wear for the costume contest in school, and it’s making her very upset. Her mom has lots of great ideas and will always be there to help Carrie try to figure her best idea, but the perfect costume is just not happening this time around. Should she be a ghost? A knight? A mermaid? Carrie wants to be the one with the best costume, but what should it be? Her dad’s got plenty of good ideas too. Then Carrie came up with the best idea of them all.

Joy Hardin’s holiday-themed picture book is an imaginative and entertaining book that follows a young girl who has trouble making decisions as she explores her costume-making options. Like Carrie, I love Halloween, and I found myself vicariously enjoying her excitement and understanding the stress she feels at having to decide what to do. I loved how she passes up on her mom’s suggestion to be a queen and considers being a brave knight instead, likewise her choice of being a football player rather than a cheerleader. Carrie’s final decision is brilliant as well, as I had expected, seeing the effort she put into the process. Hardin’s book is fun and inspirational, and it gets kids to think beyond gender and other traditional options. It also highlights how some kids, and adults, just have a harder time making a decision -- and that’s okay. Valentina Nuzzo’s fun illustrations will really help to get young readers excited about Halloween and their own choices for this year’s costume. Carrie Can't Choose a Costume: Choosy Carrie Books, Book 1 is most highly recommended.

Lesley Jones

In Carrie Can't Choose a Costume by Joy Hardin, Carrie has always found making decisions difficult and with Halloween fast approaching, she must decide what outfit to wear. Will she dress up as a footballer, a knight or a mermaid, or will she simply dress as a ghost? The amount of choices is making Carrie's head spin with confusion. Her mother thinks she should dress up like a queen with a dazzling crown. Although Carrie's family tries to help, she still cannot decide. Carrie begins to lose sleep with worry until, suddenly, the answer appears to her like magic. Carrie is so happy she finally worked out her problem all by herself. She can now attend the Halloween party but what outfit did she decide on?

I have reviewed many children's books but I have never read such a delightful story with a surprising twist at the end. The story kept my interest throughout, I loved the rhyming feature of the narrative and I thought the illustrations were captivating. There were so many conversation opportunities throughout the book where you could engage with your child and discuss issues that may be concerning them, such as not worrying over what others may think, trying to live your life to please others and learning how to make choices on your own. The child will also learn the importance of helping others and understanding that although competition is good, it should not be at the cost of your happiness. This book would be invaluable in school libraries to instill self-confidence in children. I was pleasantly surprised at the end of the book where the author involves the reader in a discussion and there is even a great printable of Carrie too.

Dr. Oliva Dsouza

Carrie Can't Choose a Costume by Joy Hardin is an endearing, imaginatively written book for young children. Carrie is having a hard time choosing a perfect costume for Halloween. As much as she would like to win the costume competition, she also wants to have a good time without getting too stressed about having the perfect costume and focusing solely on winning the competition. Her family tries to be helpful by suggesting various costumes that she could possibly wear but choosy Carrie is unable to make up her mind. Is there a way Carrie can avoid being in a dilemma? Should she choose one of the options that her folks seem to be keen on? Does she decide for herself? Is it okay to sometimes just follow your heart? The twist in the tale lifts this story to a whole new level.

The story takes such a cute turn at the end that it leaves one with a warm, fuzzy feeling in the heart. Carrie Can't Choose a Costume by Joy Hardin is a must-read if you have young children who like to forge their own path. It teaches kids about choices and how at times it is perfectly okay to just be yourself. Winning a competition has its own charm, but being a champ takes a lot more. Following what suits you best in a given situation is what gives you the most joy. It only takes a short and sweet, wonderful story to explain this to your child effortlessly.