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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Leif's First Halloween is a holiday-themed adventure story for children and preteens written and illustrated by Susan Hathiramani and Adaya Dosch. Zelda lived in a warm and cozy house with her four cats, and her best friends, Waldo, the werewolf, and Louise, who just happened to be a fairy godmother. Zelda and her friends kept themselves busy making delicious desserts and baked goods for Zelda’s magical catering business. They were especially involved in preparations for Halloween. Zelda loves Halloween! She goes to great lengths decorating her house and garden each year. This year was special though, as Zelda had adopted a puppy from the animal shelter. They just looked at each other when she went into the shelter and instantly knew they were meant for each other. Leif loved his new home with Zelda and even the four cats began to care about the new young puppy in their midst. But it was going to be Halloween soon, and Zelda wanted Leif’s first Halloween to be really special. Adaya, a little girl Zelda and Leif met while out walking, had some ideas on how to make Leif’s first Halloween perfect.
Susan Hathiramani’s Leif's First Halloween is a marvelous and imaginative story about a rescue puppy and the wonderful if unconventional family he joins. Hathiramani’s characters are beautifully crafted, and her plot is as magical as one could expect considering the holiday and Zelda’s being a witch. Adaya Dosch’s illustrations are brilliant! I loved the coloring and her style in recreating the characters in the story. My only problem was not having a purple cupcake covered with chocolate bat wings for my dessert -- all the desserts and baked goods sounded so delicious. Leif's First Halloween is the perfect selection for fall and the message it shares about rescuing shelter pets is timely whatever the season. It’s most highly recommended.