As a kid, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays. My family couldn’t afford store-bought costumes, so my mom would help me create something fun using stuff in her closet and mine, and sometimes a trip to Goodwill for the final piece to make my costume perfect. I can remember a couple of kids in the neighborhood who made fun of me for my home-made costumes. It always made me mad that the other kids were mean, but I held my head high because I loved what my mom and I had created from items we already had at home. This notion of pride and self-acceptance is at the heart of Hannah Qizilbash’s new Halloween picture book for kids, The Mean Queen on Halloween.

Using clever rhyme, the author tells the story of Avery, our curly-haired heroine who has dressed up as a queen for Halloween. With a crown proudly nestled in her abundance of curls, she heads out to trick-or-treat only to be confronted by Harper, the neighborhood bully, dressed up (rather appropriately!) as a troll. When Harper makes fun of Avery, Avery doesn’t wither or run away. Instead, she calmly confronts Harper letting her know that bullying won’t be tolerated. When Harper apologizes the next day, she admits that she herself has been bullied too. Avery reminds her that just because you’ve been bullied doesn’t make it alright to do the same thing to others. All children deserve to be seen and heard for who they are and celebrated for their differences, not ridiculed. Avery teaches Harper an empowering phrase, “It’s ok for me to take up space!” leading both children to feel safer and included everyday, not just on Halloween.

With vibrant, colorful illustrations by Michelle Dominado and its anti-bullying message, this book will be a welcome addition to your child’s Halloween book favorites for years to come.

You can find the author on social media and follow the journey of her next book at Nodhi Stories on Facebook and @nodhistories on Instagram.

For a chance to win a signed copy of The Mean Queen on Halloween be sure to enter the giveaway below!

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Julie Bond

Julie Bond is a voracious reader with eclectic tastes running the gamut from YA lit, to psychological suspense, and anything dog-related, of course. You can find her haunting her favorite San Francisco Bay Area indie bookstores. Email her at ObsessiveBookFanatic@gmail.com

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