Reel Girl recommends ‘Kat McGee and the Halloween Costume Caper’

My kids and I just finished Kat McGee and the Halloween Costume Caper, the story of a courageous girl who teams up with Jujitsu Princess and Candy Cane Witch to save Halloween from the evil Snaggletooth.


There are some very cool things about this book:

(1) Three girls share an adventure. It always drives me crazy when they say girls like stories about “friendship” but boys like stories about “adventure.” A ridiculous premise in the first place, but what are “buddy movies” for goodness sake? Adventure stories are, often, about friendship, yet in children’s media, we don’t get to see girls taking big risks together as much as we should. In Halloween Costume Caper, we witness a trifecta of heroines, “Team Kat” facing their fears and working together to save the world.

(2) All kinds of other cool, female characters show up. Not only do we see the three awesome girls just mentioned, we meet so many more. Gram is magical, powerful, and wise. Dolce is a “Maker of Magic and Mischief” who helps Kat on her quest. Costumes who makes cameos in the story include Merida, Goldilocks, Bride of Frankenweenie, Tinkerbell, Wonder Woman, Red Riding Hood, American Girl Dolls, and more. You can’t read this story an miss that there are so many things that girls can be.

(3) All about Halloween. From Dr. Seuss’s Grinch Who Stole Christmas to “Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus,” there are lots of narratives about saving Christmas, but I’ve never read one about Halloween, and we desperate for some female-centered Halloween narratives. I just posted a list of girl-centered monster movies for little kid sto watch this Halloween and you know how many films made that list? Only 9. Last Halloween, no less than 3 movies– Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania, and ParaNorman– all featured male protagonists.  Here’s to hoping Halloween Costume Caper becomes a movie.

(4) Kat McGee makes her own costumes. Not only is Kat brave, she is creative. Every year she wins the contest for the best costume. She takes pride in her work, and if your kids read this book, it’s a good bet you can talk them into making their own costume, just like Kat.

(5) Published by In This Together Media. Though I interviewed the new publishing company, In This Together Media, a few months ago, Halloween Costume Caper is the first book the company put out that I’ve read. ITTM is dedicated to producing “better quality books for and about girls– stories where the main character’s whole reason for being isn’t to be kissed, or the other extreme, to be some kind of superchick. We wanted to broaden the narrative possibilities, and that comes from more layered, nuanced characters.”

After reading Halloween Costume Caper, I’m excited to get more of ITTM books for my kids. You can learn more about ITTM and order books here.