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Monday, October 12, 2009

Spooky Reads For Halloween

As you see by the title, this is a list of books that are cute, spooky and fun for Halloween. I am not a real big fan of Halloween, but it's the children that have always made my night. To see them getting all excited about dressing up and going door to door is a blast. My favorite Halloween story has to do with "Madeline", but that is a story for another day. Now is the time to start planning those great Halloween story times for groups of children or just the one special one that loves to curl up with you and a good book. This is by far not the most inclusive list, but for this librarian it just wouldn't be Halloween without these characters.
First on my list, The Humbug Witch by Lorna Balian. This is definitely an oldie but a goodie. it was published in 1965 but it is so cute that it stands the test of time. A cute little story about a witch who just can't seem to get her laugh right, her broom to fly or get her potions to work. I'm Not giving away the ending, but let's just say, it is a very nice ending that leaves the reader with a smile on their face.
If the kids you are reading to love counting books, and who doesn't, try 10 Trick-or-Treaters by Janet Schulman. Perfectly written and illustrated with little ones in mind. The colors are bright, the are Halloweenish without being to ghoulish and the countdown is perfect for audience participation. It's quick, funny and fun!
Who can go on enjoy Halloween without the traditional rhyme of the Five Little Pumpkins? Thank goodness Iris Van Rynback knew to put this rhyme into a cute little book with perfect illustrations to match. It's not the traditional bright colors one would see in other books of the season. Instead, knowing that the audience would be for toddlers, the pictures are done in soft pastel colors with the perfect shade of orange for the five little pumpkins. It is warm, whimsical and winning. A can't miss if toddlers are around.
Eve Bunting is a favorite children's author of mine so it was a surprise find The Bones of Fred McFee. Expecting something light and cherry, this book swept that notion away with the very first page. Children will wonder if Fred McFee was real or just a plastic skeleton. The rhyming story of how the skeleton jangled and danced in the sycamore tree will capture the attention of young listeners as they find out the fate of ol' Fred McFee.
My favorite new Halloween book is Goodnight Goon! A sweet parody of the Margaret Wise Brown's classic tale Goodnight Moon. Michael Rex does a wonderful job in capturing the spirit of the original tale and turning it into a Halloween Classic. Now, I said it was a sweet parody, and it is. But don't tell Mr. Rex I said that. The subtitle of the book is : A petrifying parody. which is kind of misleading. How can a cute little wolf-man be so petrifying? He just needs his rest just like any other little boy!
To say the least, this list is not complete. There are so many more wonderful stories to share but for the moment I will leave you with these titles to search your local library's shelves. Next time around, has anyone heard of The Halloween Tree? The next installment will be titles that are for the older reader (Middle school and up) Be ready for some serious titles that a Trick-or-Reader can really sink their teeth into on a really scary October night!

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