With its many ghosts, goblins, witches and pumpkins, Halloween is a very colorful time of the year and a wonderful opportunity to get the kids reading. There is a plethora of “kid lit” out there, but here is a sampling of 10 recommended titles that you may wish to obtain:
1. “Too Many Pumpkins”: With its dreamy illustrations by Megan Lloyd, you and your child will want to turn the pages again and again. An old lady named Rebecca Estelle hates pumpkins because she was forced to eat them as a child. Her family was so poor they couldn’t afford anything else. One day a pumpkin accidentally lands in her yard. The old lady buries it to get rid of it and…..you guessed it! Pumpkins everywhere. This is a Scholastic Book written by Linda White, appropriate for ages K-2.
2 “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything”: What distinguishes this book from the pack is the clever way author Linda Williams invites active participation on the part of the reader and listener. Just a little scary but also funny, this book will entertain young readers with the story of a little old lady who goes into the woods and meets up with shoes, then pants, etc. which are alive sans owner! Recommended for grades K-2
3. “Pumpkin Soup”: Beautifully written and illustrated by Helen Cooper, this book will captivate the reader. Winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal for children’s literature, the story involves three unlikely housemates: a cat, a squirrel and a duck. They fight over who will stir the pumpkin soup. Have no fear; the situation gets resolved. This story can serve as a warm and cozy bedtime story for little ones.
4. Early readers will also enjoy the classic “Berenstain Bears: Trick or Treat”. Brother and Sister are afraid of a spooky old house and the old lady inside. She turns out not to be a witch! A good opportunity for Halloween safety messages here. Authors are Stan and Jan Berenstain.
5. A witch wants to make a pumpkin pie in “Big Pumpkin” by Erica Silverman. A ghost, a vampire, a mummy and a bat want to help. Not scary and beautifully illustrated by S.D Schindler.
6. What would Halloween be without Clifford, the big red dog? Pick up “Clifford’s Halloween” by Norman Bridwell. Clifford is, of course, too big to fit into a costume so he ends up being a giant ghost. Clifford and his owner Emily Elizabeth never fail to charm.
Its’ always a challenge to interest older readers, but here are some suggestions to get going:
7.) ” In the Haunted House” by Eve Bunting, children are presented with a scarier side of monsters, ghosts and skeletons. If you are looking for a boy’s book, this may be a good one.
8.) “A Ghost Named Fred” (An I Can Read Book) by Nathaniel Benchley, is a home run for early independent readers. George is looking for a friend. His neighbors are either too young or too old. He ends up making a friend with…. guess who?
9.) “Adirondack Nightmare: A Spooky Tale in the North Country” is quite different from the pack. Another book independent readers will enjoy, the story involves a young boy who stirs up some ghosts from a graveyard. This is a chapter book and even contains recipes your youngster might want to try! The author is Rebecca Leonard.
10. And finally, a few good jokes are always welcome. Try “Halloween Riddles” by authors Alan Benjamin and Christopher Santoro.