Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Boo! Halloween Picture Books

It’s that time again—time to pull out all the best recent and old favorites for Halloween at home, at school, or in the library.

Here’s a great group for story times with the very young and for older, more sophisticated trick-or-treaters.

For starters, Lauren Thompson brings us a reassuring tale about a very small soul  (Mouse) facing very big Halloween fears (rustling leaves and leering pumpkins). Mouse’s First Halloween (Simon & Schuster, 2000) has a recurring line “‘Eeek!’ Mouse squeaked” for all to join in on and lovely illustrations by Buket Erdogan.

A more recent title, Just Say BOO!, by Susan Hood (Harper, 2012) also features friendly art (by Jed Henry) and an even simpler refrain: “BOO!” Without being at all pedantic, it also teaches first-timers the two other essential Halloween phrases: “Trick-or-Treat!” and “Thank you!”

If your story time crowd is feeling a little squirrely at this point, then pull out another old favorite: Michael Rex’s Brooms Are for Flying! (Henry Holt, 2000). A young witch invites listeners to stomp their feet, rattle their bones, and flap their (bat) wings, getting everyone moving and in a Halloween mood.

Slightly older children will love the cartoony humor of Jan Thomas’s Pumpkin Trouble (Harper, 2011). A duck who’s not exactly the brightest candle in the jack-o’-lantern tries to carve one, with hilarious results.

Last but not least, school-aged kids will love this strange collection: The Haunted Hamburger and Other Ghostly Stories by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Paul Meisel (Dutton, 2011). 

Typically, when Dad tells stories to the kids at bedtime, he’s not trying to scare them silly. But Frannie and Frankie’s dad isn’t typical, and neither are they. 

They’re ghosts, and they’re about to have their socks scared off by these (not really so scary) tales of hamburgers, grannies, and a diaper. 

A word of warning: what's scary to a small ghost like Frannie or Frankie will have young human readers laughing their socks off. 

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