A blog for kids (and their parents) who love books, words, and dreaming big...
I'm so glad you stopped by! Welcome.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bootiful Books for Young Kids

Photo courtesy of PublicDomainPictures.net
It's almost time for one of my favorite holidays!  We've got our house and yard all decorated with spoooooky items, we're planning a Halloween party, and we're working on gathering materials for our costumes.  Another way we're getting ready for this fun holiday is by reading Halloween-themed books.  Last year, I shared a few picture books (fiction and nonfiction) in my Not-So-Spooky Stories post. This year, Ben and I looked for some new Halloween books at the library.  Here are the ones that we enjoyed the most:

Pumpkin Fever,
written by Charnan Simon
and illustrated by Jan Bryan-Hunt, 2007

Erin and her family have pumpkin fever!  They drive to a field and find two big pumpkins to bring home.  Erin's father helps her carve a jack-o-lantern in one pumpkin, but what is her mother doing with the other?

This is a short but sweet story for beginning readers.  In addition to the tale about Erin's family, the book also introduces several shape concepts.


Boo to You!,
written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert, 2009

The mice are planning a harvest party, but that scary black cat keeps sneaking around.  Maybe, with a little creativity, the mice can scare the cat away!

Among other materials, Ehlert uses photos of flowers, plants, and vegetables to help create her artistic collages on each page of this story.  Ben and I love studying the illustrations, pointing out all the details.  At the end of the book, Ehlert also provides instructions for roasting pumpkin seeds.


Sheep Trick or Treat,
written by Nancy Shaw
and illustrated by Margot Apple, 1997

The sheep make Halloween costumes for themselves and go trick-or-treating at the barn.  Little do they know, wolves await in the shadows.

Shaw and Apple have created a series of sheep books, including Sheep in a Jeep, Sheep in a Shop, and more. All of them are fun rhyming stories, and this is no exception. Ben and I giggled over the silly costumes the sheep create and the various items the sheep are offered while trick-or-treating.


Minerva Louise on Halloween,
written and illustrated by Janet Morgan Stoeke, 2009

Minerva Louise is a chicken.  Unlike the sheep in the story above, Minerva Louise doesn't seem to have any concept of the Halloween holiday.  She interprets the things she sees based on her experiences around the farm.  For example, when she sees children dressed as ghosts, she thinks they are sheets that have blown off the clothesline.

This is a cute, amusing story.  Kids are sure to get a kick out of Minerva Louise's misunderstandings -- I know Ben and I did!


Bone Dog,
written and illustrated by Eric Rohmann, 2011

When his dog Ella dies, Gus doesn't feel much like doing anything, and isn't even excited about Halloween.  He does dress up as a skeleton, and soon finds himself surrounded by a group of real skeletons.  Ella, now a Bone Dog, comes to his rescue, and together they frighten the skeletons away.

This is a sad, tender story of friendship, loss, and a dog's loyalty -- with some humor thrown in, as well.


Pumpkin Moonshine,
written and illustrated by Tasha Tudor, 1938

Sylvie Ann wants to make a pumpkin moonshine (jack-o-lantern), so she sets off across her grandparents' cornfields to find a pumpkin.  When she finds one that seems perfect, it is too large for her to carry.  She begins to roll it home, but when she reaches the top of a hill, the pumpkin gets away from her.  Can Sylvie Ann catch it before the pumpkin runs into anything?

This book is a good pick for children and adults who prefer the "softer side" of Halloween.  It is a gentle story that made me smile.  (Ben, too.)


Arthur's Halloween Costume,
written and illustrated by Lillian Hoban, 1984

Arthur hopes to win a prize for most unique costume at the school Halloween party.  Originally, he plans to go as a ghost.  When his sister tells him that several others are also going as ghosts, Arthur tries to come up with other ideas.  In the end, he is wearing a very unusual costume indeed -- but what is he?

Readers will get a chuckle out of Arthur's mishaps, and may be inspired by his resourcefulness, as well.


Big Bob and the Halloween Potatoes,
written by Daniel Pinkwater
and illustrated by Jill Pinkwater, 2000

Big Bob and Big Gloria are second graders who love potatoes.  When their teacher, Mr. Salami, announces that they will be making pumpkin decorations for Halloween, Big Gloria tries to convince him that they should use potatoes instead.  (According to her, pumpkins are "meaningless".)  Mr. Salami stands his ground.  When Big Gloria and her friends come up with a way to include potatoes in the Halloween celebration -- and Mr. Salami devises a plan to make pumpkins more meaningful -- everyone wins!

Big Gloria has some great lines in this book that Ben and I found very funny.  We also enjoyed the creativity shown by Mr. Salami and his students.


The House That Drac Built,
written by Judy Sierra
and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand, 1995

This is definitely not the house that Jack built!  In this cumulative rhyme, Drac's house is full of ghoulish figures who are getting a bit out of hand.  When a group of young trick-or-treaters arrive, they know just what to do to put the house back in order.

This book is rated for 4 years and above on Amazon, but I would say it's more suited to 6- and 7-year-olds.  I think younger children might find some of the illustrations too scary.  (There is an adorable picture of a bat, however!)  Ben and I enjoyed the humor and the unruly monsters.


J is for Jack-O'-Lantern:
A Halloween Alphabet,
written by Denise Brennan-Nelson
and illustrated by Donald Wu, 2009

This Halloween alphabet book offers a poem for each letter, as well as an educational sidebar for each of the twenty-six words used.  It also includes riddles, game and costume suggestions, and recipes for Halloween treats.

Ben and I appreciated all the information provided -- we learned some new things from this book!  We also liked the lyrical rhymes.


The Runaway Pumpkin,
written by Kevin Lewis
and illustrated by S. D. Schindler, 2003

When Buck, Billy, and Lil spy the biggest pumpkin they've ever seen, they attempt to roll it home.  Very soon it is out of control, bumping and thumping down the hill and towards their farm.

This comical rhyming story is sure to please kids and adults alike.  It's a fun one to read aloud, but beware -- it does have a bit of a tongue-twister quality to it!


written and illustrated by Kevin O'Malley, 1997

While the narrator insists that the stories inside will scare you, this corny, madcap spoof on tales of terror is much more likely to make readers groan or giggle over bad puns than it is to frighten them.

Ben and I found this to be a very silly book.  We especially liked the sarcastic commentaries provided by the animals in the illustrations.


Halloween Night:
Twenty-one Spooktacular Poems,
written by Charles Ghigna
and illustrated by Adam McCauley, 2003

This collection of Halloween poems, including "I'm Not Afraid", "Sick or Treat", and "The Scary Dictionary", is perfect for reading aloud.  Most of the poems are humorous, with upbeat, bouncy rhymes.  Only a few are slightly scary.

Ben and I thought that Ghigna's poetry was a treat!  We also loved McCauley's bold illustrations on each page.


Celebrate Halloween
with Pumpkins, Costumes, and Candy,
written by Deborah Heiligman
and photographed by many, 2007

This nonfiction book contains many colorful photographs from around the world.  It provides information about Halloween, including the history behind the holiday and different ways that it is celebrated.  It also offers a few game ideas and recipes at the back of the book.


Have you read any good Halloween books for young kids lately?  I'd love to hear about them!

No comments:

Post a Comment