9 books to read with your kids this Halloween


By Judy Belanger



Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin

by Tad Hills Schwartz & Wade, $6.99; ages 2-5

Duck and Goose are looking for a pumpkin, but aren't sure just where to find one. They try the pond, in a log, up an apple tree and under a pile of leaves. The turning pages will help little ones understand fall. Along comes Thistle, another duck, who suggests they might want to try going to the pumpkin patch.

Here Comes Halloween!

by Caroline Jayne Church, Scholastic, $7.99; ages 2-5.

The concept of "What do you want to be for Halloween?" can be a difficult one for little children to understand. In this easy board book, several suggestions are given as the little boy tries to decide. The pages include items to touch, such as the material in the pirate flag and the bumps on the dinosaur costume.

Whooo's That? A lift-the-flap pumpkin fun book

by Kay Winters, illustrated by Jeannie Winston, Harcourt, $9.99; ages 2-5.

As each jack-o'-lantern flap is lifted, we find characters associated with Halloween. Skeletons, bones and ghosts are all dancing on the pages until finally one finds a stream of children in their costumes on their way to trick-or-treat.

13 Ghosts of Halloween

by Robin Muller, illustrated by Patricia Storms, Kane/Miller, $7.99 pb; ages 4-8.

Ten children, two dogs and one cat are ready for the Halloween fun house. On each stroke of midnight as they journey through the house they find creatures awaiting them. They declare that nothing frightens them. With each stroke of midnight the number of creatures increases. One vulture isn't too bad or even two shrunken heads. The children all seem to be having a good time. By the time they get to 11 goblins and 12 vampires, the children may be changing their minds just a little. Imagine what a scare ghosts will bring. Are you ready for the haunted house? Not me.

Hooray for Fall!

by Kazuo Iwamura, NorthSouth, $16.95; ages 3-7.

With summer off the calendar, little squirrels Mick, Mack and Molly go with Papa to collect nuts. When they return, mom is knitting. When she is finished, she presents each little squirrel with a new red sweater. They take a walk in their new sweaters and notice how everything around them is changing colors and how the animals they meet prepare for the upcoming winter.

And Then Comes Halloween

by Tom Brenner, illustrated by Holly Meade, Candlewick, $16.99; ages 4-8.

When neighbors rake leaves, it is time to carve a pumpkin. When decorations start appearing on front lawns, it is time to prepare a costume. When the last day of October arrives, it is time to grab a bag and knock on doors and say "Trick or treat!" Children will enjoy following the story as they get ready for the fun of Halloween.

There Was an Old Monster

by Rebecca, Adrian & Ed Emberley, Orchard, $16.99; ages 4-8.

After the monster swallowed a tick, he felt sick. Maybe he should swallow some ants to eat that tick, but the ants have the monster dancing in his pants. Discover what else that old monster swallows. For added fun, go to the sing-along version available at www.scholastic.com/oldmonster.

Miss Smith and the Haunted Library

by Michael Garland, Dutton, $16.99; ages 5-8.

A class visits the public library with their teacher, Miss Smith. Virginia Creeper, the librarian, starts reading and the Headless Horseman appears, followed by the Hunchback, Frankenstein and Count Dracula. As more of the stories are read, more characters appear. Because everyone is having such a good time, Ms. Creeper forgets about the seniors for the book club until they are spotted coming down the walk. Ms. Creeper detains them at the door while Miss Smith tidies up the library. Zack is asked to read the last page of each story in the Incredible Storybook so all the characters can get back where they belong.

The Monsterologist: A memoir in rhyme,

ghostwritten by Bobbi Katz, illustrated by Adam McCauley, Sterling, $17.95; ages 8 and up.

All the favorite characters for Halloween costumes make up the list for these poems. The book is arranged like a scrapbook with a few pages arranged in a double spread. Have you ever wondered why you have odd socks? Even the Monsterologist can't figure that one out. The Compu-Monster is the cause when a computer will crash because he eats up the system byte by byte. The witch likes to sing about her favorite things like lizards, gizzards, head lice and bat wings. You too can sing the lyrics. Then there is the verbibore who eats all the verbs out of books in the library. Have fun reading these poems about your favorite monsters.


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