Our house is decorated with pumpkins, scarecrows and skeletons. This past weekend I picked up an industrial size bag of candy from our local warehouse club for all the trick-o-treaters that’ll be stopping by.
My kidlets are ready too, they’ve been planning their costumes since summer!
My daughter’s choice surprised me. She is obsessed with Disney’s Frozen and I thought for sure she’d want to be Elsa or Anna, but with too many of her pre-school classmates opting for those costumes, she decided to be a pink and purple sparkly pirate!
Now that my son is seven, he said that he’s not into “cute” costumes anymore. He wanted to be something a little more spooky and scary. Originally he wanted to be the Grim Reaper, mostly because of his cool Scythe but I was able to talk him out of that (I mean, really, the touch of death?) and after much debate, settled on being a skeleton jester.
This month’s Kid Lit column gets into the spirit with some fun, spooky and clever books that are guaranteed to get your young readers ready for Halloween!
By Keith Graves (Macmillan)
Halloween makes Master Edgar Dreadbury yawn. He finds costumes terribly tedious and not nearly scary enough. He enters a mysterious costume shop and finds a grime covered contraption called the Monsterator. He inserts a dime and steps inside and a Frankenstein-esque transformation takes place.
When Edgar emerges, he has horns, fangs and a dragon tale – he’s quite the fearsome sight to behold. Much to his glee, there is no scarier monster around than Edgar. However, when Edgar finds out he can’t be un-Monsterated, he growls, feels sad and stomps home. Over time Edgar grows to like his freakish new features and role as a monstrous creature!
Monsterator’s themes may seem like a bit of a “dark” book for kids. Even it’s gray-fogged illustrations may seem to give it an ominous tone, but it really is a spooky fun Halloween tale. The book’s rhyming text makes it a good choice for readers, either newly independent or more experienced ones, to read aloud.
The best part of the book are its final pages which flip to allow the reader to Monsterate Edgar for themselves. It allows for countless (well, it says you can make 625 of them) different monster combinations and lots of interactive fun.
By Annie Bach (Sterling)
Monster is excited when he gets invited to a friend’s birthday party. He picks out some fancy underwear and combs his tuft of blue fur for the occasion.
At the monster bash, there’s loads of fun – there’s spinning and pinning, high-fiving and jiving and munching and crunching and buggy-food lunching. But when the party’s over and it’s time to leave, Monster cries and sighs – he doesn’t want to leave his friends – until he gets home and discovers a happy surprise.
The monsters here are cute and cuddly, not scary and apparently like to par-tay! The book features some fun rhyming and is aimed primarily at pre-schoolers.
By Jonathan London, illustrated by Frank Kiewicz (Puffin)
After a week of trying to decide what Halloween costume to wear, Froggy finally decides to dress as the Frog Prince. He makes himself so adorable that Frogilina wants to kiss him. Froggy leapfrogs away but somehow finds himself on a front porch with Frogilina falling on top of him. It is enough to make any frog blush! On the way home Froggy tears a hole in his bag, losing all his candy. His mom though saves-the-day with his favorite treat, chocolate-covered flies.
A non-scary Halloween tale, unless you count getting kissed a horror! Fun and easy book for youngsters to read on their own – features repetitive phrases and cool sound effects.
Bonus recommendation, for tween readers:
Peas and Hambone Versus Flesh Eating Zombie Gorillas
By Todd Nichols
Peas is a ten-year-old boy and his best bud, Hambone, an extraordinary dog who walks and talks just like a boy, sneak into their local zoo one morning and witness something truly horrific. A mad scientist, whom they nickname Evil Doctor Crazy Gorilla, has turned all the gorillas in the zoo into flesh-eating zombies. Peas and Hambone know it is up to them to save the world before it is too late. The only problem is figuring out just how they do that.
I would recommend this book mostly for tweens/kids that are that are interested in zombies or adventure stories. This is also a good book for kids and parents to read aloud together. I read this with my son – a chapter a night. The scenes are very descriptive and he thought the zombie gorillas were cool.
Now it’s your turn to share. What are some your favorite Halloween-themed books?
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