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Halloween Fiction


Ages 4-6

Littlebat's Halloween Story

by Diane Mayr and Gideon Kendall

Peering out from a hole in the ceiling, Littlebat loves listening to the librarian reading to children below. But he's too far away to make out the pictures, and his mother warns him that it's too dangerous to show himself. Will he ever be able to see them up close? "'You must wait for changes,'" says his mother mysteriously. So Littlebat waits, as the seasons, the bulletin board displays, and the leaves all change. At last comes a storytime where the rapt young listeners are in costume, a jack-o-lantern glows atop a shelf, and one small bat hanging over the librarian's head just seems part of the decor. Littlebat is no Stellaluna, but like the African American librarian in Kendall's warm-toned illustrations, he's all smiles and amiability. Children who delight in sharing stories will find kindred spirits here, and with plenty of clear visual cues both inside and outside the airy children's library to mark passing seasons and holidays, this is a natural candidate for thematic programs as well as Halloween story hours.

Buy new$15.95 $12.92 

Baby Strawberry's First Halloween (Strawberry Shortcake Baby) Board Book

by SI Artists


"Baby Strawberry's First Halloween" is another holiday book in the exciting new Baby Strawberry line. This cute book finds Strawberry and all her friends dressed for Halloween. Strawberry is actually dressed as, well, a strawberry! Custard the cat is a witch, with Pupcake a pirate. That's just a couple of the great outfits in this book.

The book comes with a punch out keepsake picture frame. The illustrations are bright, cheerful, and sweet. Another great book for "Strawberry Shortcake" fans.


Buy new : $4.99 

Scarecrow Finds a Friend

by Rifken, Blume, Gail M. Kearns, and Carl W. Wenzel

This heartening tale involves Tally, a good witch, who is losing her power to fly. She befriends a Scarecrow and he comes up with a plan to save her flying power. Together they are able to get back Tally's flying power, express their gratitude to each other, and give young readers a few surprises along the way. The story illustrates to children how comforting and rewarding a good friendship can be as well as how much fun it is to solve a problem with the help of someone who cares about them. A beautifully illustrated children's book for ages 4-8.

 Buy new  $14.95 $10.17  


Skeleton Bones and Goblin Groans: Poems for Halloween

by Amy E. Sklansky and Karen Dismukes

From skeletons to vampires, the creepy icons of Halloween are presented in this collection of short, engaging poems. Forms of poetry are varied; some selections are very short, others longer, most rhyming, and some draped across spreads. "What Should I Be?" sets the stage as the narrator must decide on a costume while voicing the ultimate goal of Halloween for most children: "…superhero,/wise old wizard,/goblin for a night./Whatever I decide to be/(monster, hero, beast),/I want to get an early start/collecting all the treats!" Each playful poem is placed on a textured, brightly colored collage created by beads and fabric on canvas. The result is appealing, animated, and appropriate for younger children. While the alliterative language in "Night Flight" is imaginative with its "Flip/flap/floom" and "Dip/dap/doom," bats do not dive through the air "To land right in your hair!" This error is mitigated, however, by the overall appeal of the book and its potential use with a broad age range. Fresh, straightforward collections of short, Halloween-themed poetry are always welcome additions and this one is particularly handsome.

Buy new  $16.95 $11.53

Aaron's Halloween Adventure by Jackie Carmichael (Paperback - Feb 21, 2006)
Buy new: $8.95



Courageous costumed youngsters declare, We’re Off to Find the Witch’s House (Dutton, 2005), as they “skedaddle” past a skeleton, “bolt” by a Frankenstein, and “gallop” away from a ghost, before reaching their destination—a Halloween party. Mr. Krieb’s rhythmic text and R.W. Alley’s twilight-hued, just-scary-enough cartoons create a riveting read-aloud romp (K-Gr 2). 
Children can put themselves in someone else’s (black buckle) shoes, as A Very Brave Witch (S & S, 2006) describes her favorite holiday and an unexpected encounter with something truly fearsome—a human trick-or-treater. Alison McGhee’s winsome tale of friendship, enhanced by Harry Bliss’s droll artwork, can encourage discussion of empathy and point of view.
Angela always seems to be eclipsed by her older sister on Halloween, until she finally forgoes being a Costume Copycat (Dial, 2006) and comes up with an original—and attention-grabbing—ensemble. Maryann Macdonald’s warmhearted story about sibling rivalry is amusingly illustrated with Anne Wilsdorf’s sparkling watercolors.

Outfitted by her indulgent owners in a pink dress and tiara, Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise (Candlewick, 2007) heads out for a night of trick-or-treating, but the pandemonium-loving pig soon finds herself initiating a madcap Halloween chase. Kate DiCamillo’s easy-reading chapters and Chris Van Dusen’s slapstick artwork make it a perfect title for newly confident readers and for sharing aloud.



Fairy Tale Connections (K-Gr 2)
Though cloaked in Halloween trappings, these familiar plotlines and characters won’t be able to hide from savvy readers who will eagerly point out parallels to traditional tales. Employing a “This Is the House That Jack Built” structure, Elizabeth Hatch’s Halloween Night (Doubleday, 2005) is a cumulative tale about a mouse hiding in a jack-o’-lantern. Jimmy Pickering’s slick, bold-colored artwork abounds with action and entrancingly eerie touches.


  In Kathy Duval’s The Three Bears’ Halloween (Holiday, 2007), Baby Bear and his parents are out trick-or-treating when they enter a scary house and explore before being frightened away by a golden-haired girl dressed as a witch. Filled with captivating details, Paul Meisel’s color-drenched paintings add humor to the tale.
  The Little Green Witch (Charlesbridge, 2005) finds some pumpkin seeds, but her friends—a ghost, a bat, and a gremlin—are too lazy to help her tend the plants that sprout. However, when they eagerly volunteer to gobble up the pie she bakes, she uses her magic wand to ensure that they get their just desserts. Barbara Barbieri McGrath’s fine-tuned text and Martha Alexander’s whimsical artwork make this “Little Red Hen” tell-alike irresistible.
  Halloween Verses
Lee Bennett Hopkins’s Halloween Howls (HarperCollins, 2005) compiles 12 easy-to-read poems, vivaciously illustrated by Stacey Schuett, that depict an assortment of experiences, from donning costumes to post-treat tummy aches (K-Gr 3). For older readers, Joan Horton serves up Halloween Hoots and Howls (Square Fish, 2008 reissue), a buffet of written-in-verse tidbits spiced with humor and illustrated in candy-corn colors by Joann Adinolfi (Gr 2-5).
With Kelly DiPucchio’s laughably ludicrous lyrics and Gris Grimly’s gruesome illustrations, Sipping Spiders through a Straw (Scholastic, 2008) offers a selection of shockingly silly ditties sung to recognizable campfire tunes. From “99 Bottles of Blood on the Wall” to “Take Me out to the Graveyard,” these offerings will enchant fans of the macabre, but be forewarned, they are not for the faint of heart (Gr 2-5).
  Ghosts and Goblins Galore (Gr 2-5)
It’s midnight, and all manner of creepy characters are tiptoeing through the castle. When the guards investigate the ruckus, they soon find themselves jiving and jamming at the Madcap Monster Ball. Boogie Knights (S & S, 2008) gets down with Lisa Wheeler’s laugh-out-loud, filled-with-wordplay verses and Mark Siegel’s graphic-novel-style artwork.
Los Gatos Black on Halloween (Holt, 2006) invites readers to another monster shindig, as las brujas ride broomsticks, los fantasmas drag chains, and los muertos emerge from graves and head for a haunted casa to dance the night away. Marisa Montes’s atmospheric poem and Yuyi Morales’s dusky, stylized paintings will leave spines tingling.
  A ghostly gourmand haunts his former home until the new residents produce The Perfect Pumpkin Pie (S & S, 2005). With a rhythmic refrain, fast-paced storytelling, and gross-out artwork, Denys Cazet’s funny tale will leave listeners hungry for more. 
In Can You See What I See? On a Scary Scary Night (Scholastic, 2008), Walter Wick challenges readers to search intricately detailed scenes for the items listed in rhyming verses. Inspired by the folktale, “In a Dark, Dark Wood,” the visual narrative begins with the image of a far-off haunted castle, gradually creeps closer and closer, and finally zooms in on a cluttered cupboard and a frightening secret hidden within. This eye-riveting book will mesmerize readers.





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