Halloween is almost upon us. Costumes are purchased and all of our local schools are gearing up for Fall Fests and Trunk or Treats. J only gets one store-bought costume a year, so she is enjoying making costumes out of things we already have for all of the events that precede Halloween. For Fall Fest she dressed up as a student from Shiz. Shiz is a school from the musical Wicked, and her actual costume is dressing up as Elphaba (aka the Wicked Witch of the West). For her friend’s Trunk or Treat she is dressing up as a rock star and being mighty inventive by covering a pair of black tights and a black shirt with silvery duck tape and topping them with a skirt from her last tap recital.
Of course, schools are also incorporating great books and activities into their curriculums to encourage kids during this exciting, candy-filled, holiday. Since this is a book blog (even though you might have figured we disappeared after a tough few months with no posting), we felt that our readers deserved some Halloween titles. Here are a few picture books that we have enjoyed and we will follow up with some books for older readers.
Room on the Broom – We could read this book all year round, and we probably do! It is a great tale of friendship that just happens to feature a witch on her broom. When this witch flies through the air, she keeps losing things from her hair ribbon to her wand. Each item is something that she can’t part with and she lands to find it, only to have it found by an animal. Of course, each animal seems to want to join her and asks if there is room on her broom for them. The animals keep adding up until a frog jumps for joy and breaks the broom in two! Unfortunately for the witch, she lands in a witch eating dragon’s bog who wants to make her supper until her new animal friends find a way to save the day. This book makes me smile every time we read it and the section with the dragon lends itself way to some fun voices. A great addition at Halloween time.
Where the Wild Things Are – I never would have classified this one as a Halloween book, but my daughter’s 4 year old preschool class used it this past week to bring in monsters and dress-up. This was a great way to bring in a classic story, create awesome monster masks out of paper bags, and allow the kids to have a rumpus party. Considering that head-coverings and masks had long freaked out my daughter and now she is running around the house roaring at people, I think the project worked perfectly.
Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody – This book is a really fun parody of the classic Madeline. Instead of telling a story of 12 well behaved girls in two straight lines, this story focuses on 12 ugly monsters in two crooked lines, “the ugliest one was Frankenstein.” My 5 year old absolutely adores Madeline, so this is quite the cute concept as a story for Halloween or year round.
I want to Eat your Books – This brand new book is about a zombie who terrorizes a school by eating all of their books. It is aimed at the 3-6 year old crowd, which is pretty spot on as my 8 year old was bored by it.She is also mad that someone would not like books. The book is very silly, but told in a fun rhyme it allows kids to recognize the words and repeat the refrain, “I want to eat your books!” The hero of the story stops the zombie from eating the books by finding him a book about brains which completely excites him with its pictures and charts. When a mummy who is unwinding enters the library and starts to destroy the books to fix her bandages, the zombie saves the day by using tape from the first aid kit and then reads the mummy a book. Obviously, I’m a big fan of all books book related, so this was a fun twist on monster stories.
I Need My Monster – This is a truly funny story about having monsters under your bed. Young Ethan has a monster under his bed, but when he goes to look for him one night, he finds a note instead that tells him that his monster, Gabe, has “gone fishing.” While we usually think that little kids don’t want a monster under their bed, Ethan can’t sleep without his beloved monster and tries to get a substitute. He works his way through a few temps, but none of them will work. Finally Gabe comes back because fishing wasn’t nearly as challenging as trying to frighten Ethan. A wonderful romp with great illustrations.
Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins – We have a strong affinity for Pete the Cat in our house. My 5 year old absolutely loves his books, partially because they are often read at her preschool. Last week, she came home and wanted to tell me a five finger tale, but we needed to be in the bathroom to hear it. Turns out it was this story, which she had learned to recite at school, and we needed the bathroom so that she could turn out the lights at a specific point. A great way to practice counting backwards from five and a fun Halloween rhyme.