BEST KIDS BOOKS FOR HALLOWEEN 2015
A Round Up of Wickedly Wonderful Halloween Books for Boos & Ghouls
Peek-a-Boo! – By Nina Laden (Chronicle Books; $6.99, Ages 0-2)
Presenting the third in Nina Laden’s popular Peek-a board book series. Youngsters will delight in 22 pages of adorable Halloween sights and sounds, infectious rhyme and best of all, a mirror at the end for Peek a WHO ARE YOU? Laden’s adorable artwork is complemented by the many die-cuts that will have kids exploring and eager to turn every page.
Boo! – By Leslie Patricelli (Candlewick Press; $6.99, Ages 0-3)
A bigger board book than Peek-a-Boo!, (this one measures 7″ x 7″) and with more pages and text, Boo! addresses a lot of what a first Halloween is like for youngsters. The diaper clad little laddie from Toot, Tickle, Tubby, Binkie and Blankie is back to share all the excitement of Halloween with readers. He picks out a pumpkin, then carves it (with his dad’s assistance of course!), decides what costume he should wear as Mom helps narrow down the choices, and then heads out to trick-or-treat with his dad. It may seem dark and scary at first, but the rewards from lots of ding, dong doorbell ringing add up to a bunch of yummy candy treats and a great time had by all!
Fright Club – Written and illustrated by Ethan Long (Bloomsbury Children’s Books; $16.99, Ages 0-5)
I gravitated towards this book because of the fab title and cover art, and then the original story idea kept me interested to see where Long would take it. Vladimir calls a meeting of the Fright Club in preparation for OPERATION KIDDIE SCARE, but as the creatures are reviewing the rules, a bunny interrupts the meeting. Hilarious antics ensue as the cute little rabbit is determined to be admitted to the exclusive club. Once Frances Foxx, Public Attorney enters the picture, it’s laugh after laugh as a bunch of determined critters prove their worth and gain entry into Fright Club because “… when it comes to scaring, the more the merrier.”
A Moonlight Book: Halloween Hide-And-Seek – Written by Elizabeth Golding & Moira Butterfield and illustrated by Dean Gray (Running Press Kids; $12.95, Ages 4-8)
This clever and engaging book includes over 200 scary, halloween related things to find and as the subtitle instructs, all readers have to do is move the magic flashlight to find the hidden objects. And was that ever fun!! There are 12 pages of spooky entertainment in this haunted house, enough to keep your child happily occupied as they search for items listed on each page. There are extra SPOOKTASTIC challenges to be found on every spread from bedroom to ballroom. From chattering teeth in a glass to crazy zombies, A Moonlight Book: Halloween Hide-And-Seek has ’em all! NOTE: Even my teenager got in on the action because he liked how the flashlight worked!
Other fun books we also recommend buying this Halloween:
Trick Arrr Treat: A Pirate Halloween –
Written by Leslie Kimmelman and illustrated by Jorge Monlongo
(Albert Whitman & Company.; $16.99, Ages 4-8)
Spooky Pookie –
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
(Robin Corey Books; $5.99, Ages 0-3)
FOR THE FOUR & UNDER CROWD FROM
JOAN HOLUB & LESLIE PATRICELLI
A board book series that gently introduces toddlers to mythological characters, Pandora and Hercules, is a great idea. Rita and Ronna have each reviewed one of the following two new books, the first titles in what we’re sure will be a popular read-aloud series. Both board books feature a contemporary take on classic literature to help little ones learn simple life lessons in a very understandable way.
Interior art from Mini Myths: Play Nice, Hercules! by Joan Holub with illustrations by Leslie Patricelli, Abrams Appleseed ©2014.
Mini Myths: Play Nice, Hercules! (Abrams Appleseed, $6.95, Ages 1-4) by Joan Holub with illustrations by Leslie Patricelli.
Meet Hercules, a rough-and-tumble type of little boy. Then meet his calm, alphabet-blocks-playing sister. Despite being told by his dad to “Play nice, Hercules!” Hercules insists he’s not nice. “I am strong. I can wham-bam monsters!” Uh oh, things are looking a little shaky here, especially when he ka-booms the carefully stacked castle of blocks his sister has constructed. With the castle in shambles and sister in tears, Hercules feels awful and apologizes. But watch out, Hercules! While you’re rebuilding your sister’s castle, she’s starting to get a glint in her eyes. The book’s back page includes a condensed version of the actual myth for parents to share with interested youngsters. – Reviewed by Ronna Mandel
Be sure to pick up a copy of the other new board book in the series, Mini Myths: Be Patient, Pandora!, that cleverly conveys the message that maybe it is indeed better to heed one’s parent’s advice than let impatience get the upper hand.
Interior art from Mini Myths: Be Patient, Pandora! by Joan Holub with illustrations by Leslie Patricelli, Abrams Appleseed ©2014.
Patience might be a virtue, but it’s a learned one, especially for young children. Mini Myths: Be Patient, Pandora! chronicles Pandora’s temptation to open a boxed present. The box looks so pretty and even though opening is against the rules, touching it isn’t. How about leaning, sitting, or standing on it? It’s so hard to ignore the box when it’s right there! Will Pandora open the box, and what will happen if she does?
Based on the Greek myth, Be Patient, Pandora! is a charming board book that explores the importance of being patient. With the main story just under 60 words long, it is easily understandable for young children. The illustrations are adorable, and their simplicity is a perfect complement to the language. As a bonus, the final page has a child-friendly retelling of the original Pandora myth. Your children won’t be able to wait to get their hands on this book! – Reviewed by Rita Zobayan
BE QUIET, MIKE! ($14.99, Candlewick, ages 3-6), reviewed today by Lindy Michaels, was written and illustrated by Leslie Patricelli.
What kid hasn’t blown on a kazoo, pretending it was a trumpet? What kid hasn’t let their fingers fly on a table top pretending it was a piano? Well, from the time Mike, the monkey, was in his momma monkey’s womb, he was drumming to his own beat. “Kick, thump, pow!” It was a very active pregnancy for momma monkey, to say the least. And once Mike was born “…He played with his fingers, he played with his feet, a funky little monkey, with a beat, beat, beat.”
As Mike grew bigger, there was nothing he came in contact with that didn’t become a… drum! Banging on a wastebasket, slapping the water in the pool, clanking on a trash can. And how was his creativity received by his family? “BE QUIET, MIKE!” But that didn’t stop this monkey as he grew older. “He played on the table like a wild baboon…” “BE QUIET, MIKE,” was what he heard day and night, over and over again. “Mike tried to be quiet, he tried to be still, but the beat in his heart, was stronger than his will.”
And then one day, he saw in the window of a music shop, “… a real live, full-sized jamming drum set” “… an ape with long fur, beating so fast – arms and legs a blur.”
Ah, the sheer ingenuity of little monkey Mike. He went home and used everything he could find in his house, like coffee cans and pots and pans and two sticks, to make his very own drum set. And then he started to beat his home-made drums. “Zat. Zoom. Crash!”
And just then his parents and sister opened the door to his bedroom. Oh, yes, Mike certainly knew what was coming. “BE QUIET, MIKE!”
But is that what happened? I adore books that encourage children to explore their bliss, even if it’s very, very loud! Leslie Patricelli, the talented author and illustrator of the popular YUMMY YUCKY, QUIET LOUD, TUBBY, THE BIRTHDAY BOX and other fun children’s books, has done it again, when it comes to engaging children on their own level. Now all you moms and dads, go and give your little ones some pots and pans and let them go to town. Just don’t forget some cotton for your ears!