skip to Main Content

Boo! – The Best Halloween Books Roundup 2018

OUR FAVORITE HALLOWEEN BOOKS FOR 2018

A ROUNDUP 

Free Halloween clip art

 

Haunted Halloween by Sue Fliess cover illustrationHAUNTED HALLOWEEN
Written by Sue Fliess
Illustrated by Jay Fleck
(Cartwheel Books; $6.99, Ages 0-3)

Haunted Halloween is a die-cut board book that not only encourages counting, but has tons of trick-or-treat fun packed into every page. Fliess’ rhyming will have even the youngest readers learning the words and repeating the phrases such as: One bat hangs, Pointy fangs. Two toads sleep. Earthworms creep. All numbers are presented both numerically and spelled out to help identify them in increasing order up to ten. Fleck’s assorted costumed trick-or-treaters in this glossy board book are not scary looking, making this an ideal introduction to the popular holiday. As the children make their way past a gate, a Guests Beware! sign greets them. They encounter wolves, owls, ghosts, snakes, spiders, crows, black cats, pumpkins and other All Hallows Eve creatures and things before arriving at the massive front door. What’s inside? A nice surprise – a Halloween party!

 

Spooky Fairy Tale Mix-up book cover artworkSPOOKY FAIRY TALE MIX-UP:
Hundreds of Flip-Flap Stories
Written by Hilary Robinson
Illustrated by Jim Smith
(Barron’s; $11.99, Ages 3-7)

If you have a child with an active imagination, Spooky Fairy Tale Mix-up is the book for them! If you have a child that needs some prompting to get creative, this is also the perfect book, especially at Halloween. This mix and match Halloween hardcover, with its 26 pages and hidden spine, turns what could be a spooky night into a laugh-filled mash up of some fairy tale faves including Ghostilocks and The Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel, Mother Goose, Puss in Boots, Rapunzel and lots more. Just a flip of a flap and a story’s changed from the expected to the unexpected with ogres, zombie rats, skeletons and even some princesses doing the zaniest things. Kids can choose from hundreds of possibilities to make a simple story go wild.

 

Bone Soup cover illustrationBONE SOUP:
A Spooky, Tasty Tale

Written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Illustrated by Tom Knight
(Paula Wiseman Books; $17.99, Ages 48)

Three hungry witches have only a bone with which to cook their soup. Sound familiar? That’s because Bone Soup, a welcome spin on Stone Soup, the beloved folktale about community and making nothing from something when everyone pitches in, works so well for a Halloween tale. This time around the witches go door to door in their neighborhood to seek out ingredients for their soup. Each time, they’re initially greeted with reluctance. Is it a trick? But Naggy Witch assures them that “Piff-Poof! It’s no trick.” First a monster for water because you cannot have soup without water. Then onto a ghost, a ghoul, a bat, a goblin, a mummy, a skeleton, a werewolf and a vampire to complete the concoction. When the donors begin to have doubts and tempers flare, it’s thanks to a little monster’s resourcefulness that nothing goes awry. And the magic readers have been waiting for comes through in helping produce “a steaming bowl of bone soup for all.” Capucilli’s created a yummy read-aloud that can be shared with or without the original story to complement it. Knight’s illustrations feature a cast of friendly creatures, playful spreads and a lot of movement on every page. But one warning, don’t read on an empty stomach. Mine’s growling as I type! The good news is there’s a recipe included in the back matter if kids and their parents want to try a hand at conjuring up their own delicious Halloween soup.

Mother Ghost cover illustrationMOTHER GHOST:
Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters
Written by Rachel Kolar
Illustrated by Roland Garrigue
(Sleeping Bear Press; $16.99, Ages 5-7)

Mother Ghost is a frightfully fun and entertaining collection of poems for children that is sure to get them in the Halloween mood. It just doesn’t get more ghoulishly delightful than this. Old Mother Hubbard for example is so clever that it makes me think using nursery rhymes for Halloween poems would make a great class exercise. Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard/To Fetch her poor dog a bone;/But the skeleton there said, “Hey! Don’t you dare!/Leave all of my pieces alone!” Two of my other favorites are Zombie Miss Muffet and Mary, Mary, Tall and Scary with lots of spiders, worms, witches and slimy things kids love at Halloween. Kolar clearly had a blast reworking these 13 nursery rhymes and, like Spooky Fairy Tale Mix-up, it’s wonderful how changing just a few lines in a poem can have the most uproarious results. Garrigue’s artwork makes gruesome look great and creepy totally cool. Have some wicked good times reading these aloud.

The Frightful Ride of Michael McMichael cover artTHE FRIGHTFUL RIDE OF MICHAEL MCMICHAEL
Written by Bonny Becker
Illustrated by Mark Fearing
(Candlewick Press; $16.99, Ages 4-8) 

Come along my friends for the ride of your life, well Michael’s life actually. The building doom and the perfect rhyming pattern in The Frightful Ride of Michael McMichael promise twists and turns for young Michael on the ominous number Thirteen bus. The events of this story take place on November thirteenth, adding to the suspense and sense of dread. While something felt off, Michael still got on the bizarre bus nonetheless. He really had no other option. Besides, he was charged with transporting his Gran’s pet. And, of all the passengers, Michael seemed to be the least terrifying. Suddenly things were not looking good for the lad. When the last rider departed, Michael was left alone with the fanged and sneering driver. Why did the bus look ready to devour him? Soon the vehicle began veering “toward a slathering maw most horrid!” Rather than bring the story to an immediate satisfying conclusion, Becker beautifully brings on more drama as the menaced becomes the menace. Michael faces the impending evil actions by releasing one of his own! Between the dark tone of the illustrations, the spot on typeface, the right mix of mildly scary characters along with a foreboding feeling depicted in both the art and verse, The Frightful Ride of Michael McMichael is a story to read with the lights on any time of year! Pick up a copy along with a flashlight today

  • Reviewed by Ronna Mandel

 

Want more suggestions for Halloween reads? Check out last year’s roundup right here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this:

Breaking Free: True Stories of Girls Who Escaped Modern Slavery by Abby Sher

 

Breaking Free:
True Stories of Girls Who Escaped Modern Slavery

by Abby Sher
(Barron’s Educational Series, Paperback $9.99, Ages 14+)

breaking-free-cvr.jpg
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month so we are sharing an important book to bring the message home. Breaking Free is a well-written compilation of three stories about three very different women from very different places with the same traumatic experience. Writer and performer Abby Sher actually tells each woman’s tale in beautifully detailed descriptive narrative that compelled me to read on.

Sher clearly has the best of intentions for relaying these stories and I am grateful. In Breaking Free: True Stories of Girls Who Escaped Modern Slavery, we learn about how these women kept hope alive even in the darkest of times, when they were sold for sex even as children, one by her own parents. When they were children, these women were treated like property and their innocence was stolen from them, yet they were able to survive and persevere. This is not just a story of human trafficking, but a story of identity, tragedy, and redemption. Ultimately, these girls found freedom in education in one way or another, and they gained the most freedom by learning to speak out loud about their experiences and share their stories. But they do not share their stories for fame or recognition. They share in order to both set the record straight about what human trafficking is, and to help other victims cope with their ordeals. Now these women spend their lives supporting this cause so that trafficking ends forever.

Heroes come in many forms. While they may only see themselves as humans, these survivors are, in fact, heroes. I found I couldn’t put the book down. Even though their stories were horrifying, they were fascinating and thought provoking as well. I even felt I owed it to these women to listen to them, as they had finally found a voice. I also wanted to read on to know they had found freedom, safety, and the love they deserved, that any of us deserve. Human trafficking is an oxymoron, because victims are hardly treated like humans. It’s a crime against humanity, and this book pays homage to the women who survived it and have become tireless advocates as they try to make a difference for others not as fortunate.

Please read an important note from the author here.

– Reviewed by Krista Jefferies

Share this:

The Essence of Being an American Citizen

I am ashamed to admit that reading The U.S. Constitution and You ($6.99, Barron’s Educational Books) by Syl Sobel, JD, made me realize there was a lot I did not know about this very important document. This compact paperback book for children really makes it easy to understand the basic principles of one of our nation’s greatest documents.

Readers will get an introduction into America’s earliest history, how the three branches of government work, the peoples’ Bill of Rights, Amendments, the Rights of the States and more.  In the back of the book is an essential glossary, resource guide and index. What a great way to introduce young readers to what it really means to be an American citizen.

Did you know that our founding fathers are known as the Framers and that there is no limit to the number of terms for members of Congress? Read the book to find out more interesting facts about the U.S. Constitution. This book should be in every elementary and middle school classroom as well as in the home libraries of young American citizens everywhere. As our Independence Day approaches, I cannot think of a better time to pick up a copy of this enlightening book and celebrate what makes our country so special.

-Reviewed by Debbie Glade

Share this:
Back To Top
%d bloggers like this: