The Halloween-themed picture books are flying off the shelves at our public library. Kids love Halloween, and kids love Halloween-themed picture books. However, as many of you are well aware, many, if not most, Halloween-themed picture books are untenable. Here are six Halloween-themed picture books that you will want to have in your back pocket, ready to pull out when Halloween season hits.
The book recommendations below come not only from me but also from Brooke Williams, a children’s librarian from New Haven, Connecticut. Brooke shares book reviews and recommendations at Show Some Spine.
I met Brooke a couple weeks ago in New York City at a children’s book blog conference, KidLitCon. It was fun to reunite with Brooke via the wonders of modern technology. Brooke joined me this morning via a Google+ hangout to talk about our favorite Halloween-themed picture books. If you were unable to catch us live, you can still see us share our favorite books in the short video below.
Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberly. As readers turn the pages of this book, a big green monster’s face appears one facial part at a time. Readers then get to tell the big green monster to go away one facial part at a time. E.g. “Go away, scraggly purple hair!” This is a perfectly safe Halloween book to share with very young kids, ages 3-5. The cool cutouts will entertain many older kids as well. With its simple text and visual cues, Go Away Big Green Monster is an excellent book for emerging readers to read by themselves. Ages 3+
Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara. According to Brooke, “‘Ghosts in the House!’ could be a spooky tale of a haunted house, but the cover assures little readers that it’s a safe, friendly read. A girl – but not an ordinary girl, this one is an adorable, resourceful witch – moves into a haunted house and makes it into a lovely home…” * Ages 3+
Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown. A very fun, slightly creepy story about a rabbit, Jasper Rabbit, who loves to eat the carrots at Crackenhopper Field — until the day the carrots start following him. This book features wonderful black and orange illustrations by Peter Brown. A hit with all three of my kids, Creepy Carrots! is the book to choose if you are looking for a spooky — but not too spooky — story to share with kids this Halloween. Ages 4+
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. A story told in rhyme about a friendly witch who invites one animal after another to join her on her broom. Julia Donaldson’s rollicking rhyme is fun to read aloud. Unlike most rhyming books, Room on the Broom also has an entertaining plot with some unexpected plot twists. Ages 4+
Mommy? by Maurice Sendak, Arthur Yorinks and Matthew Reinhart. “A beautifully elaborate pop-up book with a humorous, not-quite-scary scenario. The book follows a baby through a succession of monster lairs as he tries to find his mommy. Unfazed by the monsters, he is able to avoid all kinds of peril with ease…” * Ages 4+
Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex. “A silly, gruesome, monster-ridden parody of the classic, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. I love the original, but I’m not opposed to having a little fun at its expense…” * Ages 6+
* For full reviews of these three books, check out Brooke William’s blog, Show Some Spine.
Last but not least, introducing Brooke Williams and myself in our first, perhaps inaugural, Google+ hangout. Was our first attempt at “hanging out” via Google+ flawless? No. Fun? Yes.