Halloween is coming, in case you haven’t already realized that with all the holiday decorations and candy in the stores. We’ve actually been decorated for Halloween for nearly two weeks now. I know it’s a bit early, but we have many fun Halloween decorations, that we like to enjoy them as much as possible. Take for example our life size Michael Myers figure that stands our balcony. It’s fun to listen to people talk about it when they pass by. Many people don’t know if it’s a real person in a costume, or a dummy.
Halloween doesn’t need to be scary either. We have plenty of decorations that are “kid-friendly,” from when our kids were little.
If you and your family are in the Halloween mood, perhaps you’d be interesting in some “spook-tacular” books from Candlewick Press.
First and foremost there is Gustavo, the Shy Ghost (pictured above). Oh my goodness! This is the cutest book for Halloween. It can be enjoyed year round (of course!), but it’s an excellent Halloween-themed book (great for cuddling up with for a bedtime story).
I adore the cute illustrations that fill the pages of this book.
Even the front of the book (under the dust jacket) has an adorable image of Gustavo’s smile.
Gustavo is the story of a sweet, shy and lonely little ghost who just wants to have friends. But he has a hard time making friends, most especially because they can’t really see him (after all, he’s a ghost).
Gustavo also loves music (he plays the violin).
The Day of the Dead is coming up… what can he do in hopes of making friends then?
I love, love, love this book! Gustavo is adorable. This is NOT a scary book at all. This is a great book that the whole family can enjoy together.
I was actually thinking of taking this in for my “work kids,” and have them make a ghost craft in honor of Gustavo.
Board Books and Picture Books
author: Daisy Hirst
Board Book – Ages 3 and under
What do little monsters like to wear? Daisy Hirst brings her charming wit to a silly board book for the youngest set.
When monsters get up in the morning, they have to find something to wear. Simon wears socks, Darrell puts on a dress, and Terrence tries on a tomato. Meanwhile, Cassie is wearing cars and Lester has on the latest trend: leaves. What can Evie wear to outdo them all? With child-friendly art in the brightest of colors, this whimsical foray into toddler fashion will tickle the fancy of mischievous monsters everywhere.
author: Daisy Hirst
Picture Book – Ages 3 and under
What do little monsters like to eat? Daisy Hirst infuses a bright, funny board book with her offbeat charm.
Some monsters eat peaches. Some monsters eat pears. And then there are monsters who eat only chairs. Some monsters like noodles and some prefer stew, but there’s always that one you’ll see eating a shoe, or…a rake? Picky little eaters, adventurous eaters, and born jokesters alike will see themselves in this comedy of cuisine, perfectly suited for the youngest (and hungriest) of listeners.
Twitchy, Witchy Itch
author: Priscilla Tey
Picture Book – Ages 4 to 8 years
Visual hijinks abound as a nervous witch gets swept away with trying to tidy up before company comes—only to discover that being with friends is what really matters.
Tick, tock! Three cups.
Tick, tock! Three saucers.
With nine minutes left, everything was ready.
Or was it?
Itch the witch is having company over for tea. As the clock counts down to tea o’clock, Itch’s mind is in a tizzy: is her house too twitchy? Is her home too itchy? Zipping and zooming, dusting and brooming, Itch sweeps and bewitches the mess away (just in the nick of time). But as soon as her two guests walk in, Itch’s housekeeping comes unraveled. How will Itch tame such an itchy, glitchy, fidgety mess? Rising star Priscilla Tey uses computer-aided design (and evokes familiar computer glitches) to present a delightfully meta, intricately illustrated story that dazzles as it amuses.
author: Eric Geron
Picture Book – Ages 4 to 8 years
From a debut picture-book author and a #1 New York Times best-selling illustrator, a wry take on “Why did the chicken cross the road?” that gives a whole new meaning to “the Other Side.” Cock-a-doodle-BOO!
It’s punny. It’s spooky. It’s a meta picture book that puts a fresh spin on an old joke and elevates chicken comedy to ghastly new levels. A little spring chicken crosses the road but quickly gets flattened under a semitruck. The barnyard beasts who’ve gone before break the news: now that Chicken’s fried—dispatched to the Other Side—Chicken has a job, an unwanted job, as a noisy troublemaking ghost. This fowl may be weak in the beak, but Chicken knows that scaring people isn’t nice. There is such a thing as a friendly ghost, after all—isn’t there? Loaded with laughs and shivers, this Halloween-ready treat features ghoulishly funny art by the illustrator of the #1 New York Times best-selling Bad Seed series. Let the haunting begin!
No chickens were harmed in the making of this book.
Embassy of the Dead: Hangman’s Crossing
author: Will Mabbitt
Novels – Ages 8 to 12 years
Jake is in a race against time to foil a demon-riddled plot to destroy earth—what a way to start his new job at the Embassy of the Dead! The second book of this spookily funny trilogy.
In return for helping Stiffkey the ghost pass into the Afterworld, Jake Green has been awarded an official position at the Embassy of the Dead, a job he didn’t ask for and, to be honest, doesn’t necessarily want. But saying no to the Embassy isn’t really an option, so now Jake must journey even deeper into the mysterious world of ghosts. What should be a routine Undoing takes a turn when Jake overhears a plot to destroy the very fabric between the worlds of the living and the dead. Can he do the impossible and stop the terror that creeps in the Eternal Void? With the help of his ghostly gang—hockey stick–wielding Cora and Zorro the fox—he’s going to try. Hijinks from beyond the grave will tingle readers’ spines and tickle their funny bones as the Embassy of the Dead trilogy continues.
author: Thomas Taylor
Novel – Ages 8 to 12 years
In the third mysterious tale of Eerie-on-Sea, it’s almost Ghastly Night, and the Shadowghast—an ancient spirit in a lantern—lurks in wait for the power to enslave the town.
In this third adventure, shipwrecked orphan Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, must square off with a creature of town lore as he confronts a shadow from his past. While other towns celebrate Halloween, in Eerie-on-Sea it’s Ghastly Night, and a grim spirit in a lantern awaits its moment. Legend has it that if people fail to light manglewick candles on Ghastly Night, and if no showman conjures shadow puppets on the pier as an offering, the insulted Shadowghast will seize and devour the shadows of the living. This year, a professional theater troupe has been summoned, including a raven-haired magician named Caliastra with startling news of Herbie’s origins. No sooner have the players checked into the hotel than townspeople start vanishing into thin air, including the guardian of Herbie’s best friend, Violet Parma. It’s up to Herbie and Violet to separate truth from sleight of hand and solve the mystery of the Shadowghast lantern before darkness swallows them all.
All Our Hidden Gifts
author: Caroline O’Donoghue
Novel – Ages 14 years and up
Maeve’s strangely astute tarot readings make her the talk of the school, until a classmate draws a chilling and unfamiliar card—and then disappears.
After Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet during her in-school suspension, she quickly becomes the most sought-after diviner at St. Bernadette’s Catholic school. But when Maeve’s ex–best friend, Lily, draws an unsettling card called The Housekeeper that Maeve has never seen before, the session devolves into a heated argument that ends with Maeve wishing aloud that Lily would disappear. When Lily isn’t at school the next Monday, Maeve learns her ex-friend has vanished without a trace.
Shunned by her classmates and struggling to preserve a fledgling romance with Lily’s gender-fluid sibling, Roe, Maeve must dig deep into her connection with the cards to search for clues the police cannot find—even if they lead to the terrifying Housekeeper herself. Set in an Irish town where the church’s tight hold has loosened and new freedoms are trying to take root, this sharply contemporary story is witty, gripping, and tinged with mysticism.
author: Claire McFall
Novel – Ages 14 years and up
After a deadly train crash, the afterlife is waiting for Dylan. But that’s only if she and her intriguing Ferryman can make it across the demon-infested wasteland—and if she can bear to let him go.
When Dylan wakes up after her train has crashed, she thinks she has survived unscathed. But she couldn’t be more mistaken: the bleak landscape around her isn’t Scotland, it’s a wasteland—a terrain somehow shaped by her own feelings and fears, a border to whatever awaits her in the afterlife. And the stranger sitting by the train track isn’t an ordinary teenage boy. Tristan is a Ferryman, tasked with guiding Dylan’s soul safely across the treacherous landscape, a journey he has made a thousand times before. Only this time, something’s different. The crossing, as ever, is perilous, with ravenous wraiths hounding the two at each day’s end, hungry for Dylan’s soul. But as Dylan focuses her strength on survival, with Tristan as protector, challenger, and confidant, she begins to wonder where she is truly meant to be—and what she must risk to get there. An international bestseller with a phenomenal following, the award-winning Ferryman (with its sequels Trespassers and Outcasts) is in development to be a major motion picture.
Another wonderful book to check out this Halloween season is Where’s Waldo? Spooky Spotlight Search.
This is a Where’s Waldo book, where you have to search for him in a variety of illustrated situations. The difference is that this book has special pages where you need a “flashlight” to help you discover his where abouts.
The pages have a clear film with illustrations printed on top, that are hard to see because of the paper behind it. In order to see the illustrations, you need to use the included “flashlight.” To use the flashlight, you need to slip it in BEHIND the clear page and the dark background. By doing this, the lighter paper on the flashlight makes the images on the clear part easier to see. As you move the flashlight around, you can see the illustration and hopefully find out where Waldo is hiding.
You can also “charge” the flashlight in the sun (or another light source) because it’s glow-in-the-dark. That makes it even more fun to go searching for Waldo.
I tried to take a photo of what it looks like in our bedroom closet (the darkest spot at the time of writing this), so you can see what I mean.
I’m sorry that the image is a little fuzzy. It was hard to hold the book and phone to take a photo at the same time.
This is a fun, interactive book that is sure to be a big hit with kids.
There is a slot in the front of the book where you can store the “flashlight” when it’s not being used. That way it’s kept safe and hopefully it doesn’t get misplaced. If it does, you can always use a plain white piece of paper and insert that into the pages of the book to search for Waldo.
These are just some of the great titles from Candlewick Press.
If you are interested in learning more about these and other books by the publisher, visit Candlewick.com.
Do any of these books sound interesting to you? Which one(s) would your child/grandchild like? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.
*I received free samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.