I’m a mom to two young adults. I miss the days when they were little and still got excited about the holidays, such as Halloween. I miss seeing them in costumes and taking them out trick-or-treating. I still remember when our son was little. He would ring the door bells and run away (towards us) because he was afraid when the home owner opened the door. Ah… I miss that!
I work with young children now (1st – 6th graders). I love hearing their excitement for Halloween, especially what their costume is going to be. Just the other day one of my students was super excited for dad to pick him up because they were going to go shopping for his Halloween costumes (as in plural). I asked him what he was going to be for Halloween, and he replied “Spiderman.” Then I asked him why he needed more than one costumes, to which he replied “Why not?” Ha Ha. You’ve go to love the stuff that comes out of kid’s mouths. They can be so funny.
Shopping for Halloween costumes, and dreaming about all the candy you’ll collect on Halloween night is not the only fun part to the holiday. There are also plenty of great, non-candy things about Halloween too – books!
I know, you are probably thinking that books can’t compare to candy. But they can! Especially if you have a child who loves to read, or be read to. Books about Halloween can also elevate a child’s excitement for Halloween night and trick-or-treating.
Some Halloween books can also be enjoyed year round.
Check out these titles from Holiday House and Peachtree publishers.
Boo Stew by Donna L. Washington, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler (Peachtree Publishing Company, for ages 4–8)
Internationally known, award-winning storyteller Donna L. Washington uses her tremendous skill to breathe new life into the classic Goldilocks tale. Curly Locks is a good-hearted girl, but she’s an awful cook. All the townspeople of Toadsuck Swamp know to steer clear of her culinary concoctions. So when one of her dishes goes missin’, word spreads about how the Scares have been terrorizin’ the town. Can Curly Locks use her smarts and unique talents to help corral those Scares for good?
This is a fun story to read. I especially like the weird little creatures (the “Scares”). They remind me of ink spots.
The recipes Curly Locks whip up sound pretty gross, but that just adds to the charm of this book.
One of my students at work LOVES to cook with her mom. She also loves to read. When I was done reading this book (I was sent a copy to review), I passed it on to her. As per her mom, she loves the book, especially because she enjoys cooking too.
This is not a scary book at all.
This book features adorable illustrations.
Nina Soni, Halloween Queen by Kashmira Sheth, illustrated by Jenn Kocsmiersky (Peachtree, for ages 7–10)
Halloween brings out Nina Soni’s competitive spirit. A bunch of old boxes in the basement inspires her to create an impressively scary haunted house. So what could possibly go wrong for the Halloween Queen? In Nina Soni, Indian American author Kashmira Sheth has created an endearing heroine and charming stories of family, friendship, and her slightly scatterbrained efforts to manage her life with lists, definitions, and more.
I could relate to Nina in this book. I used to use my creativity and come up with a lot of fun things with old boxes and recyclables when I was a young girl. I never thought of making a haunted house with them (that would have been a great idea!). I was also able to relate to her idea of wanting to charge admission. When my cousins and I were young, we used to put on plays and charge the neighbors to come over and watch us. We charged a quarter, and the neighbors were actually family members.
This is a quick read (at least it was for me) and fun to reach.
Middle School Bites: Out for Blood by Steven Banks, illustrated by Mark Fearing (Holiday House, for ages 8–12)
Tom the Vam-Wolf-Zom is back—and so is the werewolf that bit him—in this monstrously funny third installment to a series about a boy who’s dying to fit in. Eleven-year-old Tom was bit by a vampire, a werewolf, and a zombie right before the first day of middle school. And he didn’t even get excused from sixth grade! Now he’s being hunted down by the werewolf that bit him. Then the vampire that bit him returns with a warning: the werewolf is dangerous. Perhaps Tom should stick with sixth grade.
I have never heard of this book series before, but wow! It’s funny! So much so that I would gladly read the other books by Steven Banks. I’m an adult, and I found myself giggling as I read through the pages.
In a way, this book reminds me of the Wimpy Kid books. Jeff Kinney (Wimpy Kid author) actually wrote the books for adults, but kids fell in love with them too. I feel like this book is something that adults can enjoy just as much as kids. I’m an adult, and I found it to be a fun and enjoyable read.
Only If You Dare: 13 Stories of Darkness and Doom by Josh Allen, illustrated by Sarah J. Coleman (Holiday House, for ages 9–12)
You never know what’s out to get you. Though you might think you’re safe from monsters and menaces, everyday objects can turn against you, too. A mysterious microwave. A threatening board game. A snowman that refuses to melt. Even your own heartbeat has its secrets. Master storyteller Josh Allen brings thirteen nightmare scenarios to life in this page-turning follow up to Out to Get You that’s perfect for budding horror junkies.
Just like the previous title, this is an entertaining book for both kids AND adults. I loved reading the stories in this book. They are creepy, but in a fun, non-scary way. Some of the stories are a bit amusing too. The stories are not “dark” as the title suggests. I think it’s more so to make the title sound more exciting.
It would be exciting for a child to read one story each night for the 13 nights leading up to Halloween. That would really get them into the Halloween spirit.
This book can also be enjoyed year round (not just at Halloween).
The books listed in this post have been linked to their pages on the publisher’s website (non-affiliate links). These books can be found at many retail locations including Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
Be sure to follow both Peachtree and Holiday House on social media for updates on newly released titles. The links for Peachtree can be found on the bottom of the brand’s website (PeachtreeBooks.com), and on the upper left side of Holiday House’s website (HolidayHouse.com).
What do you think about these book titles? Do they sound like books your child/grandchild would enjoy? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.
*I received free book samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.