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Halloween Books for Kids

Picture Books (E)

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Four Scary Stories, by Tony Johnston.  Pictures by Tommie de Poala
Three scary stories told from three different perspectives; an imp, a goblin, and a scalawag, about one of the scariest beasts there is, plus one more story from a surprise visitor at the end.

 

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The Teacher from the Black Lagoon / by Mike Thaler;  pictures by Jared Lee.
All of the Black Lagoon books are great, but this is the first and quite possibly the best.  This one is E where some are E and some are J FIC. “On the first day of school, a young boy expects only the worst when he discovers that his new teacher is the “monstrous” Mrs. Green.

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Los Gatos Black on Halloween, by Marisa Montes
“Easy to read, rhyming text about Halloween night incorporates Spanish words, from las brujas riding their broomsticks to los monstruos whose monstrous ball is interrupted by a true horror.”

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Big Pumpkin, by Erica Silverman
Cute book for the little ones. “A witch trying to pick a big pumpkin on Halloween discovers the value of cooperation when she gets help from a series of monsters.”

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There’s a Nightmare in my Closet, by Mercer Mayer
Such a classic! ** Spoiler alert ** “At bedtime a boy confronts the nightmare in his closet and finds him not so terrifying after all.”

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My Mama Says There Aren’t Any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins, or Things,  by Judith Viorst, Drawings by Kay Chorao
Good book by a well versed and thoughtful author who is sometimes downright hilarious.  “If his mother has made other important mistakes, can Nick trust her word that there are no goblins and such lurking around in the night?”

Juvenile Non Fiction (J ##.##)

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Gruesome guide to world monsters / Judy Sierra ; illustrated by Henrik Drescher J 001.944 SIERR
This book is great!  Scary, informative, fun, and historically accurate account of creatures believed to exist in countries throughout the world.  Sierra and Drescher have both have many fun books to their name and this collaboration between two fine authors is superb.  “Make room in your suitcase for this monstrously entertaining guide to fantastic creatures around the world — and how to elude them.  I did not make any of this up.  Do you know why you should have baby teeth handy when visiting the Midwest?  Or why you should bring a cucumber with you when swimming in Japan?  How good are you at solving Russian riddles?  From Boston to Beijing, from Moscow to Mali, any place you visit has its own terrifying tales of very real creatures.  Complete with handy “gruesomeness ratings,” this guide offers all the important facts on some sixty-three folkloric monsters and how (if possible!) to survive an encounter with them.  Meticulously researched by Judy Sierra and illustrated in grotesque detail by Henrik Drescher, here is the ultimate resource for any world traveler, armchair or otherwise, hoping to make it home alive.”

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Nightmares : poems to trouble your sleep / by Jack Prelutsky ; illustrated by Arnold Lobel J 811 PRE
Prelutsky is one of the best known and well-loved children’s poets of our day.  This is one of two books he has written with Halloween related material.   “A dozen original poems on the `horrifying’ subjects (ghouls, vampires, skeletons, etc.) so dear to many young hearts….Your steel-nerved patrons will appreciate both poems and pictures.”–School Library Journal.

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J is for jack-o-lantern : a Halloween alphabet / written by Denise Brennan-Nelson and illustrated by Donald Wu J 394.2646 BRENN
“This alphabet presents an overview of spook- and Halloween-related topics from A to Z.  Written in a two-tier format, a poem introduces the topic, and detailed expository text provides additional facts.  Topics include ghosts, mazes, haunted houses, and witches.”  There are MANY alphabet books in this series on many different subjects.  Since they are written by different authors, the best way to find them all is to go to the catalog section of the publisher’s website at www.sleepingbearpress.com/shop

Juvenile Fiction (J FIC)

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The Wolves in the Walls, by Neil Gaiman
Gaiman is known for his scary stories, and his stories may have gotten even scarier since his marriage to shock rocker Amanda Palmer.  Please note Palmer’s music is not for children. “Lucy is sure there are wolves living in the walls of her house, although others in her family disagree, and when the wolves come out, the adventure begins.”

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The Witches, by Roald Dahl, Illustrated by Quinten Blake.
I did a book report on this book when I was in 5th grade.  I love this story and all of Dahl’s books, as much now as I did then.  “Grandmamma loves to tell about witches.  Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth.  There’s nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma’s stories — but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face to face with The Grand High Witch herself!”

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Bunnicula : a rabbit-tale of mystery / by Deborah and James Howe ; illustrated by Alan Daniel.
It was hard to escape childhood in my day without hearing about Bunnicula, the tale of a vampire bunny!  First of the seven book Bunnicula series and continued in the six book Tales of Bunnicula series.  “Though scoffed at by Harold the dog, Chester the cat tries to warn his human family that their foundling baby bunny must be a vampire.”

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Vampires! By Steven Roberts
Vampire stories are at a peak in popularity among readers.  Tales of vampires living in the midst of humans have existed for centuries.  Readers can judge the truth in these tales as they follow one story of a suspected vampire that, allegedly, really happened in the 1700s in Serbia.  Facts, lore, and legends are all presented-encouraging further reading and discussion.  Other related titles by Roberts include: The Loch Ness Monster!, The Yeti!, Bigfoot!, and Chupacabras!.

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Bruce Coville’s Book of monsters : tales to give you the creeps / compiled and edited by Bruce Coville
“A collection of thirteen monstrous stories, including “My Little Brother is a Monster” by Bruce Coville and others by Jane Yolen, Laura Simms, John Barnes, and many more.”  Readers may also enjoy Coville’s other series, “Bruce Coville’s Book of Ghosts” (2 books), “Camp Haunted Hills” (3 books), or “Bruce Coville’s Book of Nightmares”.

 

Too good not to share, and well worth the wait to request through PINES!

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The bad child’s book of beasts By Hilaire Belloc / Pictures by B.T.B.
This book is not available locally and may be a bit hard to come by but it IS great.  Especially this version with the original illustrations by B.T.B.  This is the version that Dr. Seuss is said to have read as a child, and many say that its influence on Suess’ writing and drawing style is undeniable.  There are many more of Belloc’s great stories available locally.  They are reminiscent of a time when children were expected to be seen and not heard and to behave without question.  But they are great stories none-the-less.  “Humorous and cautionary verses about such animals as the whale, the polar bear, the frog, the dodo, and the yak.”

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The Monsters’ Monster, by Patrick McDonnell
This is such a cute book by the Caldecott Honor Illustrator of Me…Jane.  This book is not available in our local system but it is well worth the wait to get it through PINES.  “Grouch, Grump, and little Gloom ‘n’ Doom spend much of their time arguing over who is the “biggest and baddest” until they build a monster together that turns out to be very different that what they expect.”

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