The crisp wind tumbles leaves of orange, red and yellow about through the air. Fall has arrived and with the season comes my favorite holiday of the year, Halloween. There is no stress involved in Halloween - no big dinners to prepare and who cares if your house is clean?! The dirtier and scarier the better!
As well as sharing the history of this holiday with your children, check out the following fun books you can share together too. Perfect for those dark, windy Fall nights!
Minerva Louise on Halloween by Janet Morgan Stoeke
Minerva Louise is the chicken equivalent of Amelia Bedelia. You either love her, or she'll drive you crazy. I happen to love Minerva Louise, but I must admit, I wasn't totally enthralled with her new Halloween adventure. It is a nice and gentle Halloween book for the very young that contains no frights to leave them with nightmares. Minerva thinks that decorating with fake tombstones is actually the farmers planting a rock garden and she mistakes children dressed up as ghost, as floating laundry. There are chuckles to be had and preschoolers do enjoy the book! I did not feel it necessary though to dress one of the trick or treaters up as Harry Potter. The audience members for the book do not recognize the character and really, he's a bit overdone already! (yes, I said that). I appreciate a nod to another literary character, but what about Dorothy or Alice? Or better yet, keep the holiday non-commercial and stick with ghosts and goblins!
Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex
With the mix of off-the-wall humor and a hodgepodge of illustrating styles this books lures you in with the first poem. Adam Rex touches on all the big named monsters (Frankenstein, Invisible Man, etc)and puts them in wacky situations, such as the Phantom of the Opera trying to write a song but having "It's a small world" stuck in his head. The poems, with their catchy clever lines, will have you chuckling in amazement at Rex's creativity and wit! One of my daughters favorite books in second grade. She does love all sorts of ghoulish monsters and food though!
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
There's always room for one more on this witches broom! In this gently scary rhyming romp, you zoom with a witch and her cat on her broom through the night. A wind picks up and the witch loses her hat and the adventure begins. Helpful animals find the witches lost items and return them and all they want is a ride on the broom, to which the witch obliges. Children will love to join in the repeated refrain "The witch tapped her broomstick and whoosh! they were gone!" (which for some reason, always reminds me of Hee Haw) Though not about trick or treating or Halloween in general, this is a great choice for the scary season!
Piggie Pie! by Margie Palatini
"Gritch the witch woke up grouchy, grumpy, and very hungry. Her belly grumbled for something special." PIGGIE PIE! And so begins this cleverly written, full of pun fun adventure enlivened even further by hilarious illustrations created by Howard Fine. My personal favorite nod to witches who came before is the "Surrender Piggies" skywriting done by Gritch over Old MacDonald's farm. Young ones will enjoy this frolic through fractured fairy tale land and will be giggling with delight when they spot the ingeniously disguised piggies in the pictures.
Dear Vampa by Ross Collins
Having new neighbors move in can be an exciting time, and also absolutely terrible if those new neighbors are the complete opposite of your family. Little Bram is writing to his grandpa explaining just what a horrible time they are having getting used to the new people next door. They like sunlight, and flowers, and stay up all day long. the Pires have had it and decide to move back to Transylvania. If they had only waited a bit longer to discover just how much they really do have in common with the Wolfsons! Cleverly created illustrations with a fun twist at the end.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Reviewed by Anna, age 10: Jimmy Sniffles is a boy who solves mysteries by using his nose to sniff out clues. In this book Jimmy has to figure out where the mummy went and what happened to all of its treasures. The illustrations really add to the story and I like the comic book format, but I feel that the story should have been longer because I got really into the book. Good thing there are other Jimmy Sniffles books. The book also includes information about real mummies, questions for you to think about, and ideas to help you write your own story. Check it out at your local library.