Halloween celebrations will be different this year, but you can still have a spooky good time with Halloween books. As someone who grew up in New England and had to choose between covering up costumes with warm coats or work long johns and other layers into every trick-or-treat outfit, I’m going to embrace the silver lining that at-home Halloween means costumes don’t need to be weather-appropriate. We’ve already mailed Halloween cards and Halloween books and toys to our family on the east coast. Since Halloween is on a Saturday and we never go out anymore, we’ll have some Halloween candy and toss it Mardi Gras float-style from our porch to anyone approaching our house. We’ll play some haunting music and do a Halloween read-aloud (or two, or three…).
Among them is a new-this-year delight, Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago. It’s about a ghost who loves to play the violin but finds that he’s so shy, everyone looks right through him, even when he’s trying to connect to make a friend. When I first read it, I made this note for myself: “This is a sweet story that will speak to introverts everywhere! The colorful art and expressive ghost make it a real visual treat.” I also love that it was published in Spanish, as well.
Rebecca also highlights perennial rhyming favorite Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler. There are hardcover, board book, paperback, and audio versions, and this year, there’s a hands-on, interactive, sturdy push, pull, and slide adaptation. This has much-abbreviated text but all sorts of play elements for little hands to explore.
For a bit longer, scarier read-aloud, I love Beneath the Bed and Other Scary Stories written by Max Brallier, illustrated by Letizia Rubegni. It’s part of Scholastic’s great Acorn books for emerging readers.
Ooooh! This is a very creepy little collection! I like that some aren’t quite as creepy, so the reader feels very brave– and then WHAM, a very spooky one to tell around the campfire!
What are some Halloween books you enjoy?