Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Top 10 All-Time Favorite Halloween Tales

So last week I listed my top 5 favorite Halloween board books for babies

Today's list is our top 10 all-time favorite Halloween books.  Here goes (in no particular order).  I love lists.

Pumpkin Eye
1) Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming

Baby bookworm and I were introduced to this book last year, and since then have read it LOTS and lots.  We initially checked it out of the library and loved it so much we ended up buying a copy online.  Pumpkin Eye reads much like a poem.  It tells of all of the scary things that might be encountered on Halloween....a yellow moon, eerie shadows, unicorns, witches, jack-o-lanterns, a pumpkin eye....the illustrations are dark to fit the mood of this poetic gem of a tale.

Pumpkin Heads

2) Pumpkin Heads by Wendell Minor

This is a cute story about jack-o-lanterns, which are referred to as "pumpkin heads" in this book.  I love this story because it shows how the simple act of carving a face into a pumpkin can really give it personality.  The illustrations are beautifully detailed, and its fun to look at all of the pumpkin head expressions that the author/illustrator has created.  Pumpkin Heads has been a long time favorite tale of ours since last Halloween too.

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed
A Bat
3) There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat by Lucille Colandro and Illustrated by Jared Lee

This is a Halloween play on the song and story called There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.  In this version, an old lady swallows various Halloween creatures: a bat, an owl, a cat, a ghost, a goblin, a wizard and a couple of bones for good measure.  But why did she swallow all of these things?  You'll have to read the book yourself to find out.  Just know that baby bookworm loves to shout the ending of the book.  It's really a lot of fun, and you could sing it too if you so desired.

Trick or Treat Countdown
4) Trick-or-Treat Countdown by Patricia Hubbard and illustrated by Michael Letzig

If you are looking for a simple and fun way to practice counting to 12 while keeping in spirit with the season, this book is for you.  It counts both forward and backwards through twelve, all while teaching the lesson that the scary things on Halloween are make-believe.  Baby bookworm and I have read this book many, many times and it never gets old.

Goodnight Goon
5) Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex

This book is a Halloween spoof of the classic bedtime story Goodnight Moon that you probably know and love.  There's a few pictures in the book that might be a little scary for the wee ones, but baby bookworm loves it and recognized the rhythmic similarities to Goodnight Moon right away.  It's a very clever Halloween book which will not disappoint you.  And I can't say this with certainty, but I have a gut feeling that this book would be a real hit with little boys.

Happy Halloween, Curious George
6) Happy Halloween, Curious George

This book made our list for two reasons: 1) baby bookworm, for whatever reason, just really loves Curious George, and 2) it's a collection of poems.  We've read a bunch of Halloween poetry collections over the past two Halloween seasons, but I really like this one the best because it covers a bunch of aspects of the entire Halloween experience: from decorating, to partying, to picking pumpkins, to dressing up!  I highly recommend this one if you are looking to steer away from the traditional spooky picture book tales.

Skeleton Meets the Mummy

7) Skeleton Meets the Mummy by Steve Metzger and illustrated by Aaron Zenz

This book is a new release, and I'm very glad we bought it from Barnes and Noble this year (well, I should really give Daddy bookworm the credit for finding this great Halloween story).  In this tale, a little skeleton boy named Sammy is given the task of delivering some soup to his grandmother.  But, to get to his grandmother's house he must travel through some pretty dark and scary woods.  Well, couple that with the fact that it's also Halloween night and you've got one little skeleton boy whose bones are clacking with fright!  While most of the scary things he encounters in the woods are his imagination getting the better of him, the mummy he meets is not! There's a cute ending in store for you if you check out this book.  Baby bookworm and I have been reading it before bed, and she's grown quite fond of her newly found skeleton friend.

Winnie the Pooh
Happy Halloween
8) Winnie the Pooh Happy Halloween Look and Find  

Baby bookworm is OBSESSED with look and find books (a.k.a., search and find, or I Spy books).  And, she's gotten quite good at them.  This Winnie the Pooh Halloween version is super adorable, not to mention has been quite entertaining in restaurants (yes, we even bring books to restaurants - better than a DVD player though, right?).  The search and find books are great practice at following simple directions and comparing and matching objects.  I hope you can find a copy of this book for yourself, though, because it seems like it might have been a limited edition!

9) Halloween by Harry Behn and illustrated by Greg Couch

This book made our list because out of all of the books we've read over the past two Halloween seasons, I think it does the best job at capturing the true eeriness of Halloween night. Much like Pumpkin Eye, it is a beautifully written poem at heart that speaks of ghosts and goblins and frightening sounds.  The illustrations are very detailed, and you can see the fear in the children's eyes. I love the softness of the them as well which add to the mood of the book, and while they are generally dark in color, I love the hints of orange that brighten a few pages here and there.

A Rattle of Bones

10) A Rattle of Bones by Kipling West

We stumbled on this book early in the Halloween season this year....like August early.  But, what I love about this book is that it's different than most, and quite educational (for you and your child).  It highlights fun words for groups of things, and these groups of things are all Halloween related!  Trust me, you will wonder who thought up these collective nouns! 

I hope you find a new favorite lurking amongst ours! 
Happy Haunting!

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