I usually forget to talk about Halloween books until it's too late for parents to find them at the library or bookstore, but not this time. With the candy and costumes in the stores for weeks, it is getting hard to ignore what used to be a one day event with homemade costumes and sugar-frenzied children. So if we're going to extend the festivities, let's get a little reading in there too.
by Dav Pilkey
This is my absolute favorite Halloween book because it works for preschoolers to fifth graders. It's the story of a dachshund who is always teased by his doggie classmates, but especially after his well-meaning mother gives him a hot-dog costume for Halloween. But when his doggie friends are spooked by a ghoul, it's the little dog who saves the day. It's a funny book, but you can add a little spooky suspense when the ghoul comes into the picture.
The Halloween Book of Facts & Fun
by Wendie Old
This weekend I was introduced to this book, to which I had to say, "Where have you been all my child-rearing years?" What I love about this book is right there in the title - it's facts and fun. There are instructions for carving a pumpkin and having a Halloween party. There are safety tips and riddles. There are chapters about traditions, witches, jack-o-lanterns, Dracula, and more. There's even a full page bibliography. A perfect book for the classroom or home, maybe doling out a chapter a day in the build-up to the Big Event.
The Squampkin Patch
by JT Petty
Speaking of build-up, you'll find it in spades in this suspenseful, creepy and sometimes scary book for older kids. In the story, the Nasselrogt children hide from their parents, and end up getting shipped off to the Urchin House. When their parents show up to find them, their odd last name makes the files lost to the director. After a horrible time at the Urchin House, the children escape and end up at a mysterious house surrounded by a pumpkin patch -- or so they think. It turns out that patch holds something strange and frightening that is coming to a head on Halloween. Filled with dark humor and interesting characters, the book shows a very strong Lemony Snicket influence in the writing, which should make it a natural pick for lovers of the Series of Unfortunate Events books. A little odd, but certainly unforgettable.