Thursday, October 28, 2021

🎃Three Hauntingly Good Halloween Picture Books 👻

Here are a few picture books to add to your Halloween adventures. I hope you like them as much as my young readers did. 
Hardly Haunted
written and illustrated by Jessie Sima
Simon & Schuster BFYR, 2021, 48 pages
All House wants is for people to move in and live there, but no one ever does. House sits on a hill and looks a little creepy now. Could she be haunted, she wonders? Certainly that isn't what she wants. But, she has all the makings for a haunted house. She is a little dusty, has plenty of cobwebs, her doors creak, her pipes rattle, and even the little black cat who ventures inside gets scared. But maybe, just maybe, if House is very calm and quiet, someone will want her. Outside, the wind is having none of that and finally the house realizes she likes being noisy and maybe even likes the idea of being haunted. Now, if only the right family would move in, she could become a real haunted house. But wait, who is that coming up the walk? Halloween, ghosts, goblins and haunted houses can be pretty scary to young kids, but this is a perfect book for dispelling some of those fears. By anthropomorphizing the house, kids not only learn the importance of being themselves, but they may even begin to feel empathy for the empty house. After all, even kids experience loneliness and feelings of being unwanted sometimes. This is a perfect Halloween story that can just as easily be read and enjoyed all year round. 

Poultrygeist by Eric Geron,
illustrated by Pete Oswald
Candlewick Press, 2021, 32 pages
This isn't really a Halloween story per se, but feels like a good choice for this time of year. It is the very tongue-in-cheek story of a chicken who is crossing the road to get to the other side just as a truck is coming down the same road. And while the chicken definitely crosses the road to the other side, it just isn't the other side she was aiming for and it isn't the end of her story, either.  No, indeed, chicken wakes up on the Other Side where an array of scary ghostly animals who have met the same fate as chicken inform her that she has become a poultrygeist. Her job now is be noisy and to haunt, to be a cock-a-doodle Boo, to turn someone's sunny side up day into sunny side down. But chicken just wants to be a friendly ghost, she doesn't want to haunt anyone, especially not innocent readers. But then her anger gets the best of her and her transforms into scary poultrygeist. Be warned! This is kind of a dark story, and may not be for every young reader. For kids old enough to get the humor, they will find it to be a very punny book. Other kids might be relieved when chicken breaks the fourth wall to make sure they are OK. Wisely, Geron never lets chicken aim her ghostly scariness at readers, only at the other poltergeists. I did love the digitally created illustrations, they are humorous without being scary or grim. This is a fun twist on the old joke about the chicken crossing the road as well as a book that may help dispel the fear of ghosts in younger kids. 

written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
Atheneum BFYR, 2021, 48 pages
This isn't really a Halloween book, but then again...vampenguins. One Sunday morning, the Dracula family, dad, mom, and two kids, head out to the zoo. Their first stop is the dark, chilly penguin room, where the youngest member of the family slips out of the stroller and performs an unnoticed switcheroo - trading places with one of the penguins, who is then strapped into the stroller by the unsuspecting, distracted dad. The Dracula family leaves the penguins and spends the day visiting all the other zoo exhibits and even eating lunch, all without noticing the switch. Meanwhile, baby Dracula hangs out with the penguins, eating their fish lunch, splashing in the pool and just having a grand old time. Funny enough, visitors to the penguin house don't hang out there for very long once they notice baby Dracula. At the end of the day, when the family is getting ready to leave the zoo, they stop for a photo near the penguin house where baby Dracula pulls another unnoticed switcheroo - trading places with the penguin in the stroller. And thanks to clever text and illustrations, no one in the Dracula family is the wiser about the switches, which is one of the things that makes this book so good. Of course, readers will love being in on the joke. My young readers certainly were.   

No comments:

Post a Comment

Imagination Designs