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Occasionally, the item isn't one that kids would readily identify-- try explaining what a golfer's tee is. In that case just finding the head doesn't solve the riddle. I was able to work through these with my kindergartener who has just started school and she was satisfied that she had solved the riddles and mastered enough of the words to be able to say she had read it herself she did a pretty good job-- I was impressed. I think it's safe to say that very beginning readers will engage with the book and feel successful as readers, with a little guidance. For my very bright first grader the actual reading of text was a snap, but he still enjoyed solving the riddles.
I expect that over the next six months he'll easily transition over to independent reading of the oversized I Spy books we check them out frequently, but he has needed guidance with the complexity of vocabulary and detailed searching until this point. I would say that these books are simple enough to offer very beginning readers a feeling of mastery that will encourage them to try other books, and engaging enough to capture the attention of more advanced first grade readers.
So if you're looking for non-scary books with a Halloween theme for beginning readers, I highly recommend these note on availability: these may be available directly through Scholastic via their book order or book fair programs. Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel. Random House Children's, ISBN: For lovers of the short and scary tale, though, and for the bored reluctant reader, this is a fantastic choice.
Monies raised from the sale of the book benefit First Book, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing books to lower-income families, making it a doubly great choice for promoting literacy. Highly recommended for school and public libraries, and for readers of any age who love scary stories. Contains: references to murder and cannibalism, kidnapping, suggestions of dismemberment.
Ripley Publishers, the experts on the bizarre and strange, have presented another brilliant installment to whet our curiosity. This latest title chronicles the strangest stories from all over the world. Sporting a holographic, eye-catching cover, the book entices with full-color photographs as well as lists and fun facts. Those who love Trivial Pursuit or are just curious to take a peek into the world of the bizarre will not be able to put this book down.
Readers will also recognize familiar friends in tattooed ladies, mummies, and various creepy crawlies. Each chapter is showcased with photographs and illustrations that accompany the feature story Also included are bulleted entries of other tales and quips related to the chapter. There is no doubt something for everyone, young and older readers alike; this is a book that could lead to some very interesting dinner-time conversations!
Here Mr. Meyer highlights his favorite acquisitions of the year and also the strangest items he has purchased in It is evident from the list alone that the Ripley staff has some of the best jobs on the planet. Highly recommended for school libraries. Contains: some mildly graphic descriptions and illustrations. Available: New paperback and Kindle ebook. Seven year old Olivia has just moved from the city to a big house in the country with her father, Steve, a professional writer.
Armed with this information, lonely Olivia seeks out the monster, a big, furry, and somewhat crabby creature named Burrufu, who secretly writes books. Burrufu grows larger when people react to him with fear, so he stays hidden, but Olivia is a true friend, and in one of the most wonderful parts of the book, she figures out a way for him to go outside without being seen. Corral speaks directly and frankly to the child reader in describing not just Olivia and Burrufu but also the adults- Steve and his agent, Mark.
Unfortunately, the book suffers from a flaw difficult to overcome. The main character, Olivia, is seven years old, but the language and references will go over the heads of the average third grader. Adults will appreciate this aspect of the writing, as it adds a fair amount of personality, but the target audience is going to miss out and may not comprehend parts of the story because of this. Still, My Monster Burrufu is a charming read that never condescends to its child readers, and a parent might be able to convince an upper elementary kid "too cool" for a read-aloud with Mom or Dad, that they can enjoy the story together.
The Island of the Skog by Steven Kellogg. The Island of the Skog is not a new book: it was published in , the year I was born. It has always had a special place in my heart, though. Steven Kellogg is one of my favorite illustrators and has been since I was a child. Of all his many books, this is the tale that I love the most. The book begins with a band of terrified mice resolving to flee the cats and dogs persecuting them by sailing away from the city in search of a land where they can be free.
Afraid that the Skog might attack them, the mice fire their cannons to scare the Skog away. When they come ashore, they are frightened to find the giant footprints of a monster and resolve to trap it and get rid of it. The Skog, when we finally see it, is a gigantic, menacing creature with sharp claws, hidden in shadowy draperies.
Most of the time Kellogg draws with incredible detail- it can be almost overwhelming. He also frequently uses muted colors, which make the tiny black lines that score the page and establish the details stand out. Not so with the Skog. Almost as startling is what happens next, and to find that out, go read it yourself. The Island of the Skog does have some advanced vocabulary and, for younger readers, the motivations of the characters may require explanations.
Highly recommended for kindergarteners and up. Contains: mild violence. Beware the Snallygaster by Patrick Boyton. A cute little story about an Appalachian cryptid named the Snallygaster, Beware the Snallygaster is quick-paced and filled with mystery. Holly and Peter are two intrepid fifth graders determined to find out whether the Snallygaster is real or not, for the sake of their reputations and grades. But how do you catch a mythical monster that might be dead? While some of story vocabulary might above the reading level for the ages Amazon lists it for , Beware the Snallygaster is a fun and very modern Halloween-themed story, good for before-bed reading or for parents who love cryptids and want to share that with their kids.
Recommended for public collections. Contains: alcohol including moonshine which is essential to the legend , references to violence and gore. Review by Michele Lee. Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane. Rather than recounting the activities of the ducks, frogs, and other adorable creatures in the original version, Jane has moaning mummies, cackling witches, and rattling skeletons. Manning does a marvelous job of creating spooky settings, from washed out haunted forests to bilious green swamps. Her monsters are adorably disturbing, and in spite of sharp teeth and occasionally crazed expressions, they smile a lot, are a playful bunch, like any little monsters on Halloween.
Kids who scare easily might not make it past the first few pages, which suggest a darker tone, but what starts out seeming creepy ends up being a lot of fun! Little Goblins Ten provides some great opportunities for interactivity when reading aloud. Kids can have a lot of fun howling with the werewolves, breathing fire with dragons, and swooping like bats. Contains: spooky images.
The first Stoker Legacy book starts off with seventh grader Hannah mixing up a potion while trying to follow the directions left behind by her missing grandfather. She has no idea what has happened to him, but is looking to the instructions he has left her to summon up others to help her.
He also told her that he was a descendant of a long line of monster hunters. After completing her attempt at casting a spell over her potion, she waits…. The mix of suspenseful moments and funny quips make this book extremely balanced and show that the author knows how to pull together a good tale. This would make a great addition to all library collections and would especially do a great job of filling in an empty spot on any Halloween displays of books.
Perhaps she missed Season Two, where they were both sociopathic monsters. Even the vampires in Twilight are hardly harmless. The age group the book is intended for seems up in the air. These books are aimed at upper elementary school kids. My local library apparently has this problem too. As a nonfiction introduction to vampires, though, it is a disappointment.
Stargazer, When Aunt Zsofia takes them on a trip to Chinatown on the edge of a saltwater bog, they never suspected they'd end up facing down monsters, ghosts and gun-wielding bad guys. The bog holds many secrets, the most interesting of which is a young girl named Mei who claims to be hiding from the people who killed her parents. In their quest to help Mei the ZomBuddies will have to face down toxic bog water, mutated monsters and treacherous adults.
Secret of Haunted Bog is a fast-paced, fun tale. Similar in feel to the Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys or Bobbsey Twins , or even the more modern incarnation of Scooby-Doo, it pits three courageous, stubborn kids against mysteries, supernatural and not. Engaging and exciting, Monster Moon makes for great in-class or before bed reading. Definitely recommended for preteen collections. Contains: Some gross out moments. Reviewed by: Michele Lee. Scary School by Derek the Ghost. Scary School is the first book in a new series written by a ghost. Yes, a ghost.
Derek the Ghost tells us the ins and outs of the school as well as introduces us to many of the students and teachers at the school. Both humans and monsters alike attend Scary School, which is taught by all sorts of monsters for teachers. For instance, Mrs. Fangs is one of the favorite teachers at school and she happens to be a vampire. The punishments at Scary School can be quite severe, even going as far as eating the students! Luckily they have Nurse Hairymoles around to revive said students… maybe not quite to their original self, but in a way that they can still attend school.
How would you like to attend a school with monsters for teachers? Maybe after reading this first book by Derek the Ghost you will answer differently. There are a variation of monsters included that normally would scare little kids, but the way Derek the Ghost has written this novel the scares will be mild, if existing at all. Tweens should find it interesting reading the day-to-day adventures at a school so different than their own and some may even wish that they could attend Scary School themselves. Once finished with the book, there are additional fun prizes on the Scary School website www.
This last chapter appears to be a lead-in to the next book in the series, so be sure not to miss it. As stated, this book is aimed at tweens, however, many adults will find this a fun read as well. Or, better yet, this would make a great bedtime story for parents to read to their children. Midnight Howl by Clare Hutton. Marisol, age 12, is a vegetarian Texas city girl who moves to a rural Montana ranch with her mom for a few months while their house is being rewired.
The ranch is owned by Marisol's mom's best friend, husband and twin children. Montana is very different from the life she knows, with mountains, wide spaces and active night life—maybe even including werewolves. Midnight Howl is part of Scholastic's Poison Apple series of scary books for kids. These dark-themed books feature vampires, werewolves and ghosts. They appeal to kids who have grown up in a Buffy and Twilight -loving culture and want monster stories of their own to read. Midnight Howl is a tight book. It doesn't stray much from the werewolf mystery theme, which limits character development, especially in secondary characters.
But the setting is fun and ultra-modern. Unlike the old Scooby-Doo cartoons there really are monsters prowling the pages instead of just men in masks. Highly recommended for children's collections because of the demand of paranormal, spooky books for kids, Midnight Howl , and the Poison Apple series, are fun reads. Contains: spooky scenes. It was reminiscent of the scary books I used to read as a kid, but neither the writing nor the story was dated in any way. Just a few pages in, and I wished I was curled up in a window seat, storm brewing for added effect, all alone in a creepy old house.
Charlie and Marty get off to a bumpy start with an incident involving tarantulas, but soon they are on the same page, exploring all of the haunted sites Crooked Hills has to offer. Along the way they pick up crack slingshot shooter Lisa Summers. Her skills with the slingshot save Charlie and Marty more times than they would like, but they admit she is handy to have around.
What with taking on the Crewes Brothers two brothers who give bullies a bad name , and tangling with the mysterious, the boys can use all of the help they can get…if they want to survive. Contains: mild violence and supernatural elements. Reviewed by: Brandi Blankenship.
We have a second look review of Crooked Hill from Rhonda Wilson:. Charlie is more than a little upset about the unexpected trip his mom has sprung on him and his brother, Alex. They are off to visit their aunt in Crooked Hills for six weeks. In order to cheer him up, his mom gives him a new book on some of the haunted aspects of the town.
One of the first nights there, Charlie spots a strange dog outside of his window. After telling Marty about his find the following day, they decide to sneak out of the house that night to investigate. Their exploration turns out to be a bit more than either of them bargained for, and Charlie finds his summer vacation is suddenly a lot more exciting. Luckily, though, his mom has picked an interesting town for them to spend the summer.
Whether fending off bullies, hunting a mysterious dog, or dealing with an evil witch, there is never a dull moment for Charlie. One part mystery and two parts horror, Cullen Bunn has created a suspenseful novel that keeps the reader turning pages from start to finish. Highly recommended to anyone! This Totally Bites! Emma-Rose Paley is dark-haired, navy-eyed, pale-skinned and just saw her great-aunt turn into a bat.
Now, on top of the upcoming school Halloween Dance which her friend Gabby has pushed her to help plan , and her parents working hard on a major gala for the museum, Emma-Rose wonders if she could be a vampire too. Emma-Rose faces realistic kid-sized problems, some of which are even scarier than possibly being a vampire. While this book does have the potential to be a little too scary for sensitive kids my daughter insisted on sleeping with a bulb of garlic on her table after we read the scene where Aunt Margo turns into a bat it doesn't touch on any truly uncomfortable situations for kids or parents.
For kids who are trying to edge in on their parents' love of urban fantasy or paranormal romance, or who just love Buffy reruns, this is book, part of the Poison Apple series, is perfect. The desperate drama teacher, Mr. Monster and Me is the first book in a series about Gabby and Dwight, which, while it will appeal to younger children mine kidnapped them for almost a year are clearly aimed at struggling readers.
The reading level is 1. Marsh does a nice job of making it easy for readers to keep track of the limited number of characters by introducing them on the first page with clear visuals of each provided by the illustrator. I wish this had either been explored further or tied up. That said, Monster and Me may not be the perfect choice for reluctant readers who CAN read but choose not to read school-assigned texts.
A lot of these kids may already be reading much more complex graphic stories with complicated sequencing and vocabulary outside of school. But for the upper elementary reader who is reading well below grade level, this is an excellent choice. Seuss, and hopes that some day a young child will be reading his book at the local library. I believe Beaulieu will have his wish come true many times over. Some of the rhymes will have kids giggling madly; others will be enjoyed by certain kinds of adults, making it a good choice for parents and children to read together.
The illustrations complement the rhymes beautifully. Len Peralta does a fantastic job of adding the visuals to the rhymes, and children should be able to get the meaning of the rhymes without knowing all the words. However the book might be a good starting point to have children look up the words, which include a number of scientific terms. In many ways some enterprising teacher might even use the book as a starting off point to get kids interested in using the dictionary or some science topics.
Silly Rhymes for Belligerent Children is highly recommended for public libraries and school libraries. Cody Mack is used to getting into trouble. First, this meeting is lasting much longer than most. The man, Dr. Farley, runs a special school for naughty kids. His parents quite readily sign the forms, and Cody leaves with Dr. Farley that afternoon. The teachers are all monsters: vampires, werewolves, and mummies.
On his first day at Splurch Academy, Cody is thrown into the dungeon, where he is surrounded by rats. He soon learns of Dr. Farley will be famous! Unfortunately, Farley has met his match with Cody! Told in short chapters broken up by comic panels, this book would be the perfect addition to any library.
The short chapters keep the attention of young readers and aid in the pacing of the book. The comic illustations are quite humorous, really adding detail to the story. In the second book in the Splurch Academy series, Cody's nemesis, Dr.
Friendly Ghosts and Monsters () | Scottish Book Trust
Farley, has been banished from the school. However, that doesn't stop odd events taking place at Splurch Academy. Horrible bugs are crawling the halls of the Academy. Farley is no longer around, so who is behind these horrible creatures? At a school full of monsters as teachers, Cody doesn't know who he should trust. His parents don't believe him, so he must once again try hard to survive his "term" at Splurch Academy!
As the second book in the series, the reader learns more about the mysterious Dr. Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror edited by R.
While technically aimed at the young adult age group, most of these short stories are quite tame and could be read by middle-graders. Some of my personal favorites include Jennifer Allison's The Perfects. In this tale, Hannah and her family have recently moved, and it isn't long before she's asked by a neighbor to babysit. She's seen the two children and a baby playing outside. However, when she shows up to babysit, she finds there is no baby, and the children are obsessed with watching gory television shows about surgeries.
When she hears a baby crying, she discovers, too late, what the family was having for dinner. Heather Brewer's Shadow Children deals with the ever-popular and familiar fear of the dark. Dax is convinced that his younger brother, Jon, is exaggerating when he begs to sleep with a light on, insisting that the shadows will get him in the dark. Dax doesn't believe Jon until he sees Jon being pulled into the closet by the shadows.
Fear is highly recommended attention to any library collection. Reluctant readers may gravitate toward R. Nocturne by L. Wizards of the Coast, Availability: New and used. Flannery Lane is a 15 year old girl who possesses the power of great magic, not that her over-protective Uncle Anatole will allow her to use it, though he is a powerful wizard himself! That is, until her uncle is suddenly incapacitated by a curse. Now Flan finds that she is the only one who can perform the magic necessary to ward off the vampire suspected of break-ins and the disappearances of young girls in Wicker Street.
After all, what else could be responsible, given that a gorgeous new-to-town vampire hunter has implored her to create a powerful talisman to guard against the undead? Flan must hope that she can defeat the vampire before she becomes its next victim. Limited only by a few sentence fragments and slight predictability, Nocturne is a highly engrossing, satisfying, and quick read. Harkrader does an excellent job of giving the fantasy world of the novel life and depth and presents us with characters that fit well in that world, but that we, as readers, can fully identify with.
Particularly satisfying is the strong female protagonist who is not afraid to speak out against the stereotype of the clumsy, faint-hearted heroine. Recommended for readers aged and for public library YA horror collections. Zombiekins by Kevin Bolger , illustrated by Andre Brecha. Razorbill, Available: New. When Stanley, unaware that Zombiekins has awakened, brings it to school, chaos ensues as it escapes and starts infecting the students.
Stanley and his best friend Miranda race sort of to survive the onslaught and transform the zombies back into students. Zombiekins looks like the kind of book fans of the Captain Underpants books would love. Stanley is regularly victimized by the school bully, with even his best friend totally indifferent to his situation. Stanley is also shown as clueless and slow, especially compared to Miranda. Even his attempt at heroism is a failed joke. Upper elementary kids might go for the overall cutesy-creepy feel of the story, which is effectively reinforced by the illustrations, but the story comes across as very mean-spirited, and upper elementary kids get enough of that from their peers.
Zombie loving adults, though, will find a lot to enjoy. Adult zombie lovers, though, may want to check this out! Contains: violence, bullying, destruction of property. Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon. Dial, Ursula Vernon has a winning recipe with her Dragonbreath series. Fast-paced, fantastical adventures combined with situations the average kid can relate to, a comic book style, and a dose of humor are a perfect match to beginning independent readers, reluctant readers, and five year old boys. Big Eddy, the komodo dragon who terrorizes the school, singles Danny out at lunch, and his teacher, Mr.
In the first book, Dragonbreath , Danny flunks his assignment on the ocean, but his teacher gives him a second chance- one more night to get it right. Of the three volumes, this is my favorite. Volume two, Attack of the Ninja Frogs , introduces Suki, a Japanese exchange student who is constantly getting ambushed by ninja frogs. Danny, a huge fan of ninja movies, takes her on the bus to visit his grandfather in mythological Japan, where they discover that Suki is the reincarnated queen of the ninjas.
Chaos, involving ninjas, samurai, and a volcano, ensues. In volume three, Curse of the Were-wiener , I cheered the return of the vicious potato salad. All the students except Danny, who brought his lunch, start growing hair between their scales and acting strange I was a little lost on this one. Since when are hot dogs hairy?
Unfortunately, in this case, Danny does not have a mythological relative he can go to for help. Wendell, bitten by a were-wiener, clearly needs help, fast. The hunt for a solution includes risky searches of the school kitchen, a nighttime adventure in the sewers, rats, and a battle with the alpha-wurst. Of the three books, Curse of the Were-wiener is the scariest and freakiest- rats in the school cafeteria are much more of a possibility than ninja frogs from mythological Japan.
However, Vernon approaches the story with creativity and humor and uses color effectively to communicate the menace of the were-wieners, with their red eyes. Readers of the first two books expecting more of the same should probably know that Curse of the Were-weiner has a slightly darker flavor. After all, once you get past the covers and the sensationalistic name, this is, in fact, a reference book, one with the power to fascinate just about anyone, complete with a table of contents, detailed index, and compelling color illustrations.
Facts about food, art, and science, world records, the supernatural, and weird weather abound in this book. As tempting as Enter If You Dare! Anyone who doubts the intelligence or reading ability of those who read the book, though, had better think twice. Designed to draw kids in and respectful of their ability to soak up information, Enter if You Dare is a great tool and a fun book that all kinds of kids will enjoy.
Contains: mentions of decapitation, cannibalism, and the supernatural, and disturbing images. Aldwyns Academy by Nathan Meyer. Aldwyns Academy is a school of magic, an academy that every young aspiring wizard wishes to go to. Well, all of them except for Dorian. He wants to be a great warrior like his father, but his mother, a powerful sorceress in service to the king, wants him to follow in her footsteps and has pulled a lot of strings to make sure that happens.
The only one who seems to have any faith in him is Caleb, an unlikely half-orc wizard in training who has no other friends. Together, these mismatched heroes will discover why dire wolves, bugbears and ghosts are invading the school grounds and threatening the academy. Aldwyns Academy takes off running and continues the high-adventure marathon from the first page to the last. The author also does a fine job of presenting a moral lesson in the form of Caleb, the half-orc child. Children who love fantasy stories are sure to like this one. Reviewed by: Bret Jordan.
Zombies falls into this trap. The book presents images of video games such as Left for Dead and Dead Rising, and shows the covers of George Romero movies, which are rated R. In short, images are shown of products that are not appropriate for kids, and given the reading level, it could easily end up in very young hands. While Xtreme Monsters: Zombies has plenty of colorful and gross imagery that kids might enjoy, librarians will want to be aware of its content, and elementary school media specialists might want to pass on this one. Penguin Group, ISBN Meet Olive, an 11 year old girl new to the neighborhood whose family has just moved into a mansion with quite a past.
When Olive dons them, she learns there is far more to the strange, dark paintings that seem permanently affixed to the walls than she thought — she can actually step inside and enter the paintings. In one painting, Olive meets Morton, who, along with three guardian cats, helps her discover the true nature of the sinister Aldous McMartin and his granddaughter Annabelle.
Olive inadvertently releases Annabelle from her painting, and now Annabelle is intent on bringing Mr. McMartin back to life so he can reclaim his mansion at the expense of Olive and her family. Beautifully detailed illustrations are interspersed throughout the story, adding to the highly descriptive narrative. Reviewed by Kelly Fann. Penguin Young Readers Group, Benjamin Franklinstein Lives by Matthew McElligott and Larry Taxbury intertwines history and science to create a very light-hearted tale about Benjamin Franklin reappearing in the 21st century and his subsequent friendship with his neighbor, Victor Godwin.
Ben believes his Custodian has woken him to do the work of the Modern Order of the Prometheus, but there is no Custodian in sight, only Victor, a young scientist in the making. Lively dialogue, humorous situations, and fantastic illustrations create an entertaining read in Benjamin Franklinstein Lives. A Vampire is Coming to Dinner! Each page gives one of the rules and the page then folds out to show a devious little boy in process of breaking the rules, to the dismay of the visiting vampire.
All is well at the end as both child and vampire appear in a surprise popup, having a good old time! The art is clever and the mischievous little boy tormenting the vampire by breaking every rule is sure to get giggles out of children as they appreciate the sight gags. Contains: Rampant rule breaking! Ghost Dog Secrets by Peg Kehret. At the encouragement of a ghost dog, he starts to bring food and water to the German shepherd, and soon realizes that the dog is being abused.
Peg Kehret does a great job of capturing the emotions of a dog lover. The ghost dog subplot was an afterthought at best. Kehret does a good job of navigating the moral gray area that is sometimes associated with rescuing neglected pets. The discussion of animal abuse and rescue was a little heavy-handed at times, but it does have a lot of good tips for animal lovers. I do recommend this book for children that love dogs, but not so much for children looking for something spooky.
Review by Cherylynne W. Available: New and Used. Brief, simple text accompanies color photographs of children in the garden planting and taking care of the pumpkins as they grow. The candid photos will draw young readers into the story, and there are some good opportunities to talk about gardening, plants, and the life cycle- Pumpkin Circle is about much more than Halloween.
Young readers may just love the pictures, though, especially in the last few pages, which show creatively carved jack-o-lanterns glowing in the darkness-a wonderful finish for the life of a pumpkin, as the cycle starts over again. This is a perfect preschool read aloud that can also be enjoyed independently by children in the early elementary grades. Candlewick, ISBN The other letters appear throughout the book representing different creatures and items of Halloween.
Kontis includes some alphabet book in-jokes, as when the letter J apologizes to the jack-o-lantern for picking another word, saying "J can't always be for jack-o-lantern". Q, always a hard letter to get creative with, successfully breaks the mold, and S and X come up with an imaginative pairing.
Unfortunately for the letter B, booted from his early place in the alphabet, other letters keep stealing his costume ideas. The letter P is a pirate, with the same costume as B's buccaneer; Y's yeti is identical to B's Bigfoot. Readers will cheer and jump when B finally gets the last word! AlphaOops goes a step beyond the typical letter representing a word in that the letters themselves have been given some personality.
It is a wonderful read for kids who have become acquainted with the alphabet and is engaging enough that parents will enjoy sharing it with their kids. Once Halloween has passed, children and adults who love this book will want to check out the first book in the series, AlphaOops: The Day Z Went First.
A few months ago, he could only look at the pictures, but now he can read a lot of the words, and he will look at, talk about, and try to convince me to read the recipes and make them… right away! The introduction is dramatic and hooked him immediately, and the pictures are gorgeous. Other recipes that did allow the kids to participate a little more were still trickier that we thought they would be- when we tried making "Funny Bones" we discovered that it's a lot more difficult to dip pretzels with marshmallows in melted chocolate than it sounds. We had fun, but our final product looked nothing like the picture!
Still, there are a lot of suggestions on how to create a creepy-but-not-too-creepy spread for a Halloween party, and the author's "mom-sense" attitude meant that I felt a lot more comfortable trying the recipes. Ghoulish Goodies contains creative and easy to read recipes, attractive pictures although we would have liked to see more , and some simple ideas that could really impress guests at a Halloween party.
It's a lot of fun to look at and to read. Unlike a lot of Halloween "idea" books, the recipes really are something you can see kids enjoying. But for the recipe-impaired, don't be deceived into thinking that the author's recipes are quite as "easy" as they look. If your kids like to cook, and like Halloween, they'll get very excited about Ghoulish Goodies.
My son was thrilled to see us review it here. Just make sure to supervise closely, both for safety's sake and to intervene if the level of frustration gets too high. Recommended for families and for cookbook collections in either the children's department or general nonfiction collection in the public library.
Librarians, make sure you seek it out for your Halloween displays. Not only are these titles in high demand for older children and teens, but they are an incredible storytelling resource. Finally, there are some truly creepy and scary tales about ghosts, witches, shapeshifters, and the supernatural.
More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark has longer stories. Many of them have sudden endings. Scary Stories 3 continues with more detailed and sometimes complicated stories. The volume wraps up with a couple of mildly funny stories. All three books have detailed notes and bibliographies provided by the author. With just a few strokes and some shading, Gammell ups the scare level considerably. Tormented, skeletal faces, ragged clothes, distorted and indistinct figures, glowing eyes and teeth, empty chairs, empty baskets, empty clothes The Scary Stories Treasury i s highly recommended to libraries and readers who do not already own copies of the Scary Stories books, and recommended as a reference volume for school and public libraries.
Appropriate, based on maturity of the reader, for grades 4 and up. Contains: Violence, gore, cannibalism, deception, the occult, witchcraft, murder.
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Review by Kirsten Kowalewski. Adam Gidwitz connects several of the stories from the Grimm Brothers and original content by following two children with very familiar names- Hansel and Gretel- on a winding, terrifying journey. While some of these stories will seem familiar, and there are predictable elements, there are still plenty of surprises along the way. Most of them are interesting and fun, and blend well into the original tale. Parents may want to read ahead.
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Gidwitz shows obvious enthusiasm for these stories as both a reader and as a storyteller and teacher who has thought about and seen for himself the impact these stories have on children. Grades It shows the magical equipment that will be needed before approaching a dragon, along with what is required once the dragon accepts the young girl or boy as an apprentice. Each type of dragon is carefully examined to let the young apprentice know what to look out for and what not to do. This guide is a well thought out book about dragons that is presented almost like an enlistment guide for a dragon academy, told from they Dungeons and Dragons mythology standpoint.
I could easily see this book being handed out to prospective Dragon Riders a generation or two before the story of Eragon was written. It reads like a factual textbook, though far more interesting. Twelve questions are asked and the results are presented on the next page where the child can see which dragon best fits him or her.
Finally, each page is loaded with artwork that is sure to interest anyone who loves to look at dragons. This book covers almost everything a young monster-hunting wizard might need to know before going out on a weekend of adventure. It tells what supplies the young wizard will need and gives detailed instructions on how to make things like staffs, wands, potions, clothing and backpacks.
Helpful camping tips are also provided for when the young wizard finds himself in the outdoors or in a dungeon. Not only are tips provided, but also detailed instructions are given as to how to create a lamp, put together a campsite, finding food, avoiding traps and navigating. Rotruck has done an excellent job of putting together one of the most entertaining instructional books I have yet seen.
Not only are the activities illustrated, but the book is packed with original illustrations and images pulled from the later editions of the Dungeons and Dragons rule books. Availability: New and Used In. Can Derek and Ravine help Abigail before something truly awful happens to her? Or to them? Those who read and loved the first book will definitely like this one, too. Special note for series readers: I recommend reading this series in order.
Review by Stacey L. Jitterbug Jam practically begs to be read aloud. It succeeds on its own merits- the illustrations, and even the physical book, take a backseat to the narrative. The illustrations and design of the book are absolutely worth exploring, though. Using a variety of styles, Alexis Deacon creates a vision of a monster world that will suck the reader right in. Background colors are muted grays, yellows, browns, and greens.
The monsters would blend in, too, without the heavy lines that separate them from their surroundings, and their clothes, which pop out with color. The placement of the words and illustrations on each page accentuate the narrative. For example, the illustration on the first page is a small picture of our narrator, Bobo, surrounded by empty space.
Speech balloons provide an informal approach to dialogue that will be familiar to those comfortable with a graphic format as well. Jitterbug Jam is the story of a little monster hiding from the boy under his bed. Evin is a mischievous young man living in a small village who dreams of excitement and adventure. He and his friend Jorick soon find more adventure than they bargained for when gnolls ransack their village and kidnap everyone.
Nothing is what it seems, as friends become strangers, and enemies become allies. Monster Slayers is a book for young readers. There is a purpose in the shallowness though, one that should catch the reader by surprise as the plot twists and morphs into surprisingly good story. The author does a fine job of creating creatures that the young reader will easily be able to visualize. Older readers who are fond of their Dungeons and Dragons days will remember those times as they see the rogue in Evin, the fighter in Jorick and the magic-user in Bet.
Read it! They have had a lot of fun looking at the pictures, hearing the story, and chanting the words, though. The customer appears to float, rather than walk, and then he inserts a straw into one of the books and begins to suck on it! Once he notices the boy, the customer makes an abrupt exit, and when the boy discovers that the words have been sucked right off the pages, he quickly gives chase. Venturing into the cemetery, the boy realizes he has encountered a vampire! Luckily, the vampire, named Draculink, has developed an allergy to blood, and the only food he can digest is ink, sucked from the pages of a book.
Of course, Draculink's inability to drink blood doesn't stop his urge to bite, and he turns the boy into an ink drinker as well, inspiring an ironic, insatiable desire for books. This darkly funny early chapter book will be a favorite of any teacher, librarian, or parent who has ever tried to reach a child who dislikes reading, and the fast moving plot, believable voice, humor, and mild scariness will appeal to many reluctant readers. It's a perfect short read-aloud for a younger child who has developed an attention span for longer stories than those found in picture books, and the first book that, between the action-packed story and evocative illustrations, actually created a physical reaction in my son- he ran around with his tongue sticking out, demanding a straw, for at least an hour, and begged to hear the story again.
If you can find a copy, The Ink Drinker is a must have for any library collection and nearly any reader. Highly recommended for all libraries. The Fox River flows for miles through Wisconsin and Illinois, and when Donna Latham announced that she was writing and collecting ghost stories from the surrounding towns, area residents reached out to share their tales. Others, like "Another Cup for Willa", about a woman who is visited by the ghostly presence of a dead friend on her birthday, are personal recollections.
Often the two seem to overlap. The first story, "The Train Track Ghosts" is one of these. The storyteller's voice is so vivid that you can almost see him sitting on the author's porch, but underneath the trappings of the tale he tells is a recognizable urban legend. The quality of the stories vary. Others feel awkward- although the plotting is good, the author frequently uses complex vocabulary, and her attempts at dialogue and writing in dialect often seem forced.
Latham also chose to illustrate her book with a strange and cluttered collection of clip art, which is distracting and interrupts the flow of her stories. However, she does a good job of fitting in local history and background without overwhelming the narrative, a difficult thing to do, and does a nice job at establishing the setting for her stories, so she accomplishes what she set out to do rather well. While Ghosts of the Fox River Valley is an interesting read, there isn't enough new material here to recommend it for all libraries. However, public and school libraries and local history buffs in the area Latham describes in her book ought to take a look.
In particular, school libraries and upper elementary or middle school teachers may want to consider it in connection with teaching to social studies standards that focus on local history and language arts standards focused on speaking, listening, and writing, as Ghosts of the Fox River Valley is a good resource for beginning an oral history project.
Beyond possible uses in the classroom, the same kids who love Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories books will love having ghost stories set in their area available to them. Recommended to public and school libraries and local history collections in the area of the Fox River Valley. The Nose by Nikolai Gogol , ill. It's not just any nose, either, it is the nose of one of his customers, a self-important bureaucrat named Kovaliov. Terrified to leave the nose where it can be connected to him, Yankelovich sets off to hide it, but his furtive behavior attracts official attention.
In the meantime, Kovaliov wakes up to discover he has no nose. Covering his face with a handkerchief, he starts down the street, where he spots his nose, dressed as a fine gentleman and high official. Kovaliov hesitates to approach a social superior, even a former appendage, but he wants his nose back and confronts the nose, who denies any connection with him. Eventually a police officer returns the nose confiscated from Yankelovich, but it won't stick to Kovaliov's face!
Kovaliov is unable to show his face in public without ridicule, shutting down his social ambitions, as the nose-posing-as-officer has become a sensation. Then one day Kovaliov wakes up to find the nose back on his face, firmly attached. Anyone looking for logic or narrative structure in The Nose will be disappointed. The pieces don't fit together neatly It is nightmarish in some ways- finding a nose in his breakfast must have been pretty stomach-churning for Yankelovich, and when he abruptly disappears from the story the imagination finds ominous ways to fill in the blanks.
Gogol is an important figure in Russian literature, with a talent for the surreal who wrote in a different time and a different context, and he wasn't writing for children. The setting, names, and characters may seem alien to many children, the vocabulary is advanced, and the social satire will probably fly over kids' heads. But when it comes down to it, this is one giant, horrifying, absurd joke about a nose, and kids definitely get that.
Reading it out loud, it is almost impossible not to at least giggle. Gennadij Spirin's illustrations will make certain that kids get the joke. Many pages are framed with incredibly detailed drawings of St. Petersburg, Russia, the setting of the story, and observant readers will spot the bizarre giant nose in its plumed hat traveling the streets in its elaborate horse-drawn carriage. Everything in the full page illustrations seems slightly exaggerated, so the most absurd elements aren't jarring, and readers won't even realize how far they are suspending disbelief until they are well into the story.
Spirin's representations of the nose are amazing. Some of them seem very cartoony, but in full uniform, the nose does appear to be its own person, so to speak. And, in fact, this book has been used to teach upper elementary students about personification and figurative language. Although it's a picture book, very young children won't be ready for it, but elementary and middle students may enjoy it, especially with some guidance. It's also a good choice for older students looking for a nonthreatening introduction to Russian literature, and readers of any age who like a touch of the bizarre.
Jeff Szpriglas has created a guide to fear. Phobias, superstitions, killer animals, monsters, cryptids, scary movies and more- Szpirglas examines them all in Fear This Book. The book is much more than a list of fears, though. The author also explains the physiological and psychological reactions to fright, and details experiments and therapies that have been used to understand fear. Silver Dragon Codex by R. Mirrorstone, Jace, the young high wire acrobat must help Belen, a beautiful dancer, acquit herself of the charges being brought by a white robed mage from Palanthas.
Surely the beautiful young girl cannot actually be a silver dragon in disguise Jace, Belen, and a few others from the circus head off to determine the truth behind the story. Along the way they are confronted by werewolves and a chimera, and the truth turns out to be far more complicated than it first seemed.
I say this is the weakest entry so far because the other stories in the series are well thought out and all of the varying story lines are wrapped up neatly by the end of each book. I find this to be important in a YA novel. The Silver Dragon Codex leaves many things unexplained, and also suffers from problems with continuity and weak writing. I also found this book to be a bit darker than the others, and for some reason it came across a bit dull.
Perhaps it is because the characters are less likable than the ones in previous novels, or perhaps the problem is the overly complicated plot. Although this is an okay book, and readers following the series may want to try it, it is nowhere near as good as previous books in the series. Contains: Fantasy Violence without gore. R eview by KDP. The Gates by John Connolly.
Poor little Samuel is not having a good time. His parents have recently split up, he's very smart but tends to annoy or creep out most adults, and he perplexes most of the kids his age. He decides to go trick-or-treating 3 days early in order to show initiative and he and his little four legged pal Bosworth stumble across the beginning of the end - a bored uppity couple and their equally bored friends. When boredom overtakes the Abernathys they decide to give the dark arts a try - mix in a few scientists who are trying to create an artificial black hole a few countries away and you have the opening to the gates of hell.
It may sound a bit far-fetched or over the top, but readers will find themselves engrossed by sweet little Samuel and his wonderful dog. Not to mention the demons who are having a harder time at this taking over the world thing then they expected - I mean no one ever tells demons to look both ways before crossing the street. I laughed, I smiled, I enjoyed this book from beginning to end.
But at the same time I really felt that this was a novel for adults, thinking back on their pre-teen years. With a splendid use of the English language and a dry but light sense of humor, the author has written a fun book that many will enjoy. Review by KDP. The Composer is Dead is a pretty sophisticated picture book. The humor, vocabulary, and need for context are not simple at all. My four year old, who is in the target audience for picture books, loves music, and always wants me to identify the individual instruments in orchestral music, was totally baffled by the story.
What are musical notes and what do they look like? What are the names of the percussion instruments? What does a conductor actually do? What are all those names at the end of the book? The illustrations were often confusing. Which silhouetted instrument in the illustration is an oboe and which is a clarinet? Who are all the dancing people and why are they dancing? What makes The Composer Is Dead really interesting is the audio CD that accompanies it, which actually plays music by the individual instruments as the Inspector interrogates them.
This was fascinating and really brought the story to life. Recommended for elementary and middle school libraries. Aladdin, ISBN: What beasts, you ask? Why, your standard run-of-the-mill trolls, goblins, gryphons, and fish-headed giraffes. Ulf also happens to be a werewolf. His friends include the human vet, a fairy, and a giant.
They work together to keep bad guys from hunting and hurting various mythical monsters. In this book, the bad guys have rounded up some young trolls and are planning on hunting them for sport, so Ulf and the rest of the RSPCB head off to figure out what is going on. Think of the violence along the lines of reading Wile E.
Coyote attempting to catch the Roadrunner- it sounds far worse then it actually is. Most of it is actually rather silly and will garner giggles from the young ones. The book is written in a large typeface that will be appealing to many of the younger crowd, and there are occasional drawings that are quite good. The book is a fast read, and there is a lot of action jammed into a short number of pages, so as an adult, expect for it to whiz right by.
As far as characterization, there really isn't much. Ulf is a boy who wants to be included and to help, his curiosity and sense of adventure gets him involved in something he was told to stay home from, and in the end he saves the day. The morals of the tale include not judging others, not harming animals, and that everything has a right to live.
In the end this is a quick read that kids a bit young for the Harry Potter will enjoy. Many adults have a vision of childhood as a time of innocence, but children have a dark side. Children push boundaries to provoke reactions- to find out where the line really is, and who cares enough to keep them safe. Where the Wild Things Are is the story of Max, a little boy with a big imagination who is sent to his room for making mischief, and finds himself in a strange world where he easily overcomes the terrible Wild Things and becomes their king, the wildest of them all.
The words are almost unnecessary- it all takes place in the imagination. The story resonates with many children but it is a journey to a dark and sometimes frightening place, and very sensitive kids may not be ready for it.
You never know, though… my own four year old, who is afraid of goblins and sleeps with his lights on, listened quietly and examined the illustrations carefully. Highly recommended for children of all ages, and an excellent choice for reading aloud. By Phillipe Goosens Clarion Books, Only Sarah can hear and see the ghost, but its mere presence gets in the way of her relationship with her parents. Seeing them in a cloud around Sarah, though, it hits home that even little lies add up to a lot of misery.
Available: Used. Anne Rockwell once again presents an accessible text aimed at preschoolers and kindergarteners. The same class that appeared in Show and Tel l Day , also a collaboration with her daughter Lizzy, is now preparing for the school Halloween parade. The illustrations are colorful, with a gentle humor, and complement the text well. The illustrations are a dead giveaway that readers should expect a tickle to the funny bone. There is a lot to see in the illustrations for those readers who really want to take the time to look.
But the illustrations are just part of what makes the story work. Halloween Night will probably be most appreciated by kids in grades Review b y Kirsten Kowalewski. Hassan, illustrated by Betsy Bowen. Dhegdeer is a monstrous cannibal woman endowed with incredible strength, speed, and hearing, whose evil ways have cursed the lush Hargrega Valley in Somalia, turning it into a desert wasteland. Oct 30, Gina rated it liked it. The visual style is fun, covering various classic monsters but not being too scary. There is also a good cadence to the text.
For the story, each scary figure is initially nervous about hearing something, and then finds that the noise is a new friend. Then, when the last character found is a human, this time they are all really scared and leave. That's fine and plays with expectations, but there was something comforting about the growing group. I think it would have been a better message if the b The visual style is fun, covering various classic monsters but not being too scary.
I think it would have been a better message if the boy could have been a friend too. Aug 09, Colleen rated it it was amazing Shelves: children-s-fiction. I don't normally write reviews for kids books, but maybe I should start! I really loved this book. Super quick, but the lilting jingle of the words really got me, and even my 4 month old was enthralled when I read it to my four year old.
Has some easy counting up to 5, but really it's just the phonetics that make it so fun. Happy Halloween in August! Oct 26, Amy rated it really liked it Shelves: storytime-faves , kids-books. A fun, simple counting book based on the author's childhood game with her sister. It's a cute read-aloud for a classroom or library setting for Halloween. Oct 06, Molly Cluff Library!
I could easily do this for a storytime. Very friendly pictures and not too many creatures are introduced. Perfect for October. Oct 14, Leslie rated it really liked it Shelves: halloween-scary , picturebooks. Super cute! Nov 14, Michelle rated it really liked it Shelves: picture-books Dec 10, Julia Breidt rated it liked it Shelves: t-l Perfect story for Halloween time, and it helps with counting for K students.
Oct 24, Lynn Plourde rated it it was amazing Shelves: board-book. Fun, rhyming, counting, lift-the-flap spooky book for the littlest creatures at your house--BOO! Apr 27, Jill rated it it was amazing Shelves: picture-books. Very cute. Nov 06, Angelina rated it liked it Shelves: picture-books , library , children. Spookiness and numbers. Fun around Halloween. Sep 16, Amy rated it it was amazing. Cute rhymes and rhythm with great illustrations to match.
Oct 24, Erin Kinney rated it it was amazing Shelves: kids-books. I think this will be the book I read to the trick or treaters.
Oct 17, Lindsay rated it it was ok Shelves: preschool-read. Very basic vocabulary and no real plot. Way too basic for my four-year-old. It just ends suddenly, making me wondered if I'd missed some pages or something. Sep 06, Joella www. This fun counting story starts off with one ghost in the house.
As the ghost moves around he hears all sorts of strange sounds from growls to shrieks. Although a bit nervous at the noise, the ghost and soon all the other monster companions are relieved when it turns out to be a mummy, skeleton, or whatnot. Until the end…when a boy turns out to be in the house as well. Then all the monsters run while the text is counting backward away from that spooky house until just the boy is left. This is This fun counting story starts off with one ghost in the house.
This is a fun story, and the illustrations are great. The ghost reminds me of the ghosts on pac-man. And the mummy almost looks like a ninja in the shadows until you see it really is a mummy. The monster looks more like a friend to cuddle with. Needless to say these are not scary monsters, and the fact that you bounce around their story in a fun little rhyme will make them even less scary if that is possible. And kids in my story time will just plain laugh over the fact that it is a little boy that scares all of the monsters away.
This is sure to be one of my Halloween story time classic books to pull out. Originally published in , the reissued book now includes lift-the-flap tabs on each page adding the the fun. The pages and tabs are made of thicker paper and are sturdy enough to withstand excited little hands. Each page adds another ghoulish creature creeping down the hall, in a double-page spread, until suddenly they hear a noise. Each page complementing the text nicely. A sweet addition to any Halloween collection, this adorable and simple ghost story is perfect for pre-K through 2nd grade. Apr 20, Jennifer Strong rated it liked it Shelves: children-s , There's a creepy haunted house and the little blue ghost is all alone, or so he thinks!
His solo haunt becomes a duo when he meets a mummy, and becomes a trio when they run into a monster. Their numbers rise when they bump into a skeleton and a witch. One last sound alerts them that there is yet another creature in the house with them Frightened, the scary creatures high tail it out of there leaving the boy to say, "Good night! The short text is w There's a creepy haunted house and the little blue ghost is all alone, or so he thinks! The short text is written in rhyme. I like that the creatures are the ones scared and feeling alone in the creepy house instead of the boy-a fun twist.
The pictures and story are very cute, but I wish there was a more defined main character. I thought the blue ghost on the cover would be the center of the story and I was excited because he reminds me of Bloo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Dec 04, Regina rated it liked it. Ghost in the House is a cute story about a ghost who stumbles upon other scary creatures in a house filled with scary sounds. Children will find a surprise not-so-scary creature with the turn of each page until they finally meet what turns out to be the scariest creature of all.
Adam Record's sweet expressive blue blob ghost will compel young children to follow him as he floats through this not-too-scary story. Oct 05, Christine Turner rated it really liked it Shelves: holiday , monsters , blog , halloween. Watch out for this rollicking, cumulative counting book for a Halloween treat that's more playful than scary. Turns out it's only a friendly mummy, who shuffles along with the ghost, until they encounter As the cautious explorers continue, they find a surprise at every turn, and add another adorably ghoulish friend to the count.
But you'll never guess who is the scariest creature in the house! Nov 06, L rated it really liked it Shelves: picture-books. A spooky fun counting book! Readers count the inhabitants of the haunted house as Ghost walks through it. Paquette's use of the Halloween "usual suspects" in an unfrightening story is great for young readers. The creature that finally scares Ghost and his friends will have readers laughing. The illustrations are well planned and offer readers a hint to which friend is next that creates a fun guessing game with the story.
Dec 28, Dolly rated it liked it Recommends it for: parents reading with their children. Shelves: monsters , , rhyming , math , childrens , humor. Humorous, rhyming story about monsters and ghosts in a haunted house. It's an entertaining counting tale that is fun to read aloud. The illustrations are colorful and cartoonish and the monsers aren't scary at all. Our girls loved the ending. We enjoyed reading this book together.
It's a great book to read at Halloween, even if it's not specifically about the holiday. Oct 30, Guin rated it really liked it Shelves: children-s-lit. I randomly picked this up from the Halloween table at the library bc we hadn't read any holiday books yet. It was a fun story that we all enjoyed. The illustrations are great, my favorite is the monster.