Newtons Book News

Childrens Book Reviews

Halloween’s Coming

Halloween is a fun time for youngsters to dress up in costumes. It’s an added bonus to also receive free candy! Here are some great books for ages four and up to enjoy for this upcoming holiday.

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Happy Halloween Witch’s Cat!, by Harriet Muncaster, shows a little girl who pretends that her mom is a witch and that she is her little cat. When they go out to shop for the perfect costume, it’s a delight to see the many choices as they try to decide on one. The surprise waiting at the end will surely bring smiles. The three dimensional scenes made with foil, paper, fabric and other materials make for unique and colorful illustrations.

 

Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins, by James Dean, is a cheery adaption of this familiar poem. In fact, this poem begs to be sung with a simple melody. Mr. Dean has once again painted with his brilliant and bright trademark: filling each page with vibrant color. And, of course, Pete the Cat is one cool dude.

 

Scaredy-Cat, Splat, by Rob Scotton, finds Splat in a dilemma. It’s Halloween and he is determined to be the scariest cat in class. However, his costume ends up looking more silly than scary. He has made himself into a sock spider. But when something lands on his head, his class is in for a giant funny scare. As with Scotton’s other “Splat” books, these illustrations are full of color and Splat continues to showcase his extreme expressions.

 

Otter Loves Halloween, by Sam Garton, is a sweet story as Otter attempts to help his friends decide on their costumes. He picks pumpkins and decorates his house with Halloween paper decorations. It’s obvious that he loves Halloween. The text is simple and the white background surrounds the colorful pictures helping make them pop out.

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Fright Club, by Ethan Long, engages a group of monsters who come together every Halloween. Their list of goals includes making scary faces and chilling sounds as they attempt to amp up their scariest abilities. When a bunny and other small critters show up in an attempt to join the group they are immediately rejected. But opinions change when the monsters soon discover that size doesn’t matter. The pencil etchings and black background contribute to the humorous by-lines.

 

Ghost in the House, by Ammi-Joan Paquette, and illustrated by Adam Record, is a tongue-in-cheek book that seems to relieve tension and add humor. This lift-the-flap story has the reader looking behind the flap to see who is making the spooky sound. The rhyming text is somewhat accumulative as more monsters add on to the scene upon turning the page. That is what makes this also a counting book. The fun, and funny-looking, creatures are sure to bring a smile to all.

 

Jampires, by David O’Connell, and beautifully and creatively painted by Sarah McIntyre, finds young Sam discovering that his jam-filled donuts are dry inside. Who would do such a thing? He lays a trap and a finds two infant sibling jampires sucking out the inside of his donuts. When they befriend Sam, they take him to their sweet-treat land where he finds himself surrounded with desserts. The art is beautifully enhanced with color galore. You may want to read this with a donut in hand.

 

Mouse’s First Night at Moonlight School, by Simon Puttock, and painted by Ali Pye, helps teach how to help shy children with behavior and acceptance. Mouse is about to start her first night at Moonlight School. Miss Moon, who is a witch, welcomes her new students: Bat, Owl and Cat but they can’t locate Mouse. She is shy so she is hiding. But they all welcome her and help her feel at home. This simple story is elevated by the delightful illustrations and the kindness of the characters.

 

Orion and the Dark, by Emma Yarlett, has young Orion frightened of the dark until one night he meets Dark face to face. Dark takes him on an adventure through the dark sky to worlds beyond imagination. By story’s end, Dark is his friend and stays near at night. This gorgeously illustrated book is filled with a palate of greens and blues. There are even two pages with flaps illustrating Dark’s nice nature.

 

Believe it or Not, My Brother has a Monster!, by Kenn Nesbitt, and colorfully illustrated by David Slonim, is an entertaining cumulative rhyming tale about the day a boy’s big brother brings home on Halloween a large hairy beast. Each page finds a new critter, some small and some large, entering the home. The youngster is concerned about how the parents are going to feel about these new pets. There’s a surprise waiting for both the parents and the reader at the end. The pictures are both fun and funny as the creatures and brothers take on a comical appearance.

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Scarecrow Magic, by Ed Masessa, and creatively painted by Matt Myers, is a celebration in an eerie but not spooky way. Scarecrow leaves his post when day has gone and the moon shines down. He even takes off his skin revealing his boney skeleton body as he rollicks through darkened woods and fields of hay. He picks up friendly beasts and all kinds of creatures of the night as they begin a night of fun. The rhyming text begs to be read out loud. But it’s the pictures of ghoulish creatures of the night that makes this story unique and delightful. Be sure to check out the clever front and back covers.

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