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Childrens Book Reviews

Spooky Books for Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate than with books? The last five books listed at the end are thrilling – with just the right amount of scare. The rest are picture books that the entire family will enjoy and beg to be read out loud!

Grimelda and the Spooktakular Pet Show, by Diana Murray, and brightly illustrated digitally by Heather Ross, is a delight to read out loud because the rhyming text is such fun. Young witch Grimelda has just flown on her broom by an advertisement attached to a tree announcing the “Spooktakular Pet Show” that is coming up. She believes her small gray cat, Wizzlewarts, can win the show. However, her room is so messy, she can’t locate her spell book to make Wizzlewarts especially spooky. Her friend has a fire breathing dragon with a tail “ten feet long”. Will she find that spell book in time?

Big Sister, Little Monster, by Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum, and wonderfully illustrated digitally by Edwin Fotheringham, has young Mia following her big sister, Lucy, everywhere and she most often makes a mess along the way. Most often the mess ends up in Lucy’s room. One day Lucy has had enough and she tells Mia that she’s a little monster and to “Go Away!” Lucy soon realizes her little sister has vanished. She’s gone to live with wild and very colorful monsters. The ending will bring smiles all around.

There’s a Monster in your Book, by Tom Fletcher, and nicely illustrated by Greg Abbott, is a clever story that will entice youngsters to maneuver the book attempting to have the little blue monster leave the book. By shaking, tipping and jiggling the book, the little monster seems to continue to hang on. Ultimately, you’ll be surprised as to what happens to this cute little monster. The numerous sizes of the font help the reader know how to read the book out loud!

I Want to Be in a Scary Story, by Sean Taylor, and illustrated with many of the pictures covering the entire open-book pages by Jean Jullien, has an ingenious dialogue going on throughout the entire book between the purple monster and the author. It’s easy to distinguish between the two due to different colors of font per speaker. This makes it great fun for two family members to participate in and read together. The book is also hilarious because each time the author sets up a scenario from the monster’s request, the monster becomes terrified of the setting. This book is great fun!

Boo Who?, by Ben Clanton, is the perfect bedtime story when it’s late and you just need a quick story. There’s a new ghost in town and the other characters welcome him into the fold which includes a dragon, robot, little monster and what looks like a unicorn bunny. The clever usage of this adorable ghost will bring giggles to the readers and listeners as he tries to play tag with the others and they go right through him. Clanton’s use of pencil, ink and watercolor was simple, yet perfectly placed on each page,

Mary McScary, by R. L. Stine, and illustrated with bold color by Marc Brown, showcases Mary who enjoys scarring her mom and dad, her dog, and even her goldfish. But there’s always one person Mary can’t seem to ever scare and that is her cousin, Harry McScary. You’ll chuckle when you find what Mary comes up with to really truly scare him!

Invasion of the Scorp-Lions!, by Bruce Hale, is a title bit creepy and a lot funny. There’s something so very wrong happening at Carlos and Benny’s school. The students are hearing weird sounds and strange smells coming through the vents. But these two best friends, along with the readers, are in for an unexpected yet thrilling adventure! (This Book comes out on Halloween.)

The Supernormal Sleuthing Service: The Lost Legacy, by Gwenda Bond and Christopher Rowe, and illustrated with pictures sprinkled throughout by Glenn Thomas, is a new series that is full of surprises and thrills. Stephan is very unhappy that his dad must uproot him and move to New York City where he’ll be the head chef of a fancy hotel. But Stephan has some big news waiting for him. This is a hotel for monsters (they like to be called supernormals) and he is part monster. When a magical heirloom goes missing, he takes on the mystery which makes this book a page turner from beginning to end.

The Song from Somewhere Else, by A. F. Harold, and illustrated with pictures sprinkled throughout by Levi Pinfold, is a story about friendship and helping one stand up against bullies when needed. But there’s much more to the story. Nick helps when Frank (a girl) is being bullied and Nick saves her from the three belligerent boys. He invites her to his house and that’s where she hears strange music. She’ll soon discover where it’s coming from when she finds a hidden door. This book will keep you engrossed from beginning to end.

A Guide to the Other Side: A Beyond Baylor Novel, by Robert Imfeld, is what looks like the beginning of a new series. Thirteen-year-old Baylor does not like seeing ghosts. Unfortunately, he seems to have this ability. His twin sister, Kristina, has it even stronger. But then she is a ghost. And then she suddenly goes missing. He realizes she has been ghostnapped so he must face this unknown threat and find his sister. This is a great read!

The Apprentice Witch, by James Nicol, deals with young Arianwyn and her lack of being able to certify as a witch. She has failed miserably so now she must go to a small village where she will just be an apprentice witch. However, there are some fantastic events waiting there for her and you will turn pages quickly to find out what happens.

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