Halloween Reading

Here are three books I highly recommend for your Halloween reading!

"On the first day of Halloween, / my good friend gave to me: / a vulture in a dead tree."

The 13 Days of Halloween, written by Carol Greene and illustrated by Tim Raglin (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2009), is a Halloween twist on the classic Christmas carol "The 12 Days of Christmas." Children will love singing "The 13 Days of Halloween." And they will be tickled by the funny illustrations. The song is about what one friend gives another for the 13 days of Halloween, but the illustrations show a man ghoul courting a lady ghoul. And they show the hilarity that would certainly ensue with such gifts as "eleven bats a-swooping" and "four giggling ghosts"! The ending of this picture book is engaging. It doesn't reveal the thirteenth gift, so kids can have fun guessing what it is and making up their own ending to the song!

I Need My Monster, written by Amanda Noll and illustrated by Howard McWilliam (Flashlight Press, 2009), is simply stunning. It's a truly unique story: a little boy named Ethan absolutely needs the monster under his bed.

"The whole point of having a monster, after all, / was to keep me in bed, imagining all the / scary stuff that could happen if I got out."

His monster, Gabe, is gone for the week to go fishing and substitute monsters try to fill in for him. However, none of them are as scary as Gabe, so Ethan just cannot fall asleep!

The illustrations in I Need My Monster are amazing. They were drawn with pencil on paper, then rendered with digital acrylic paint that jump off the glossy pages quite nicely. Ethan is adorable and has a very expressive face. Plus, the interesting shapes, monsters, and perspectives in the illustrations (as well as the story itself) balance humor with a little bit of scary stuff for children.

Below are a few of the illustrations from the book, as shared by Howard McWilliam on his official website:

The monster under author Amanda Noll's bed is Gertie. The monster under Howard McWilliam's bed is Brompton. There is no monster under my bed, which probably explains why I have trouble falling asleep at night. :o(

What's the name of the monster under your bed?

The last of my Halloween reading was Horrid Henry's Underpants and Horrid Henry and the Scary Sitter, both written by Francesca Simon and illustrated by Tony Ross (and both published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2009). I'd like to share a bit about Horrid Henry and the Scary Sitter because it contains a Halloween story.

Halloween is Henry's favorite holiday because it is a day devoted to gorging on candy and playing pranks on people. But this Halloween, Henry isn't allowed to go trick or treating as punishment for giving his younger brother Perfect Peter a scary haircut: one side of his head gets a big bald patch. LOL. But hey what was Henry supposed to do? He was dressed as a red and black devil and didn't want to be seen with Peter in his pink bunny costume!

How will Henry make sure that he still gets to fill his trick-or-treat bag? Read Horrid Henry and the Scary Sitter to find out!

[My copies of The 13 Days of Halloween, Horrid Henry's Underpants, and Horrid Henry and the Scary Sitter were provided by their publisher. My copy of I Need My Monster was provided by the author.]