Book Themed Thursday: Halloween

I thought I’d try to do a semi-regular “themed” kids book review.  Have I mentioned that we’re a book loving family?!!  We read a LOT of books.  Picture books, chapter books, non-fiction, poetry.  We like them all!  I especially like to incorporate books that relate to my kid’s school curriculum or holidays.  With the new Common Core curriculum being implemented, there’s a big push for kids to be reading non-fiction books.  So, I’m really trying to find and read books with the kids that fit into this genre.  There’s about a week left until Halloween so I thought it would be fitting that the first “Book Themed Thursday” focus on this holiday.  These were all books that we read over the past couple of years that I had posted and reviewed on my old blog “The Busy Mom Café” that I thought I’d share with you!  Hope you find one that you enjoy!

FYI:  Our Rating System:

2 thumbs up = Amazing!  We all LOVED this book!
1 1/2 thumbs up = Great book.  We really enjoyed it.
1 thumb up = Okay book.
thumbs down = Don’t bother reading it!  We did not like it!

Scary, Scary Halloween

Scary, Scary Halloween
Written by:  Even Bunting
Illustrated by:  Jan Brett
Published by: Clarion Books, 1986
40 pages

from goodreads.com:
Four pairs of eyes stare from the blackness to watch fearsome creatures trick-or-treat.

This is an oldie but goodie Halloween book.  Award-winning author Eve Bunting has written over 250 books and illustrator Jan Brett (a family favorite)  is also an award-winning author and illustrator of many books.  Written in rhyme, this book is told from the perspective of something with two green eyes, shining in the night.  It watches as children go trick-or-treating dressed up as goblins, witches, and ghosts.  Only at the end of the book is the identity of the narrator revealed.

* This book was borrowed from the library.

Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.

Cinderhazel: The Cinderella of Halloween

CinderHazel:  The Cinderella of Halloween
Written and illustrated by:  Deborah Nourse Lattimore
Published by: The Blue Sky Press, 1997

from goodreads.com:
Filled with wonderful details and funny mishaps, this spin on the classic Cinderella fairy tale is the perfect Halloween treat.

Cinderhazel is a blond witch who loves dirt more than anything. When her stepsisters and stepmother fly oiff to attend the annual Halloween witches’ ball, where the elusive Prince Alarming will make an appearance, they leave Cinderhazel behind. All her attempted spells turn to dust — until her witchy fairy godmother appears and sends Cinderhazel off to meet the equally messy prince. Could this be the beginning of filthily ever after?

The kids are already very familiar with the traditional Cinderella story.  In this book, Cinderhazel’s stepsisters are going to the Witches’ Halloween Ball in hopes of seeing Prince Alarming.  But with the help of her witchy godmother she makes it to the ball.  The story takes a detour from the traditional tale because when the clock strikes midnight Cinderhazel meets the Prince, and of course there’s a fairy tale ending.  I didn’t like that the title of the book is CinderHazel but the character’s name in the story is spelled Cinderhazel, with a lower case h.  This definitely wasn’t one of my favorite versions of the tale of Cinderella but the kids seemed to like it and it was fitting for Halloween.

* This book was borrowed from the library.

Family Rating: 1 thumb up.

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich
Written and illustrated by:  Adam Rex
Published by: Harcourt Inc., 2006

from goodreads.com:
Being a monster isn’t all frightening villagers and sucking blood. Monsters have their trials, too. Poor Frankenstein’s cupboard is bare, Wolfman is in need of some household help, and it’s best not to get started on Dracula’s hygiene issues. What could be scarier?
 
Nineteen hilarious poems delve into the secret lives of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Bigfoot, Godzilla, and others. In a range of styles that pay homage to everyone from Charles Schulz to John James Audubon, the monstrously talented Adam Rex uncovers horrific–and clever–truths you won’t want to miss.

This is not your typical Halloween book about trick or treating.  But it does involve all kinds of monsters, zombies, and mummies that are featured in poems.  Yes, this book is a book of poems about monsters and some of the poems also feature food.  The kids especially liked the Phantom of the Opera who keeps appearing and can’t get songs out of his head, which of course requires the reader to sing the words to that particular tune.  A lot of the humor is for older kids and adults but my kids still enjoyed listening to the poems and looking at the detailed and funny pictures.

*This book was borrowed from the library.

Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.

The Halloween Queen Who Lost Her Scream

The Halloween Queen Who Lost Her Scream
Written by:  Donna Davies
Illustrated by: Rob Peters
Published by: All Hallows Eve Press, 2011

from goodreads.com:
Halloween author, Donna Davies has created an exciting Halloween mystery that will have your kids sitting on the edge of theirs seats. An action-packed tale of a Halloween Queen named Calliope who lost her scream right before Halloween. Meet an amazing cast of Halloween monsters from witches to zombies as they go on an adventure to help their Queen and save Halloween. Filled will stunning colorful Halloween illustrations by the very talented Rob Peters. This delightfully fun book is sure to become a family tradition.

* Calliope, the Halloween Queen kicks off the Halloween Bash every year with a scream.  But this year, someone has stolen her scream. Told in rhyme, we follow the black widow Mina as she searches for clues to who stole the Queen’s scream.  Then we go on an adventure as she helps to gather the special ingredients needed for Witchy Wanda’s special potion to get the Queen her scream back.  After reading this book I discovered that the author is a local Hudson Valley resident and owns/runs the publishing company.  Overall, this was a cute Halloween read.

* This book was borrowed from the library.

Family Rating: 1 thumb up.

The Hallo-wiener

The Hallo-Wiener
Written and illustrated by:  Dav Pilkey
Published by: The Blue Sky Press, 1995
32 pages

from goodreads.com:
Oscar is short, like all dachshunds and other dogs make fun of him. On Halloween he takes more ridicule than ever in his hot-dog costume, but one brave act makes him a hero. Color illustrations throughout. A “School Library Journal” Best of the Best of 1995.

* Dav Pilkey is the author/illustrator of the famous Captain Underpants series (which my son loves!).  In this story, Oscar, a dachshund is picked on by the other dogs.  For Halloween his mother gets him a hot-dog costume.  He doesn’t want to make her feel bad so he wears it, even though he gets made fun of.  He can’t walk fast in it and misses all of the treats.  The other dogs who have gotten all of the candy and who usually make fun of him have a change of heart after Oscar helps them out.  There is some hot dog humor in this book, that probably only older children and adults will get.  But overall the story is cute and the kids enjoyed it.

*This book was borrowed from the library.

Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.

The Haunted Ghoul Bus

The Haunted Ghoul Bus
Written by:  Lisa Trumbauer
Illustrated by:  Jannie Ho
Published by: Sterling Publishing Co. Inc., 2008

from goodreads.com:
Of course children know about the big yellow school bus…but have they ever heard about the haunted ghoul bus? It’s wilder and way cooler, with a Mutant Mummy driver and a menagerie of monster passengers. But one Halloween day someone else gets on board by mistake: a normal little boy. Soon he’s taking a ride with a furry werewolf, a skeleton whose rickety bones go clitter-clatter, a grinning pumpkin head, a swirl of bats, and a friendly witch named Dolores. Told in fun and appealing rhyme, and featuring holiday-bright illustrations of a cast of unforgettable characters, this playful picture book has sturdy cardstock pages and embossing throughout. It’s perfect for celebrating a (not too) scary Halloween. Kids will want the ghoul bus to come to their neighborhood, too!

* This Halloween book, told in rhyme, tells the story of a little boy who mistakenly gets on the ghoul bus.  He meets lots of different creatures on his ride.  The pictures are bright and colorful.  Overall, the story was just okay.

*This book was borrowed from the library.

Family Rating: 1 thumb up.

City Witch, Country Switch

City Witch, Country Switch
Written by: Wendy Wax
Illustrated by:  Scott Gibala-Broxholm
Published by: Marshall Cavendish Children, 2008
40 pages

from goodreads.com:
Mitzi is a city witch.  She likes pizza and plays, crowded subways and noisy streets. Muffletump is a country witch. She prefers hayrides and fresh air, pumpkin picking and her pet snake. When the cousins visit each other, their differences come between them. How can they solve their problem? With a spell, of course But finding the right one isn’t so easy. The rhyming text makes this a wonderful read-aloud, while the vibrant watercolor and colored-pencil artwork contains fantastically funny details for kids to pore over.

* This book isn’t a Halloween themed book but because of the witches I thought it was seasonally appropriate.  Prior to reading this book I was more familiar with author Wendy Wax’s novels for adults.  This book, told in rhyme, is a take on the classic tale The City Mouse and the Country Mouse.   Witch cousins Mitzi and Muffletump visit each other’s homes and discover that they each prefer their own homes better.  This is of course after they perform spells to create a more enjoyable visit. The illustrations are eye-catching and colorful helping to make this a fun read.

* This book was borrowed from the library.

Family Rating: 1 thumb up.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Book Themed Thursday: Halloween

  1. Pingback: Mommy Needs a Timeout Thursday Linky Party | Motherhood & Merlot

  2. Pingback: Sometimes babies are really gross + #MomTimeThurs No. 8 - Linkouture

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s