The Night Before Halloween - by Natash Wing - Little monsters and goofy goblins take center stage in this silly, spooky spin on Clement C. Moore's beloved poem. But what will happen on Halloween when the monsters come face to face with human trick-or-treaters in this fun-filled book by the author of The Night Before Easter..
Room on the Broom - by Julia Donaldson - In this lightweight, witty story, helpful animals find "room on the broom" of a generous witch. At first, a striped cat accompanies the cheerful sorceress: "How the cat purred/ and how the witch grinned,/ As they sat on their broomstick/ and flew through the wind." Next, a spotted dog retrieves the witch's flyaway black hat and asks to come aboard. The three riders soon welcome a green parrot (who finds the witch's lost hair ribbon) and a frog (who rescues her wand from the bottom of a pond). When threatened by a dragon, the loyal animals form a "Brementown Musicians" chimera whose "terrible voice,/ when it started to speak,/ was a yowl and a growl/ and a croak and a shriek." The witch repays them by conjuring a cushier vehicle. Donaldson and Scheffler, previously paired for The Gruffalo, emphasize the airborne animals' contentment and evoke sympathy for the broom's driver. In Scheffler's comical panels and insets, the witch has a warty nose and lace-up boots, but wears a pleasant smile;
Big Pumpkin - holiday by baking a pumpkin pie. But the pumpkin she's planted is stuck on the vine. A gallery of graveyard ghouls comes to her aid--first a translucent white ghost, then a smartly dressed vampire, a tightly bound mummy and, finally, a bat with a bright idea. Their breezy conversations create a pleasantly sinister mood that stops just short of being scary. Accordingly, in Schindler's hands the cast looks not so much spooky as spirited. The eye-catching full-spread illustrations, in rich hues of orange and blue, capture the midnight magic, while dropped-out type adds an extra dash of mystery. A fine combination of fright and fun. Ages 4-8.
In the Haunted House - Invitingly scary, this Halloween romp follows the sneaker-clad footsteps of two children as they make their way through a haunted house. Showing only their feet entering or leaving the rooms heightens the atmosphere of suspense. The horrors of each room are briefly but chillingly described, while the scratchy pencil and watercolor illustrations invite close scrutiny. Carefully placed clues belie the house's sinister atmosphere, but not all of the creatures can be explained away, giving the story a pleasing ambiguity. The younger child appears less frightened than the older, who pleads: "I know you're not frightened, but still . . . we could go. No one would notice. 'No,' you say? 'No'?" Children will enjoy the upbeat ending, as little sister drags her reluctant brother back for another house tour. A spooky bit of fun for Halloween storytimes.
Scary, Scary Halloween - Two green eyes shine in the night sky and someone whispers, "I peer outside, there's something there/ that makes me shiver, spikes my hair./ It must be Halloween." As the unnamed narrator looks on, a skeleton, a ghost, a vampire, a werewolf, witches, goblins, gremlins, a devil and a mummy pass by. The monsters are in fact children dressed up in Halloween costumes, but Brett's pictures are deliciously scary. They strike a perfect balance between the children's costumes and their imaginary personae, drawing readers into a make-believe world. When the children go indoors, the narrator and his friendsa gang of adventurous pussycatsstalk the streets to prowl till dawn. Luminescent colors glow eerily in the darkened neighborhood; this holiday poem possesses all the atmosphere of the spookiest Halloween.