Here are some books I like to read this time of year. They aren’t super creepy.
FLETCHER AND THE FALLING LEAVES
by Julia Rawlinson, illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
This is not a Halloween book. It’s a book about autumn. I have it on my list because Halloween wouldn’t be the same if it happened in the winter, spring, or summer. Fletcher is a fox. He notices a tree’s leaves start to change color. He thinks something is wrong with the tree. When the leaves fall off the tree, Fletcher tries to put them back on. The autumn wind blows them off again. At the end, a wonderful thing happens that lets Fletcher know the tree is okay. You’ll have to read this book to find out what happens. I know you’ll like Fletcher because he cares about the tree and never stops trying to save it, even though it doesn’t need saving. Fletcher would be a good friend. The drawings show all the colors of autumn. When I look at the drawings, I can feel gusts of autumn wind and smell autumn leaves.
by Anne Mortimer
Katherine Tegan-HarperCollins, 2011
When it’s time for Halloween everybody carves faces into pumpkins. I like this book because it shows where pumpkins come from. In the story, Cat asks Mouse to tell him about pumpkins. Together they plant pumpkin seeds. Mouse shows Cat how to take care of the seeds so they’ll grow into a plant. The plant grows the pumpkin. Mouse and Cat make a scarecrow to scare away the crows that want to eat the pumpkin growing on the plant. When the pumpkin is ready, Mouse carves a cat face into the pumpkin for Cat. PUMPKIN CAT is a simple story, but a good one. And the drawings are nice. Mouse’s and Cat’s fur coats look real. I wanted to touch them on every page.
by Helen Cooper
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999
The characters in this book don’t want to carve pumpkins. Cat, Squirrel, and Duck want to eat pumpkin soup. Cat always cuts the pumpkin, Squirrel always stirs, and Duck always adds the salt. There’s a big fight when Duck decides he wants to be the stirrer. Duck runs away. When he doesn’t come home, his friends go out to find him even though the woods are scary. They don’t find him, but when they get home he is there. They decide to let Duck stir the pumpkin soup. It’s okay that he makes a mess. They’re just happy to be together again. This book is full of autumn-y pictures with orange pumpkins and brown leaves. It makes you want to cozy up inside on a cold fall day with a bowl of pumpkin soup. And also with your friends.
THE PATTERSON PUPPIES AND
THE MIDNIGHT MONSTER PARTY
by Leslie Patricelli
Petra, Andy, Penelope, and Zack are puppies. Petra can’t get to sleep because she’s scared of a monster. She thinks the monster wants to eat her and the other puppies. They make cookies for the monster to eat instead. They set out the cookies at bedtime, then watch to see if the monster will eat them. She doesn’t, so the puppies eat the cookies themselves. And then the monster comes. The monster is fun, not scary. They all have a cookie party together. My favorite pictures are the ones of the puppies in their bunk beds. If you look closely at the pictures you might see that the monster isn’t really a monster at all.
LOS GATOS BLACK ON HALLOWEEN
by Marisa Montes, illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Henry Holt, 2006
This book is about another kind of party—a Halloween party. Las brujas is Spanish for “the witches.” Las brujas go to the party. So do los esqueletos, los fantasmas, and los muertos: the skeletons, the ghosts, and the corpses. The story is told in rhyme with some Spanish words mixed in. Even if you don’t speak Spanish you can tell what the Spanish words mean. The los monstruos—the monsters—travel on Halloween to the haunted house where they’ll have their party. The pictures are soft and dreamy. During the party some other Halloween visitors come to the house. These visitors scare los monstruos. Who are the visitors? No voy a decir.
Adiós. ¡Feliz lectura!