It’s been a while since of blogged, and Halloween feels like the perfect time to start back up. There are plenty of things to love about Halloween (candy, monsters, scary stories), but since I became a storytime librarian two years ago Halloween picture book ranks at the top. Just take a look at this list and you’ll see why. Stop back soon for a blog post on my favorite Halloweens for tweens and teens.
Crankenstein. Samantha Berger, illus. Dan Santat.
Crankenstein doesn’t like to get up in the morning, or go to school, or do a lot of other things. And all he has to say is, “Mehhhhh.” Until one day…he meets another Crankenstein? Dan Santat’s dramatic and colorful illustrations perfectly encapsulate the mindset of a cranky preschooler. The tie to Halloween is obvious, but this is also a book that will help children talk about feelings, make connections to their every day lives, and laugh out loud.
Skeleton Hiccups. Margery Cuyler, illus. S.D. Schindler.
Skeletons does the same things as everyone else–he even has the hiccups. How can he get rid of them? This is an active story that will engage young readers and a storytime crowd with its friendly illustrations and funny storyline. Schindler depicts Skeleton’s R.I.P headboard and everyday things with bright, contrasting color. Skeleton’s face never changes, and yet somehow manages to convey his emotion at not being able to get rid of his hiccups. Children will enjoy playing along with the story and guessing how Skeleton will get rid of his hiccups!
Pumpkin Eye. Denise Fleming.
Setting the mood for children about to experience Halloween, Denise Fleming sweetly describes all the objects that come along with the spooky holiday in simple rhyme. Fleming’s illustrations of colored cotton fiber and hand-cut stencils give a uniquely hazy, yet playful, impression of Halloween night. The book will help children talk about the different things they might see on Halloween night and make connections to their own Halloween plans.
Ghosts in the House! Kazuno Kohara.
In striking black, orange, and white illustrations, Kazuno Kohara tells a story of a little witch, whose house is haunted. Not to be daunted, however, the witch and her cat set about catching the ghosts and putting them to good use (as tableclothes and curtains). The contrast of the white ghosts on the dark pages give a textured, almost three-dimensional look. Though the storyline sets itself up to be spooky and dramatic, the witch’s sweetness and cleverness will delight young readers in unexpected ways!