Halloween Books We Love

halloween-books

I can’t say it tops Christmas, but almost in our house.  Our family has always loved (ok had an obsession) with Halloween.  It starts in early September when we bring out the Halloween books, mid-September trips to the pumpkin patch, and then of course our decorations are always up before October.  I love to bring out holiday books because they have a sort of unique novelty to them.  The kids love to look through them, and say “oh I remember this one!”.  It seems to also refuel their interest in reading, and most importantly, it’s FUN.  I hope you will check out and enjoy some of our family favorites that our 8, 6, and 2 year old love!  What are some of your Halloween Favorites?

The 13 Nights of Halloween by Guy Vasilovich

Max’s Halloween by Rosemary Wells

Skeleton for Dinner by Margery Cuyler

Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O’Connell

Pete the Cat Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean

Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex

Witches Four by Marc Brown

Pop-Up Surprise Haunted House by Roger Priddy and Sarah Powell

Monster Needs A Costume by Paul Czajak

Book Review: Harold and the Purple Crayon

I really dig this book.

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson was originally published in 1955, and remains a classic today.

A true depiction of a child’s imagination, Harold and the Purple Crayon is the story of a little boy and the whimsicle adventure he creates with only a purple crayon in hand.  From forests and dragons to hot air balloons and pies, Harold creatively (and cautiously) navigates through it all with his purple crayon – eventually finding his way home and snuggling into bed.

What I love most about this book is it brought out the sweet, kind-hearted side of my little boy Johnny.  The first time I read this to him he didn’t say a word the entire time.  Intrigued by the illustrations (understated and simplistic in nature), Johnny anxiously awaited the turn of each page to see what Harold would create next.  At the end of the book, he said “I really like this book, can we read it again?”.  The way he looked at me when he said this just melted my heart!  Oh, the effect little boys can have on their mothers.

Alphabet Books: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

One of our facebook fans recently recommended Chicka Chicka Boom Boom as one of their favorite children’s books. I agree- and now this bright and cheery board book resides on my children’s bookshelf.  

A told B and B told C, “I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree.”

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, is a fun read and a great way to introduce the alphabet to your kids.  This book is perfect for both babies as well as toddlers.  My kids enjoy shouting “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” – and they think it’s pretty funny when all of the letters race up and then come tumbling out of the coconut tree.

There are many fun Chicka Chicka Boom Boom activities you can do with your children!  Check these out:

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Cookie Board Magnet Tree from Playing House
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree Snack Activity from Kiboomu Kids Recipes
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Name Art Project from Mrs. Ricca’s Kindergarten

Even the Obama’s love this book! Here is a picture of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom on Easter to a group of children.  To hear the whole book, plus Sasha and Melia reading another one of their favorites, Where the Wild Things Are, watch this video.




Book Review: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

I can’t believe it took me so long to discover Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, written and illustrated by Mo Willems.  This brilliantly written book is one of the funniest I have read in a long time.  There might be a chance I enjoy it more than my kids, but that can be our little secret!

A Caldecott Honor Winner in 2003, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, is an interactive book perfect for reading to two or more children at a time.  Why?  When the bus driver has to leave his post, he puts young readers in charge of watching the bus.  In comes a sneaky pigeon who begs and pleads to drive the bus.  The key to this book is to pause and allow your kids to respond (okay yell) at the pigeon.  My little boy and girl love being in charge and being able to tell the pigeon “NO!”…followed by giggles and smiles.

Really it’s that simple – and so are the illustrations…but that’s what I enjoy most about it.  So much I plan on checking out his other popular books including Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! and The Ducking Gets a Cookie!?.

Book Review: How I Became A Pirate

This Christmas when grandparents asked for gift suggestions – I decided to add several books to the list.  It’s winter, we are inside ALL the time, and needed to spice up our bookshelves.  How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long is one of our new additions, and simply a gem!
Illustrated by David Shannon, the cover immediately intrigued my four year old son.  This book just screams “boy”.  Each page is full of bright, vibrant and action-packed images that keep him engaged and asking questions.  This really is an important factor when I choose books for my toddlers, who typically have a shorter attention span!
How I Became a Pirate follows Jeremy Jacob and his glimpse into the life of a pirate. A day at the beach turns into a wild ride with Captain Braid Beard and his pirate crew.  He learns a new pirate lingo including fun words like “scurvy dog”, and learns that pirates don’t eat veggies or have good manners.  All seems fun until it’s time for bed and “pirates don’t tuck” or read bedtime stories…and he really needs to get back for soccer practice.
What do I love most about this book?  It’s a fun read that will fascinate your child and prove that parents aren’t so bad after all!

Book Review: I Wish That I Had Duck Feet

I’m WAY overdue for a book review.  It has been a hectic week and a half…between work, a vacation, and the holiday I apologize I have been a little MIA lately 🙂

Like many, I love Dr. Suess books.  One thing I do struggle with is many of my favorites are pretty long and don’t quite hold the attention of my kiddos who are 2 and 3 and a half.  I Wish That I Had Duck Feet is the perfect length for 3-4 year olds – not too long, but not to short, making it a wonderful bedtime read.  My son really relates to the character in this silly story, which follows an imaginative little boy who wishes he had various animal parts (duck feet, an elefant trunk, a whale spout…etc).  The illustrations are vibrant, energetic, and keep my son completely engaged.  What I laugh at when I read this book is the mom who is straight out of the 60’s (I forgot this book came out in 1965)…I know I don’t wear a nice dress and jewelry when I clean the house!  I can only imagine what those women think of our generation now 🙂

I Wish That I Had Duck Feet, page 3

I Wish That I Had Duck Feet of course has a great message for young children.  As you can imagine each animal part seems great, but comes with its drawbacks – and in the end the little boy decides it’s best to just be himself.  I don’t think you can go wrong with that message…right?  Enjoy!

I Wish That I Had Duck Feet, pages 10-11

Book Review: Eric Carle’s 1 2 3

Eric Carle ranks high on my list of favorite children’s authors – not only for his writing, but mostly for his vibrant illustrations.  Perfect for teaching number, color, and animal concepts, Eric Carle’s 1 2 3, helps little readers count to ten as more animals join the group.  Each page has the corresponding number of dots and animals to help your children learn to count.  There is even a pull out “flip book” at the end to practice counting from 1-10 (which by the way my daughter has already torn out!).  However, we still like this book and read it often at bedtime.  I also like that it’s padded on the outside, which makes it perfect for babies and young toddlers.