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Boo to You!

The wind howls, making dry leaves skitter on a dark night. Creatures race from door to door asking for treats, threatening tricks. It's Halloween! Time for some scary and not-so-spooky tales filled with pumpkins, ghosts, and monsters galore.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

Bedtime for Boo

By: Mickie Matheis
Illustrated by: Bonnie Leick
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Boo, the smallest in his ghost family, enjoys the first time he's allowed to stay up late whistling a "happy-ghost-lucky time." He doesn't think he can sleep until his wise mother helps him listen for comfy night sounds. Soft lines and gentle forms illustrate the gently rhyming onomatopoetic language for a mellow, non-scary Halloween story for younger children.

Biggest Pumpkin Surprise Ever

By: Steven Kroll
Illustrated by: Jeni Bassett
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Mice prepare to celebrate Halloween, first by finding pumpkins, using them for decorations, and finally unveiling a huge Jack-o-lantern! Festive illustrations on sturdy pages encourage close examination and active participation as children lift flaps to reveal hidden surprises.

Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin

By: Tad Hills
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Where can Duck and Goose find a pumpkin? Young children will delight in the search and rejoice when the silly friends find their pumpkin. Autumnal colors and a simple, predictable text make an engaging book for the very young.

Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody

By: Ludworst Bemonster
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

This silly-spooky parody of Ludwig Bemelman's Madeline emulates the original's cadence, storyline and illustration but with a decidedly Halloween-y twist. It begins, "In a creepy old castle/all covered in spines/lived twelve ugly monsters in two crooked lines… The ugliest one was Frankenstein." It is sure to amuse even those not familiar with the original.

Halloween Forest

By: Marion Dane Bauer
Illustrated by: John Shelley
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A trick-or-treater leaves the city for a forest of bones and a deliciously creepy Halloween adventure. No number of skeletons can scare this child who shakes his own bones and is rewarded after he chants, "Trick or treat! Smell my feet! Give me something good to eat!" Lively illustration adds detail to the rhythmic text, ideal for reading aloud.

It's Halloween Night!

By: Jenny O'Connell
Illustrated by: Jennifer Morris
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

On Halloween night, children dress up in costumes to go trick or treating. Young children will enjoy guessing what outfit the child is donning, beginning with a rhyming clue which is solved with a turn of the page. Cozy illustrations are just right for this not-very-scary Halloween tale, sure to engage younger children.

Monster Mash

By: David Catrow
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Madcap illustrations bring hilarious new life to the 1962 song, "Monster Mash." It all begins with a bulbous scientist "working in the lab late one night" when his monster arose from his slab and begins to dance the monster mash. Other monsters — and finally two human children — join the green Frankenstein-like critter for colorful, frenzied fun.

Ralph Marsiello's Halloween Drawing Book

By: Ralph Masiello
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Nothing suggests Halloween like a picture of a fierce or funny Jack-o-lantern, a sky full of bats or ghosts. What would a Halloween night be without a witch, a haunted house or a graveyard? Readers can create these and other signs of the celebration line by line, perhaps individualize them, and read other "spook-tacular books".

The Dead Family Diaz

By: P.J. Bracegirdle
Illustrated by: Poly Bernatene
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Angelito Diaz along with his skeleton family celebrates the Day of the Dead in the Land of the Living — and he was scared. Angelito isn't nearly as frightened after he meets Pablo — and overcomes his fear of the living. Colorful, stylized illustrations and a brief note about the Mexican Day of the Dead/El Dia los Mueros conclude this recognizable story.

The Monsters' Monster

By: Patrick McDonnell
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Grouch, Grump, and two-headed little Gloom 'n' Doom — three crabby monsters — tried to create the "biggest, baddest monster EVER!" When the huge monster comes alive his first words are "Dank you!" causing the cantankerous little monsters to succumb to his kind ways. Cartoon line and wash illustrations and understated text present a pleasing monster saga.

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Maria Salvadore
Maria Salvadore
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"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them." — Lemony Snicket