Halloween Reads Giveaway

For the past few years, we have done a modified version of an advent calendar for Halloween.  (Read more about it here.)  In the two weeks leading up to the big day, we read one spooky tale a night from our box of Halloween books.  This year, we are happy to offer your littlest readers a trio of Halloween picture books.  Please leave us a comment, and we will draw for a winner on Friday, October 17th.  Canadian and American readers only, please.  Thanks to Sourcebooks for the bookish goodness!

It’s Halloween night, and Count von Count is dozing off in front of his fireplace. Suddenly, he hears someone knocking at his castle door, but when he opens the door, nobody’s there! Could it be a spooky Halloween spirit playing a trick on him, or is it something less sinister? Join Count, Elmo, and all of the Sesame friends as they celebrate Halloween!


A Halloween Scare by Eric James

It’s Halloween night, and creatures and critters from near and far are starting to gather outside the front door. And now here comes a whole army of monsters, on broomsticks, buses, and bikes, all clamoring in the darkness. What is it they want? Are they coming for you?

This humorous, creative story is the perfect Halloween adventure for children and parents to share.



Pumpkin Time by Erzsi Deak

The day the cows strolled down Main Street in fancy hats…Evy didn’t notice.

What was Evy doing?

Evy is so focused on watching her garden grow that she misses all the silliness going on around her—pigs DANCING, donkeys FLYING, and sheep HAVING A PICNIC.

But after Evy’s spent all year taking care of her garden, everyone’s invited to pumpkin time!


Some Great Halloween Reads for the Kids

Time to haul out the box of Halloween books!  This year, I have a plan to do a nightly read of spooky stories for the two weeks leading up to the Big Night.  (I got the idea from here, for a Christmas advent calendar.)  I’ll wrap the books and put them in a basket and make book time a surprise to look forward to.  I’ve got a collection of obviously Halloween-related books in a cupboard in the basement, but I felt like the collection was getting a bit stale.  I’ve been on the lookout for some new additions to our October reading list.  Here is what I’ve come up with, and a few old favourites.  Please leave your favourite titles in the comments section.  I’m still looking for more!

Some of these are a little off the beaten path. You might not think they were Halloween reads to look at them.  But they are spooky and, most importantly, excellently written and illustrated.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson.  Illustrated by Axel Scheffler.  (ages 2-5)

Ours is a well-worn board book, and it gets pulled out often.  You can’t go wrong with Julia Donaldson, and this is a fun story about a witch, her familiars and a deluxe broom.

The Widow’s Broom  by Chris Van Allsburg  (ages 4-8)

Oh, I do love a story with a woman who outsmarts a puritanical community.  A widow helps an ailing witch and inherits her magical broom.  Persecution ensues.  Reason triumphs.  Beautifully illustrated.

The Night of the Gargoyles by Eve Bunting.  Illustrated by David Wiesner.  (ages 4-8)

The gargoyles on a building come to life in a beautifully paced prose poem.  The tone of the story is truly haunting.  David Wiesner is a favourite illustrator of ours, and he does not fail to please in this gem.

Philip Pullman’s Clockwork  (ages 8-12)

This is a fascinating story within a story.  It actually makes my head hurt to work out how the gears of the stories interlock.  A story about clocks that is structured like a clock, messes with your head and with time.  Great fun.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (ages 8-12)

I love Neil Gaiman’s child protagonists.  They are all so grounded and whip smart.  Nobody Owens is the protagonist in this book, and he is raised by ghosts and lives in a cemetery.  His antagonist is a man named Jack, and the story plays with and subverts the traditional character of Jack from British fairy tales.  Creepy, genuinely frightening, un-put-down-able.