Thursday, October 16, 2008

Picture Book Thursday: Halloween Part I

We have so many Halloween's hard to choose which to feature. Good thing we have two weeks in a row of Halloween books!

Where Is Baby's Pumpkin? by Karen Katz: We've been reading Karen Katz's lift-the-flap books to Lilah since she was tiny, and she continues to enjoy them. If you've read the previous holiday entries in this series, you know the drill. With seasonally appropriate substitutions, this is the same as Where Is Baby's Valentine? and Where Are Baby's Easter Eggs? Like those books, Where Is Baby's Pumpkin? features shiny, sparkly details in the items Baby finds beneath the flaps. Baby is looking for her pumpkin so she can go trick-or-treating. She looks in a variety of locations, finding other Halloween-related items (a black cat, a ghost, some bats)...will she find her pumpkin on the last page? These are simple and predictable, but fun for little ones. Lilah loves lifting flaps and the sparkles definitely add something to the holiday books. Baby is adorable in her little kitty costume. A winner!

I hadn't encountered Spookley the Square Pumpkin until Barnes and Noble gave us a free Spookley bag for buying three Halloween books. Spookley the Square Pumpkin: Colors and Numbers is two books in one (finish reading the first, then flip the book upside-down to read the second. Lilah is in a very colors/numbers oriented place right now, plus she adores pumpkins, so this was a big hit. It's pretty straightforward. Colors shows one pumpkin on each page with a little rhyme telling what color the pumpkin is. Numbers shows an increasing number of pumpkins until we reach 10. My only quibble with this is that Numbers doesn't show the same pumpkins on each page and just add one new one. Except for Spookley, all the pumpkins change on each page, if that makes sense. I think for counting, it would make more sense to have Spookley for #1, Spookley and Green Pumpkin for #2, Spookley, Green Pumpkin, and Red Pumpkin for #3, and so one. Instead, you have Spookley and an ever-changing array of different pumpkin friends. Anyway, Lilah loves this one, and it's pleasant to read aloud. A bonus: unlike practically every other Halloween book we have, there is NO mention of candy!

Monster Tales: Pumpkin Patch Party is a tiny (couple of inches) board book with flaps. Since the whole book is tiny, the flaps are too small for little fingers to pry up, so parents will need to loosen them the first time. This is one of our traveling on the plane books because it takes up almost no space in the diaper bag, but takes a while to read (sometime, I'll have to post our favorite books for plane travel--it's funny to watch me calculating the space taken up versus length of time it keeps Lilah entertained). It features Lilah's favorite Sesame Street characters at a Halloween party. The flaps reveal the monsters beneath the costumes. Kids who love flaps, costumes, or Sesame Street will probably love this one--Lilah adores it.


One of my 5 year old's favorite Halloween books is Harriet's Halloween Candy by Nancy Carlson. We got this book from the library last year and she still loved it when I brought it home again this year. Harriet gets quite a haul trick-or-treating and even though her mom asks her to share her candy with her little brother, she hides it all (except for one piece of coconut candy that she doesn't like anyway). Throughout the next day, she eats some candy and then moves her stash to a new hiding place until she just decides she should eat it all. By the end of the book, her tummy is telling her she's had enough candy and eventually shares with her brother. It's a fun little book with a nice lesson that maybe we shouldn't eat ALL our Halloween candy in one sitting. :-) This is a nice Halloween picture book and the illustrations are fun.

Halloween Hats by Elizabeth Winthrop is a cute Halloween picture book. It opens with children finding their costumes (and hats) in a attic. As you turn the pages, you see children in all different costumes with hats. Some of the same children appear on several pages so you can have fun looking through the book and recognizing the kids from the previous pages. In the last two pages everyone throws their hats up in the air to become someone new. The text is short, simplistic rhyming and perfect for the younger end of picture book listeners. The story is nice here, but I think the illustrations make it really fun.

That's it for today! Stay tuned next week for another roundup of Halloween books!

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