Rummanah Aasi
 With less than a week left until Halloween, what better to excite the little ones about the holiday than to read them Halloween themed picture books? I've got several picture books ready to review and this is just the first installment. Be sure to come back and check out parts 2 and 3 next week! Today I'll be reviewing Monster Museum by Marilyn Singer, Boogie Knights by Lisa Wheeler, and Just Say Boo! by Susan Hood.

Description (from the publisher): Come in--if you dare--and meet the werewolf, Count Dracula, the mummy, and some of their slimy, screaming, slithering friends. They're just dying to show you a good time!

Review: Singer describes an array of scary apparitions and frightful figures in this "ghastly" collection of poems. Children take a field trip and walk through a museum filled with monsters. The poetic verses found below the illustrations cleverly describe the monsters in a variety of poetic forms including limericks.  Grimly's (yes, that's the illustrator's real last name) colorful caricatures add to the fun by diffusing scary illustrations with humor. Several of the monsters wend their way out to the parking lot-one even drives the school bus. The "Glos-Scary" helps to keep all of the creatures straight. This fresh, witty book will be popular for not-so-scary story times, as well as independent reading for kids who just love monsters.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 1 through 5.

If you like this book try: Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex, Boris and Bella by by Carolyn Crimi, Grimericks by Susan Pearson

Description (from the publisher): In this rip-roaring picture book, readers are invited to the party of the year, as all monsters large and small throw the most outrageous, most bodacious bash of them all--the Madcap Monster Ball.

Review: Monsters galore show up at a spooky castle for a whimsical Madcap Monster Ball and dance their hearts out. Upstairs seven knights with unusual names (Sir Veillance, Sir Prize, Sir Loin, Sir Round, Sir Cumference, Sir Ender, and finally my personal favorite, the lone Sir Vivorare awakened at various times to find out what all the commotion is about and join in the fun. At the same time, a young prince wakes up scared and cautiously investigates the noise. A wild and crazy time is had by all with the final spread picturing the knights back in their places dreaming of next year's ball and the prince is happily asleep in his bed. This book was hysterical and I loved the clever wordplay of the text which is filled with puns and double meanings that I think will work well for many age levels. The cartoon illustrations perfectly catch all of the high-flying whimsy with small figures dancing and whirling across each double-page spread. When the ball begins, the illustrations are monochrome, but when the seven knights join in, the style changes and more color is added. To enhance the surreal and chaotic nature of the story, many art styles are used on each page, but it all works fantastically well. Readers and listeners will want to return the book without being bored as there is so much to unravel.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 1 through 5. 

If you like this book try: Bedtime at the Swamp by Kristyn Crow, Jumpy Jack & Googily by Meg Rosoff

Description: Young trick-or-treaters learn what to say in different Halloween situations.

Review: Halloween can be a frightening time for kids, but do you know what to do everything becomes too scary on this day? Just say Boo! This adorable story follows three young trick-or-treaters as they encounter frightening Halloween antics in their neighborhood when they go trick or treating. The story is simple and seasonable but the text is multi-functional and does a great job as it connects the traditions of the holiday (trick-or-treating), teaches manners (saying thank you), and shows what to do with a scared, teary toddler: Teach him to just say Boo! Advanced readers will find natural rhymes, use of alliteration, and strong images. Illustrated with an appropriate palette of fall colors and cozy images, the book embraces all good things about Halloween. 

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for preschool through Grade 1.

If you like this book try: It's Halloween Night! by Jennifer O'Connell and Ollie's Halloween by Olivier Dunrea
1 Response
  1. Jenny Says:

    I just love seeing the illustrations in these books, they're so much fun to look at! I love when you review children's books Rummanah, you give me such great ideas of what to get for my nieces! Looks like I can't really go wrong with any of the above, thanks so much for the recommendations!

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