Halloween books help kids get ready
These books are super fun and help kids get in the mood for the year’s spookiest holiday.
“Scary Tales: One-Eyed Doll” by James Preller; Feiwel and Friends; 98 pages; $5.99.
Dedicated to the memory of “The Twilight Zone’s” Rod Serling, this little paperback, with larger text and a clear, classic writing style, is a slightly shock-worthy story that’s fun and spine-tingling. It stars a brother and sister who love to explore the woods and an old house near their home. They particularly enjoy treasure hunting, this time with neighbor “Soda Pop,” who helps them discover a creepy one-eyed doll witch with lots of scary havoc to wreak.
The fifth in James Preller’s “Scary Tales” series (the next is “Swamp Monster”), the quick reads, peppered with spooky black sketches, make fun Halloween reads for 8- to 10-year-olds.
“The Graveyard Book: Volume 2” by Neil Gaiman; with graphic adaptation by P. Craig Russell; HarperCollins; 164 pages; $19.99.
These fabulously entertaining graphic adaptations of Gaiman’s Newbery Medalwinning book (volume 1 was released in July) are primo entertainment. The story of a boy named Nobody Owens who lives in a graveyard, this second volume captures the angst of Bod, who yearns to leave to go to school and find out who killed his family. First, though, Bod has lots of adventures, with an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, and the strange and terrible Sleer. Each chapter is illustrated and designed by a different artist from the comic book world, making Gaiman’s graphic books legitimately worthy as standalone reads.
Volume 2 captures chapters six through the end of the original “The Graveyard Book” and is a gorgeous and heart-stopping tale perfect for reluctant readers and kids who love art with their scary stories.
“The Scarecrows’ Wedding” by Julia Donaldson; illustrated by Axel Scheffler; Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic; 34 pages; $17.99.
A bit quirky and lots of fun, Julia Donaldson’s tale of two scarecrows preparing to marry isn’t scary, but is certainly autumn-themed. The pair, Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay (who bears a strong resemblance to the scarecrow from “The Wizard of Oz”), first search for wedding items: flowers, rings and a dress of white feathers.
Harry gets lost at one point, and Betty is surprised to see their farmer has replaced him with a slick cad of a new scarecrow named Reginald Rake.
To Betty’s dismay, Rake smokes a cigarette and drops it, nearly burning her, and Harry swoops in to save the day.
Axel Scheffler’s actionpacked illustrations are personality-packed, while the entire book makes a rousing fall read for the 3- to 7-yearold crowd.