It’s spooky time! Time for some Halloween books with just the right amount of prickliness. Practice your spine-tingling voices, so you can tantalize those imaginations! Here are a couple of my favorites.
“Velcome, A Very Scary Book” written and illustrated by Kevin O’Malley. This book is hilarious as well as spooky. Age group would be from third grade up to maybe fifth grade, although I have read it to sixth graders and we have had a lot of fun with it. Be sure you point out the funny little signs in the illustrations. For instance, the cover has a picture of a door with a note pinned to the side for the milkman, ordering 1 qt. whole fat, 2 gal. 2% and 6 pts. O+ blood! Ha ha haaaaa! Very spooky. The dog in the illustrations add just enough humor so the kiddos don’t get too scared. And….be sure to pre-read it several times so you can get your “Dracula” accent in good order. This book, copyrighted in 1997, is still very popular. Check with your kiddos to make sure their school librarian hasn’t read it to them, although they will love to hear it every year.
Okey-Dokey, remember those old stories that had the scary build up, and then a silly, not so scary ending? I know you will remember the one about the rapping, rapping, rapping sound coming from a room in the house of a boy, who just moved in. Oh! The suspense as he slowly follows the sound and finds it is coming from his very own room! He creaks open his closet door, and there he finds… A ROLL OF WRAPPING PAPER! (This is seriously funny stuff.) Well, that story is in this book, along with others you will remember, and the the grand kids may not have heard. Even if they have, Publishers Weekly summarized this book perfectly by saying “O’Malley brushes off the corniest, silliest, creakiest old chestnuts on the face of the planet and recycles them with pizzaz.” Well said. The center two pages are full of jokes. I never read them to the students, but you decide. I hope you will have fun entertaining your grand-kiddos and reminiscing about these stories you heard as a youth. (Remember to pronounce your “w’s” as “v’s”. It’s fun. One student said to me with complete awe, “I didn’t know you could speak Dracula.”) Ha, ha! Score!
Now, if your grandchildren are a little younger, but may be familiar with the little song about the wheels on the bus, they will enjoy “The Spooky Wheels on the Bus,” written by J. Elizabeth Mills, and illustrated by Ben Mantle. This is a fun trip through the town with the bus that goes RATTLE and SHAKE, the windshield wipers that go CREAK, CREAK, CREAK, the cats that MEOW, HISS, HISS, and witches that CACKLE and HOWL, etc. All on Halloween Night! It’s cute, and fun to get the kiddos involved with the voices. It’s a great not-too-scary book for the tiny tots. Try putting on your Halloween “duds” to impress while reading. (Isn’t “duds” a funny word? My parents always used it in regard to presentable clothing. For instance, “Get on your duds, and lets go)!” I wonder if it is a word from England, Wales or Denmark. Somebody out there knows. Tell me!