Last year, a new literary tradition was started by best-selling author Neil Gaiman, with the sole purpose of getting fun, spooky and spine-tingling books into the hands and minds of children everywhere for Halloween. The tradition is known as "All Hallows Read."
Gaiman has nothing against candy, that’s still a definite holiday must-have. In the spirit of this new tradition, today's post features great reads that are available free from local libraries nationwide.
If you’re not familiar with the recommended titles below, which cover a variety of age ranges, or you wish to actually purchase and add them to your child’s collection, simply click on the links for in-depth information from Amazon.com along with customer reviews.
A Very Brave Witch (Written by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Harry Bliss) - A best-selling New York Times/award-winning American Library Association book, this opening salvo is a direct hit and charming tale of a little witch whose curiosity about trick-or-treat helps her overcome her fear of humans and find a new bond of friendship.
Go Away, Big Green Monster (Written and illustrated by Ed Emberly) - Caldecott Medalist Emberly’s bold use of colorful and humorous monster illustrations takes the “scary” out of this read, and “puts” fun back into it.
By the Light of the Halloween Moon (Written by Caroline Stutson, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes) - Wiggling toes tempt a variety of not-so-scary goblins and ghouls.
The Berenstain Bears Go on a Ghost Walk (Written and illustrated by Stan and Jan Berenstain) - One of several Halloween-themed Berenstain Bear classics. In this book, Papa Bear is in charge of the Bear Country School's Ghost Walk and he “learns the hard way that one bear’s fun is another bear’s nightmare.” Be sure to also check out these other entertaining titles, each offering a lesson to be learned for the entire Bear Family: The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin; The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat; and The Berenstain Bears and the Haunted House.
A Dark, Dark Tale (Written and illustrated by Ruth Brown) - This whimsically illustrated and simple text creates rib-tickling scariness, taking young readers on a visual journey with the word “dark.”
Clifford’s Halloween (Written and illustrated by Norman Bridwell) - Everyone’s favorite big red dog loves everything about Halloween, even dressing up in a costume.
Georgie (Written and illustrated by Robert Bright) - First published in 1944, this evergreen-classic features a friendly little ghost who needs a new home to haunt.
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever (Written and illustrated by Steven Kroll) -“Desmond” and “Clayton”, two adorable field mice grow the biggest pumpkin ever, and learn valuable lessons about friendship, cooperation and helping.
The Witch in the Cherry Tree (Written by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Jenny Williams) - David and his mother must find a way to protect their freshly baked cakes from the tricky witch in the cherry tree, who longs for fresh baked goodies.
(Written by Edith Battles, pictures by Tom Funk) - A real classic. Beautiful fall-colored illustrations and a charming story about a young boy named “Christopher” who discovers more tricks than treats on Halloween.
A Woggle of Witches (Adrienne Adams, Author, and illustrator) - Simple text and double page illustrations take a friendly group of witches through the nighttime skies.
The Graveyard Book (Written by Neil Gaiman , Dave Mckean illustrator) "It's kind of like The Jungle Book, only instead of a jungle it's a graveyard. It's about this 2-year-old whose family is killed, and who is adopted and brought up by dead people and taught all the things that dead people know." ~ Neil Gaiman ~ A Newbery Medal and Hugo Award-winning bestseller. Suggested reading levels for The Graveyard Book are ages 9-12, but more often than not, Gaiman’s superb storytelling and rich language as well as imagery crosses boundaries well into the adult world.
You can also connect to Gaiman’s own free video readings of The Graveyard Book at Mr. Bobo’s Remarkable Mouse Circus, the author’s official website for young readers.
After you hear Gaiman read his entire book, you may want to view the video below that covers some of the informative question and answer sessions that took place during his book tour for The Graveyard Book.
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