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scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source

Halloween can be fun, but aspects of it can also be frightening for young children, or for older children who are more sensitive. These are a few books we've come across that cover Halloween without trying to be scary about it. 

 

My children have really enjoyed the Leslie Patricelli board books featuring bright paintings of a bald, smiley toddler who introduces toddler-specific topics with few words. In Boo!, he enjoys October experiences such as picking out a pumpkin and deciding how to carve it, and picking out a costume and going trick-or-treating. At first he's a bit nervous about trick-or-treating in the dark, but once the candy comes out, he gets excited and decides he really does love Halloween.

 

Featuring Tasha Tudor's gentle illustrations, Pumpkin Moonshine involves Sylvie Ann, a little girl in a pumpkin patch who finds the perfect pumpkin, until it decides to roll away down the hill and into the farmyard, causing a bit of mischief. But by the end, Sylvie Ann and her grandfather manage to corrall the pumpkin and carve it into a moonshine (which is apparently another name for a jack-o-lantern).

 

I don't always like books that turn into series, but while the seasonal Little Blue Truck books lack the narrative of the original, they are still fun and feature the same lovely illustrations. In Little Blue Truck's Halloween, we meet a bunch of dressed up farm animals, which young children can "unmask" by opening the sturdy flaps. At the end, even Little Blue Truck takes a turn! 

 

Curious George is a classic, and while this isn't my favorite of the bunch, Hooray for Halloween (previously published as Curious George Goes to a Costume Party) is still a fun story of George and the Man with the Yellow Hat attending a party that they didn't know was a costume party. Even though George ends up accidentally scaring the guests with his last-minute costume, it's not designed to scare any young readers.

 

This is a good book for children who may be apprehensive about Halloween, or who simply like to hear about the traditions. Herbert's First Halloween, by Cynthia Rylant, introduces a pig named Herbert and his caring, involved father who gently walks him through the process of choosing a costume, and in the meantime helps to pique his interest by sharing some of his own childhood memories of Halloween.

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