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It's Halloween Month! (Week 1)

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

Huzzah! October is here! Time to post lots of spooky and not-so-spooky but always awesome Halloween for those who celebrate Halloween and love it as much as we do! I'll try to work in some other fall-flavored picture books that aren't strictly about the holiday. I'll be updating this post on a semi-daily basis so check back for the new additions or follow me on Twitter at @cdendy76 to catch new fun haunted holiday reads!

First up, for Oct. 1, an advance recommendation from Oliver Jeffers, coming November 2: There's a Ghost in This House. I can't wait to see it! Check out more preview on Jeffers' website.

If you feel cheated because Jeffers' book isn't out yet, here's a bonus selection for Oct. 1. Make friends with a fabulous scarecrow (just not one from Katherine Arden's Small Spaces, which I highly recommend for a middle grade fright) this month in Beth Ferry and the Fan Brothers' The Scarecrow:

All right, back to ghosts, my next two recommendations for Oct. 2 and Oct. 3 features not-too-scary but lovable spirits illustrated in fabulous ways with fun, sweet stories to tell:

The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt by Riel Nason and Byron Eggenschwiler

Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago

Oct. 4's recommended spooky read? The fab-frightfully illustrated and hauntingly lyrical Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes and Yuyi Morales. Creep closer for spooky bilingual chills con las brujas, los gatos y más! (Again, just wish I could jump in the pages.)

Bonus board book for the littles, though my six-year-old still loves this spunky sprite of a bus: Spin your wheels monster-style with Monster Trucks by Anika Aldamuy Denise and Nate Wragg. Lots of fun to read aloud!

Oct. 5 is here! And so's the next monsterly marvelous Halloween book! Yes, I do think monsterly should be a word ... This favorite find from last year, Frankenstein Doesn't Wear Earmuffs, from John Loren, evokes the imaginative whimsy of Halloween with dauntingly bold illustrations in a charming way that will appeal to kid readers and gatekeepers, especially any caregiver whose tried to bundle a trick-or-treating monster. So much fun to read, my five-now-six-year-old asks for it again and again! (Loren also has a new mad-scientist-turns-monster picture book out, too: Hugo Sprouts and the Strange Case of the Beans.)

Is it Oct. 6 already? I might have to split this post into parts ... perhaps one per week! Up next, if you love Halloween AND you love fractured fairy tales, you'll want to run, skip or trudge your way to the library, store or mailbox to check out this one. Forget Goldi, you need to cozy up with Moldilocks by

Lynne Marie and David Rodriguez Lorenzo, a heartwarming, not-too-horrific twist on childhood home invasion, with a happier but all-together-scary ending!

Two more days in Week 1! We love spooky spins on old tunes and stories, so for Oct. 6, I'd like to spotlight We're Off to Find the Witch's House by Richard Krieb and R.W. Alley. (Think We're Going on a Bear Hunt haunted style, and yes, there are two other spins on the same classic that I just might mention later.) I always love Alley's illustrations, and my kids and I just love the read-aloud, the sensation of romping along through the pages, every time. Come join us!

All right, here's the final book for the first full week of October for those who celebrate Halloween and love the season as much as we do. This next beloved semi-spooky read, featuring a proper pumpkinhead, probably doesn't need recommending but it's a favorite, so I must include it! The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams and Megan Lloyd ... It's just the best, and since it's a classic, we're going video read-aloud style:

Watch for the next installment. I'll kick off with more seasonal autumn titles plus some spooky board books ...

In the meantime, get some ghastly grooves on with my favorite Halloween album! (Volume 1 is pretty ghoulishly good, too.)

Also, if you want to learn more about some of the (multicultural) origins and history of Halloween traditions, you can read this article from, this one in The Wall Street Journal, and/or read my favorite Ray Bradbury novel, The Halloween Tree!

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