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Halloween Reading

I do not enjoy gimmicky holiday-versions of best-selling books, like Harry Potter’s Magical Christmas Morning or Diary of a Wimpy Easter Bunny Kid (I am making both of these titles up, but if they exist, I would like some royalties).

Lest you think my heart is made of Grinch-y stone, though, let me assure you that I do love a well-written holiday book. When I was growing up, my mom would pull out The Widow’s Broom every Halloween season. It’s not a Halloween book, necessarily, but it does include witches and brooms and it has the slightly creepy feel that most Chris Van Allsburg books have. I loved that book, particularly because it only made its appearance once a year. There’s something so fun about a book that isn’t part of your daily rotation.

I love the idea of having a small set of holiday books too and, in her typical excellent Grancie fashion, my mom sent me the first book to launch my Halloween collection. I’d mentioned this book to her a few weeks earlier in passing and when it showed up on my doorstep earlier this week, I was thrilled.

The book is Ghosts in the House! and it is the cutest book I’ve seen in a long while. It came in when I was working on the Notable Book Projects at the University of Texas a couple of years ago and we all delighted in it. It’s just so ridiculously sweet.

The illustrations are very retro and the story itself is delightful – a little witch moves into a haunted house, catches the ghosts, washes them and hangs them out to dry and then uses them around her house as curtains, tablecloths, and finally, a bedspread. You will die of the cuteness.

I’ve read it to Ella half a dozen times already and she stares at the pictures, especially the ghosts (they are done in a kind of tissue-paper/transparent kind of medium and they just look so fun).

I love this book because it’s not scary or gross (I hate those kinds of Halloween books. . . ). And mainly, I love it because it charms me. And who doesn’t like to be charmed?

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  1. Those both look adorable. In our house we love Shake Dem Halloween Bones. It's impossible to read it without singing, and all four of my kids (ages 10-3) love it. We're actually on our second copy because we wore the first one out reading it so much.

  2. Last year on Christmas Eve Eric and I watched a couple of Christmas scenes from Little Women. I love the idea of reading just a few true Christmas stories, like from the Little House series or from autobiographies and such. Hopefully we will have time and I will remember to do that this year.

  3. Chris Vanallsburg is my favorite! Have you read The Stranger by him?! That is my favorite — and would work for your "fall" collection of books!

  4. There was this book about a pumpkin smasher that we would read when I was little. I don't remember the name. Maybe my mom or one of my siblings would remember. I just purchased Its a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on DVD because they weren't showing it on tv this year. I couldn't believe it. It is a classic.

  5. So I had my story time ALL planned out for Monday, and then I read this. I requested the Ghosts one and might read that as one of my picks instead of another one. HA. Thanks!

  6. That looks so cute!! We have it at my library, but it's checked out (of course). I'll have to look for it when it comes back in!

  7. I haven't read many Halloween books, but The Hallo-Weiner is a cute one! I like that it's witty enough to make adults laugh, too.

  8. I sometimes like Christmas ones and the occasional kids Halloween book but I hate ones that are so overly contrived… in the way that a lot of holiday shows are.

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