Halloween will be here before we know it and all the good Halloween books will be gobbled up at the library soon too. I thought I’d share my favorites now so you have time to grab them before someone else does. Remember preschoolers love to relive special days after they happen so don’t put the books away with your decorations, leave them out a little longer.
Wobble, the witch cat by Mary Calhoun is a vintage story that is charming and much loved by my son. Wobble is a cat who belongs to Maggie a kind old witch, but Wobble hates riding on Maggie’s slippery broom. The other cats tease him and with Halloween coming up he decides to get rid of Maggie’s broom. When Maggie can’t find her magic broom, all she finds is a vacuum cleaner, but will it fly? My son loves vacuum cleaners and thought it was hilarious that a witch would try to fly on one. I liked the idea that witches sweep the sky so that the children can be safe under the stars on Halloween night.
Inside a House That Is Haunted by Alyssa Satin Capucilli was the hands-down favorite Halloween book for my 3-year-old class in 2005. I must have read this 200 times and even after Christmas had come and gone it was still requested all the time. The story is a rebus read along, so it is repetitive and it builds upon itself. This is great for children who are eager to “read along” before they are able to read words. The repetitiveness allows them to anticipate what is next and feel included. Very cute even after reading it hundreds of times.
Peek-a-Boooo! by Marie Torres Cimarusti is a perfect toddler Halloween book. The premise is simple, each page has a well-known Halloween character including a witch, skeleton, Frankenstein all hiding behind their hands playing peek-a-boo with the readers. The character’s hands are flaps and when you lift them they reveal the character’s face – which is always sweet and happy, never scary. At the end of the book, there are more flaps to lift to reveal trick or treaters and the same Halloween characters hiding in their haunted house. My son loves this book too and I think it’s a great completely gentle way to read about Halloween with toddlers.
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! by Lucille Colandro was a huge hit! It’s a reworking of the classic song “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly” only this one swallows a whole bunch of Halloween creatures, like a goblin, ghost, and of course a bat. She continues to swallow bigger and bigger things much to my son’s amazement! He was giggling through the whole book and at the end when the old lay belches he laughed hysterically. It was predictable but I have to admit was a really fun, silly read.
Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara is on my must-buy list! A little girl moves into the house and soon finds out it is haunted. Luckily she is a witch and knows just what to do. The ghosts in the story seem mischievous but never scary and even when she washes them in the washing machine, they are still smiling! My son loved this book, the text was the perfect length for a 3-year-old, short but still descriptive. I loved the simple black and orange colors and had to look at the copyright twice because I was certain this was written sometime in the 30s, nope 2008. The simplicity of the book and colors is balanced so well with the little details like the little girl’s constant companion, a white cat that puts on a black costume when the little witch pops on her hat. This detail had my son in stitches, “Cats don’t wear clothes, silly cat”. Absolutely a perfect Halloween book for children not yet ready to be scared for fun!