Anneliese loves to read. From the moment she wakes up to just before bed, she loves to carry books around, flip through their pages and study the pictures and the letters that make up the words which make up the stories. She’s fascinated with them. She’s enthralled by the tales. Captivated by the illustrations. “Book” was one of the earlier words she learned in sign language, so she could ask her dad and me to read to her before she could even talk.
So she’s decided to start a book club. Each month, she will recommend a set of books for you and your kids to enjoy together.
This month’s theme is “October Treats.” Halloween is coming, and these books will set the mood. They’re not all about Halloween though. Some are about pumpkins, and one is about a monster, but they’re all at the top of our October-books pile. (I took out our October books about a week ago, to give Anneliese time to find her favorites for this post.)
We hope you find something wonderful and new to read with your family!
1. Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin by Mary Serfozo
This unassuming little board book is actually a pleasure to read and to listen to, because of carefully chosen words, alliteration, and assonance. We probably read this book 200 times last October, and it’s proving to be a favorite again this year. I had to pull it out of Anneliese’s bed in order to take pictures for this post!
2. Where is Baby’s Pumpkin? by Karen Katz
This is another favorite. Baby is looking for her pumpkin, and finds lots of Halloween friends along the way. Anneliese likes to count the bats, pretend she is eating the candy apples, and peek carefully under the flaps in the search for Baby’s pumpkin. She has pretty much memorized this one now, and will “read” it out loud to herself.
3. Pumpkin Town! or Nothing is Better or Worse Than Pumpkins by Katie McKy
This is the story of some pumpkin farmers and the little town at the bottom of their hill. When the family discards their not-best seeds, they land in the town and grow into vines which overwhelm the townspeople and take over the houses and fences. Nothing is worse than pumpkins! Read to find out what happens in order to make the townspeople change their minds, and say, “Nothing is better than pumpkins!”
4. Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson, photography by Samuel Thaler
This book shows the life cycle of pumpkins, “It’s pumpkin seeds, to pumpkins, to pumpkin seeds again!” The gorgeous illustration shows details of the plants, the passage of time (vines growing larger and larger, pumpkins changing colors, and a pumpkin rotting back into the ground), and the “circle” of pumpkin life. This would be enough to make it a great book, but add Levenson’s poetry explaining it all, and you have a book you’ll be happy to read over and over and over again. The gardener in the book wears a hat and orange gloves, and is in many of the photos though you never see his face. So the pumpkins remain the main characters, as they should.
5. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
Some shoes, pants, a shirt, gloves, a hat, and a pumpkin head TRY to scare the little old lady, but she’s too brave to be taken down that easily. Instead, she finds a job for all of them, and everyone is happy in the end. This book is great for talking about different articles of clothing with your toddler, or if your child is older, you can talk about fear and ways to overcome it. Or, you know, just enjoy the story.
6. The Spookiest Halloween Ever! by Teddy Slater
There’s nothing spooky about this book, but it is a great introduction to Halloween customs like trick-or-treating, dressing in costumes, and playing Halloween games (like bobbing for apples…ewwwwww). The illustrations are bold and the rhyming text is catchy. When I took care of a couple 4 year olds, this was their favorite Halloween book, and they requested it every day while it was on the shelves.
7. Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
Rebecca Estelle loves to garden, but hates pumpkins since when she was a little girl her family once ate nothing but pumpkins for an entire month. A pumpkin truck drops a giant pumpkin in her yard by mistake, where it explodes. She tries to clean it up, but the seeds still grow. So she decides to ignore it… until she can’t ignore it anymore. Read what she decides to do with ALL of those pumpkins, and how her mind is changed, then go get some pumpkins and join in on the fun.
8. Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins by Dianne Ochiltree
Sam the raccoon picks sixteen pumpkins for Gramps, but they spill out of the wagon and break all over Gramps’s kitchen. This simple story also invites math play, and toddlers will also have fun finding the mouse and his house-pumpkin on each page as a bonus.
9. T-Rex Trick-or-Treats by Lois G. Grambling
T-Rex doesn’t know what to be for Halloween, but he knows he wants to be something REALLY SCARY. His friends Diplodocus, Iguanodon, and Stegosaurus already took all of the best costume ideas. Finally, T-Rex comes up with something even better and ends up getting the most candy AND scaring everyone. I got a bit tired of reading, “Eeeek!” on most of the pages, but Anneliese thought it was funny.
10. Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberly
This one is proving to be one of Anneliese’s favorite books this month. The first half of the book describes the Big Green Monster, feature by feature. The second half has the reader tell each feature to GO AWAY, and each part disappears as the pages turn. Anneliese loves to shout “GO AWAY” as we read it, but she has also memorized the other descriptions and will “read” the whole book on her own if I’m not right there reading it to her. Apparently Ed Emberly has several other monster books, and those would be worth looking into as well, if they’re anywhere as wonderful as this one.
Is your library ready for October?
Go ahead and order some of these books (check out the prices on used ones too…sometimes you can get a deal!) or print out the list and head to your library!
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