This year we're doing something different and heading out of town at the end of the month. While we'll still be celebrating (in a big way!), we don't have the usual trappings of spooky decor or carved jack-o'lanterns. Sprout knows he's got Halloween fun heading his way, but I did sense a bit of disappointment when we told him there wouldn't be pumpkin decorating this year. So of course I did what any self-respecting librarian would do and hit the seasonal shelves to help me spook up our storytimes.
My first choice was a series entry that I knew Sprout would flip for - Click, Clack, Boo! by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin. We've thoroughly enjoyed every title by this pair thus far, with a special affinity for the first book in the series, Click, Clack, Moo. And this holiday-themed title held our interest very nicely, with its bold graphics and simple plot. This one is a great continuation of the series, and even works to introduce new readers to the crazy antics on this particular farm. Sprout thought it was super silly that Farmer Brown is scared of Halloween - and the big costume reveal at the end struck just the right note with us!
The animal theme continued with Judy Cox's Haunted House, Haunted Mouse. I wanted to try this one out with Sprout because he recently learned what a haunted house was, and was having trouble understanding how something like that could be spooky fun. (He's a pretty literal kid - "scary" and "fun" don't really reconcile in his mind!) This is a pretty solid story about Mouse, who gets caught up with some trick-or-treaters and ends up stumbling into a creaky, creepy haunted house. The best for us was the end, where Mouse figures out that it's not really spooks making the scary shapes and sounds, but normal, everyday stuff - much to Sprout's relief.
Susan Hood's Just Say Boo! offers a little reassurance for kids who might be unsure of how to react to Halloween sights and frights. A trio of costumed kiddos heads out to gather candy, encountering a few scary obstacles along the way. At each one, the kids pause to decide how to react - and then end up facing their fears down with a mighty "Boo!". This was a real revelation for Sprout, and we talked about how he could follow the characters' lead when he feels spooked by something. I think he'll be implementing this one next time he gets his socks scared off by the motion-sensored witch at the grocery store!
How are you changing up your regular storytime routine with seasonal books? And what are your favorite spooky reads, for Halloween or just any time?