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Spooky Stories for Halloween and Other Traditions

ghostsdinnerThe Ghost’s Dinner by Jacques Duquennoy
What happens when ghosts dine together? Find out when Henry hosts a dinner party for friends. Ghosts enjoy what you and I like – drinks, appetizers, the main course, and dessert. But these ghosts turn into the colors and shapes of what they eat! Delight in this meal that is out of this world. The Ghost’s Dinner‘s simple text makes room for fun conversation and laughter, while the material gives a reader the opportunity to perform and interact with the kids being read to. More whimsical than scary, this is an ideal choice for kids who are just learning about traditions like Halloween, or who want to participate but do not want to be too scared. The Ghost’s Dinner received a Parents’ Choice Award in 1994. (ages 4-7)

ghostnamedA Ghost Named Fred by Nathaniel Benchley, illustrated by Ben Shecter
George has no one to play with. Out on a lonely adventure, he discovers an abandoned house and inside, and he can feel a presence. There is someone there, and it’s a ghost! But this ghost has a name, and his name is Fred. Fred is having trouble finding something. Can George, Fred, and some new acquaintances find what they are looking for? Written with large text and ample spacing between sentences, this is a terrific “I Can Read” early reader from our Red Dot collection.  Most of the pages have a distinct background color of black or variation of yellow along with an illustration. This is a clever way for children to learn color associations, since the yellow pages connect with notions of daylight, action, or triumph, while the black pages connect with concepts such as night, reflection, and anticipation. A Ghost Named Fred is a great book for kids who want a little suspense, adventure, and friendship in dark and unusual places. (ages 5-8)

coraline-neil-gaiman-ictcrop_300Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Looking for something a bit scarier? How about a lot scarier? Try Coraline, a book about a bored girl who just moved into a new flat with her constantly working parents, where the only company she has are eccentric older neighbors. Coraline fills the time by exploring her new world and discovers a door that appears to lead to nowhere. But she finds that the door does lead somewhere after all, and one night Coraline discovers in a world that looks identical to her own but is decidedly not. This is where she meets her other mother and other father, who have buttons for eyes and desperately want to entertain and love her. Coraline is not easily fooled, and her bravery is tested as she navigates through this world of trickery to save her captured real parents and three other forgotten souls from the pale and sinister creature: the other mother who loves her “as a miser loves money.” This psychological thriller is terrific for readers seeking a genuinely scary story. Each chapter features a gothic black-and-white illustration, including a bone-chilling portrait of the other mother with the button eyes. Coraline has been adapted into a graphic novel and a film, and it won Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards. (ages 10 and up)

littlevampireLittle Vampire Goes to School by Joann Sfar
And now for something that will humor, spook, and gross you out: try this graphic novel about a vampire kid named Little Vampire who wants nothing more than to go to school. His grisly but friendly community hatch a plan to teach him at school during the night. Little Vampire sits at a desk that a boy named Michael occupies during the day. He is not supposed to make the dead’s existence known, but Little Vampire does Michael’s homework and they start to correspond through notes. When they get in trouble with the Skeleton Captain, Little Vampire must invite Michael over to meet the quirky family and set things straight. Will these youngsters be friends even though they live in two different worlds? Eccentric and laugh-out-loud funny, Little Vampire Goes to School is more than just an entertaining, gory comic book. The illustrations of the scary creatures have a funny and even cute appeal to them. (ages 8-12)

– Courtney

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