Poetry and Picture Books for Little Ghosts and Goblins

BookendsLynn and Cindy: Are you looking for some Halloween fun for pre-schoolers and early elementary-school students? Look no further! Here are some new books for little ghosts and goblins.

Boo! Haiku by Deanna Caswell and Bob SheaStart your story time with Boo! Haiku (2016), Deanna Caswell and Bob Shea’s follow-up to Guess Who, Haiku (2016). A haiku riddle and a small, circular picture give clues to guessing the identity of Halloween characters. Bob Shea’s illustrations of witches, ghosts, spiders, and bats are smiling and cheerful instead of scary. Fun, bright colors and a simple design are nicely suited to a young audience who won’t be able to resist shouting out the answers to the riddles.

the-mystery-of-the-haunted-farm-by-elys-dolanThe Mystery of the Haunted Farm (2016) by Elys Dolan will have young readers chortling as a ghost-busting team of three little pigs visits a farm crawling with monsters. Curiously, none of the zombie ducks, slimy cows, or mummified goats (“I ain’t afraid of no goat!”) are registering on the pigs’s Phantom Finder 5000. The illustrations and speech bubbles give readers much to pour over, and the final resolution is priceless.


Those of us who live in areas with deciduous trees might feel plagued by piles of fall leaves that must be raked and removed, but imagine how much more difficult that’d be as a teeny, tiny woman. Lauren L. Wohl plays with a familiar folk character in A Teeny Tiny Halloween (2016), spinning her a new story just perfect for trick-or-treaters. And, personally, I’m up for any story in which problem-solving involves the baking of chocolate chip cookies!


ollies-halloweenFor beginning readers eager to do some Halloween reading on their own, try Ollie’s Halloween (2016) from the familiar series Gossie & Friends by Olivier Dunrea. In this fun installment, the five goslings put on costumes and poke around the farm looking for Halloween treats—until a thunderstorm sends them all scurrying for the barn. As in others in the series, simple sentences tell the story, while charming, detailed illustrations reinforce the activities. Readers are sure to enjoy spending time with this Halloween treat.




About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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