9 Halloween Books We Love

Monday, September 19, 2016

Last year I made the mistake of waiting until two weeks before October 31 to request Halloween specific library books. Which meant many of the books didn't come until November. The horror. Who knew Halloween was such a hit? Apparently everyone. While it's never been my favorite holiday, having a child makes every holiday a little more exciting. As we slowly grow our own collection of Halloween books I can attest that these nine are part of our tried and true favorites.
  1. The Witch Next Door - A vintage classic. Two children are amused by the antics of their quirky neighbor and are delighted to discover that having a witch live next door can also come in handy. 
  2. Happy Halloween Witch's Cat - We fell in love with this little cat last year from this book. Well, she's back and desperately trying to figure out what to be for Halloween. Will her mom go along with her idea?
  3. Ghosts in the House! - What's a girl to do with a house full of hunted ghosts? Capture them. Wash them. Hang them out to dry. And repurpose them for more functional household items. Such a fun one!
  4. Ghost in the House - Not to be confused with the previous book, this is a spooky tale of a ghost who encounters a bump in the night, but ends up accumulating comrades along his journey to discover the source of the racket. 
  5. Birdie's Happiest Halloween - Out this year, this is our first experience with the lovable heroin, Birdie, who is trying to figure out what to be for Halloween. Inspired by a trip to the museum she comes up with a last minute solution. 
  6. Humbug Witch - Even though she's a frightening-looking, horrible, witchy, WITCH, this witch has a surprise in store. Another vintage classic, still striking in its illustrations and story. 
  7. Leo: a Ghost Story - When a new family moves into Leo's house, he tries to make friends with them, but is sadly misunderstood. A tale of friendship told with imaginative style. Meaning it hardly matters that it isn't a Halloween specific book.  
  8. Gilbert the GhostNot technically a Halloween book, but a tale of Spartacus, the ghost, who doesn't want to be like all his other classmates. Charming and reminiscent of Casper. 
  9. Go Away, Big Green Monster! - Also not technically a Halloween book, but Ed Emberley is a master, who manages to create then disassembles a monster, simply by layering shapes that even the youngest child can't resist. 
Want more Halloween inspired books? Follow along on Instagram, where I'll be sharing more in the coming weeks. Also, four more Halloween books from last year. 

Chapter Books for Toddlers

Monday, September 12, 2016

You might wonder when a good time to start chapter books is, especially if you have kids in the two to five-year-old range. While all families are different, I'd say your child should be able to sit still for some amount of time. We've had particular success reading chapter books aloud during dinner. We started a couple months before my daughter turned two. Now it has become a family ritual that either me or my husband will read-aloud as the rest of the family finishes eating.

Over the last couple months we've read all three of the Lulu books and Three Tales of My Father's Dragon. In addition, I selected a handful of chapter books back in July to read as part of a vetting exercise and I'm happy to report I enjoyed reading each of these books. With short chapters and simple sentence structure, chapter books help children with memory retention, imagination, and reading readiness. If you're just starting out with chapter books at your home (either to read aloud or for beginning readers to read solo), this is a great place to start.

- The Adventures of Sophie Mouse
- Lulu Walks the Dog
- Bink & Golly
- A Pig, A Fox, and a Box
- Monkey and Elephant
- Henry and Mudge & the Happy Cat
- Mercy Watson to the Rescue
- Mouse and Mole

Words: Wisdom

Friday, August 26, 2016


"You read to your child because the experts say it’s important. You read to your child because the hours of parenting are endless and it’s something to do. Maybe you read to your kid because you love it, and you make your living from it, and you can’t imagine having a child who doesn’t appreciate your subsistence, in the fullest sense of the word. It’s an exercise in parental narcissism—an effort to shape your child according to your own proclivities and predilections—but also one of hope: an attempt to bequeath a form of solace and communion that will last them the entirety of their lives."

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