Halloween by the Book

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It is T minus 10 days until the spookiest day of the year, Halloween!  This means there’s not so much time left to handmake those one-of-a-kind little goblin get-ups, but there is plenty of time to curl up with your favorite little ghoul and a (slightly) spooky story.

Halloween is a time of wonder and transformation to the junior set, and it comes so much more alive when partnered with an awesome tale.

The greatest part is, there is something for every scare-factor level.  Board books for the teeth-almost-in crew … check.  Pumpkin tales for the pre-school crowd … got you covered.  Tales with increasing mystery and spookiness for the “I’m not a baby anymore!” (even if they are) age group … no problem. There is a story to fit the bill for everyone.

And, if you want to rest your spooky reading voice, there is an option for that as well.  Next Saturday, Oct. 29, at 11 a.m., you can pile the munchkins on the family broom and take the short flight over to Barnes and Noble Fashion Island for a special Halloween storytime.

The seasoned storytellers will be sharing “Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody,” by Michael Rex.  This picture book is a not-so-spooky spin on the children’s classic “Goodnight Moon,” by Margaret Wise Brown.  If you have now, or have ever had a child in your home, you probably have the original memorized.  I still do, and my little guys left that story behind long ago!

The well-loved original begins “In the great green room / There was a telephone / And a red balloon / And a picture of –/ The cow jumping over the moon”.  In the new version, this becomes “In the cold, gray tomb / There was a gravestone / And a black lagoon / And a picture of — / Martians taking over the moon.”

We still share a comforting bedtime ritual, but this time instead of a bunny in the familiar blue-striped pajamas, we follow a little monster, in the same cozy jammies, as he bids goodnight to his surroundings.

It is a fun story for anyone who remembers enjoying the original, and especially for younger children who will be captivated by the rhyming text.

If storytime isn’t your scene anymore, you can still pick up your choice of many other children’s (and adults’) Halloween-themed books.

Some suggested titles:

For the picture-book crowd:  “The Little Old lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything,” by Linda Williams, “The Story of the Jack O’Lantern,” by Katherine Tegen, “I Need My Monster,” by Amanda Noll, and “Big Pumpkin,” by Erica Silverman.


For emergent readers: “Flat Stanley and the Haunted House,” by Jeff Brown, “Haunted Castle on Hallow’s Eve” (Magic Tree House #30), by Mary Pope Osborn, “Junie B., 1st Grader – Boo and I Mean It,” by Barbara Park, and “The Peculiar Pumpkin Thief” (Geronimo Stilton #42), by Geronimo Stilton.

For those who can handle a little spook: “Scary Stories to Read in the Dark” by Alvin Schwartz, “More Scary Stories to Read in the Dark” also by Alvin Schwartz, “The Danger Box” by Blue Balliett, and “The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall” by Mary Downing Hahn.

All selections are available at the Fashion Island location, or online.

This witchy-momma says, grab all your ghouls and goblins, and head over to Fashion Island next Saturday.  Let the little ones enjoy story-time, pick up some spooky titles for the rest of the crew, and enjoy a fall-themed sundae afterwards at Haagen Dazs.  And remember, the best part of a spooky story is the cuddle that comes with it!

For more information on events at Barnes and Noble, visit barnesandnoble.com, or call (949) 718-0109 to be directly connected to the Fashion Island location.

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