The phrase “scared silly” takes on new meaning in these madcap tales of witches and monsters. Filled with mischievous fun, these thrilling Halloween reads will leave little readers shrieking—with laughter. Happy haunting!
WITCH VS. WEATHER
Halloween magic gets out of hand in Rebecca Colby’s It’s Raining Bats & Frogs. Delia, an adorable little sorceress, is excited about the annual Witch Parade until signs of rain dampen her spirits. When a full-on downpour soaks her broom-riding sisters, she takes matters into her own hands. Chanting an incantation, she transforms the raindrops into dogs and cats—a switch that goes hilariously haywire. Next, she summons a shower of hats and clogs, followed by bats and frogs, but her spells go awry every time. In the end, Delia realizes that rain is fine—even fitting—for parade day. Illustrator Steven Henry enlivens the witches’ wacky story with detail-filled drawings of marching scarecrows, juggling skeletons and horn-tooting ghosts, all of whom take part in the parade. As Delia learns the hard way, Halloween weather—like her magic spells—brings both tricks and treats!
THERE’S NOTHING TO FEAR
Sam Garton continues the adventures of Otter and her grown-up guardian, Otter Keeper, with the sweet seasonal treat, Otter Loves Halloween. Yes, Otter is excited about October 31, and it’s easy to see why! Preparations for the ghostly evening include a pumpkin-buying excursion (followed by Otter Keeper’s puzzlement over the carving process) and the hanging of decorations (glow-in-the-dark spider webs get stuck where they shouldn’t). Finally, it’s dress-up time. Otter dons a witch’s hat and cloak, and her stuffed pals Teddy and Giraffe get special costumes of their own. But when the trick-or-treaters arrive, Otter is terrified. She hides under the bed until Otter Keeper coaxes her out with an ingenious idea that sets her fears to rest. There’s lots to love about this delightful look at Halloween through Otter’s eyes. Her gentle personality shines through on every page, thanks to Garton’s genius digital illustrations. This is a great way to introduce young readers to the holiday.
READY, SET, SCARE!
A cute—and creepy—group of mischief-makers plans hijinks for Halloween in Ethan Long’s Fright Club. Vladimir the Vampire, Fran K. Stein, Sandy Witch and the rest of the Fright Club gang convene in their clubhouse to prepare for Operation Kiddie Scare. They review the traits of successful monsters (“ghoulish faces, scary moves, chilling sounds”), but their collective shock factor is a little low (to these guys, “scary moves” means ’70s disco steps). When their meeting is crashed by a timid-looking contingent of forest creatures who want to join the club, Vladimir scoffs and denies them entry. But the animals soon prove they’re skilled at being scary, and the two groups join forces for the spookiest Halloween the block has ever seen. Long depicts these eerie antics in black-and-white pencil drawings overlaid with classic monster-movie hues—sepia browns, sickly greens, macabre blues and purples. There’s plenty of fright-night fun to be had with his batty tale.