Halloween Favorites

No tricks, just treats! These holiday reads are a spooktacular way to get the whole family into the Halloween mood.


The Hallo-Wiener by Dav Pilkey
Oscar the dachshund spends most days being teased by the other pups at obedience school for his strange shape. But when the other dogs run into trouble on Halloween night, it turns out that Oscar’s unusual build and the silly costume his mom gave him, might be just what it takes to save the day.

The 13 Nights of Halloween by Guy Vailovich
The whole family can sing along to this spooky take on the classic song “The 12 Nights of Christmas” complete with ghosts a’ghosting, werewolves waiting, and a bright, shiny skeleton key!

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
The little old lady might not be afraid of anything, but her fearlessness is put to the test when shoes, then pants, then a shirt and more start following her on her way back to her cottage through the forest. An excellent read-along that invites readers to move along, this classic book is a great read for children young and old – and just wait to see the book’s surprising end!

The Spooky Wheels on the Bus by J. Elizabeth Mills
Another great read-along, this Halloween-themed version of the beloved song “The Wheels on the Bus” gets readers moving, singing, and counting as the bus makes its way all through the town.

Monster Goose by Judy Sierra
Nothing says “Halloween” quite like these short, silly monsters songs and rhymes. Whether it’s “Mary Had a Vampire Bat,” “There Was an Old Zombie” or “Hush, Little Monster,” your family is sure to find a funny favorite in no time.


Skelly the Skeleton Girl by Jimmy Pickering
It’s a mystery when Skelly the Skeleton Girl discovers a bone in her house for which she can’t account. Does it belong to her fish, her bat, her man-eating plants? Could it even belong to her? Skelly checks with everyone in her haunted house until the bone’s owner is finally discovered!

Ten Orange Pumpkins: A Counting Book by Stephen Savage
Count back from ten as, one by one, this batch of pumpkins disappears. Ghosts, mummies, even pirates – everyone is taking a pumpkin to use for Halloween!

Mouse’s First Halloween by Lauren Thompson
Mouse’s first Halloween is turning out to be quite scary. Mysterious sounds, shadowy figures, and shapes he doesn’t quite recognize. But when things get clearer, Mouse discovers that even though it is fun to be scared on Halloween, most of the things he’s seeing aren’t so scary after all.

Click, Clack, Boo!: A Tricky Treat by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin
Farmer Brown does not like Halloween, but when the farm’s animals decide to throw a party in the barn, Farmer Brown overcomes his fears of spooky sounds and shadows to see what’s going on.

On Halloween Night by Harriet Ziefert
Emily is going to be a witch for Halloween night; sing along as her costume comes together piece by piece. With rhyming text and building lines, this Halloween read is sure to become a family favorite.

Need a break from these spooky stories? Mark your page with a DIY: Bat Corner Bookmark via Easy Peasy and Fun.



Fall Favorites

The days are getting cooler and the sun is setting earlier each day. That means autumn has arrived! Celebrate the changing of the seasons with these fall books.


Fall is Here! by Frankie Jones
Celebrate Fall in this adorable board book! Fall is here! Discover colorful leaves, friendly scarecrows, yummy pies, and all the things that make Fall so special in this beautiful board book.

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak
As trees sway in the cool breeze, blue jays head south, and leaves change their colors, everyone knows–autumn is on its way! Join a young girl as she takes a walk through forest and town, greeting all the signs of the coming season. In a series of conversations with every flower and creature and gust of wind, she says good-bye to summer and welcomes autumn.

Autumn Is Here! by Heidi Pross Gray
Celebrate the coming of autumn with your child as you cuddle up and enjoy a sweet look at how the world changes along with the season. With beautiful watercolor illustrations and charming descriptions, you and your child will be wishing it was autumn year round!

Who Loves the Fall? by Bob Raczka
It’s hard when summer ends, but the hearty season that follows overflows with holidays, sports, and fun. In this companion to Spring Things, the author and illustrator pay tribute to fall.

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
Fall has come, the wind is gusting, and Leaf Man is on the move. Is he drifting east, over the marsh and ducks and geese? Or is he heading west, above the orchards, prairie meadows, and spotted cows? No one’s quite sure, but this much is certain: A Leaf Man’s
got to go where the wind blows. With illustrations made from actual fall leaves and die-cut pages on every spread that reveal gorgeous landscape vistas, here is a playful, whimsical, and evocative book that celebrates the natural world and the rich imaginative life of children.

Leaves by David Ezra Stein
It’s a young bear’s first autumn, and the falling leaves surprise him. He tries to put them back on the trees, but it doesn’t work. Eventually, he gets sleepy, and burrows into the fallen leaves for a long nap. When he wakes up, it’s spring’and there are suddenly brand-new leaves all around, welcoming him. Graceful illustrations and a childlike main character offer the perfect way to talk to children about the wonder of the changing seasons.

Fall Is Not Easy by Marty Kelley
Fall is a tough time of year for a lot of us. Kids have to go back to school, teachers and football players have to go back to work, and parents have to look for new places to hide holiday presents. But perhaps fall is hardest of all on trees. After all, they have to change their entire appearance every year! This book is the rhyming story of a tree’s humorous struggles to change its colors for fall. And it’s a perfect introduction to the seasons for young children.

After checking out these books, take a walk and enjoy the fall colors! And while you’re out, collect some leaves for leaf rubbings. Explore the science of leaves while creating some fun art with this leaf rubbing project via Edventures with Kids!


Book Weekend – Noises

noiseWhat noise do I make? by Brian McLachlan is a picture book that takes a children’s concept to a new level.  Most preschoolers have meet animals and learned their noises in a picture book, but let’s be honest, most of these are farm animals.  What about stranger wilder animals, like the colorful ostrich on the cover?  What noise do they make?

The story begins with a stretching cat who meows and a friendly mutt dog who barks, but then moves along to dolphins and whales, raccoons and skunks, rhinos as well as elephants, and two kinds of pandas.  Each animal is asked the question and then, as the page turns, reveal the surprising loud or unusual noises they are known for.  A funny look at sounds that will engage older elementary school kids as well as amusing the younger set.

Flex Your Civic Muscle!

It is election season and though you might not be able to vote, it is always fun to learn about what it takes to be an active citizen of the United States. Ever wonder what it takes to be President? Or how old you have to be to vote? These books have the answers!


When Penny Met POTUS by Rachel Ruiz
From debut author Rachel Ruiz, When Penny Met POTUS is a unique and clever picture book about a young girl whose mother works for the president of the United States. Penny has heard the term POTUS over and over but doesn’t know what it means and her imagination runs wild. When she spends a day at the office with her mother, she asks a few questions, looks around, and tries to discover just who or what POTUS is.

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy
Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.

A Balancing Act: A Look at Checks and Balances by Kathiann M. Kowalski
After Americans won their freedom in the Revolutionary War, they faced the challenge of forming their own government. Many people didn’t trust governments. They wanted to protect their freedoms so they formed three branches–the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial–that would watch each other, ensuring that no one person or branch would become too powerful. Discover how all three branches of government work, and how they check and balance each other to guard Americans’ freedoms.

If I Ran for President by Catherine Stier
If you ran for president, you would have to do a lot of hard work. You would study the nation’s problems, tell the American people about your platform, select a running mate, and debate your opponents on live television.

America’s Bill of Rights by Kathleen Krull
Which 462 words are so important that they’ve changed the course of American history more than once? The Bill of Rights: the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the crucial document that spells out how the United States is to be governed.
Newly revised and updated, packed with anecdotes, sidebars, case studies, suggestions for further reading, and humorous illustrations, Kathleen Krull’s introduction to the Bill of Rights brings an important topic vividly to life for young readers.
Find out what the Bill of Rights is and how it affects your daily life in this fascinating look at the history, significance, and mysteries of these laws that protect the individual freedoms of everyone–even young people.

Fancy pens aren’t just for writing up laws, they can also make art. Practice your writing flourishes with this cool feather quill craft and write up your own personal constitution or just doodle. Exercise your freedom to be creative!  Instructions courtesy of Kids’ Play Box.



Book Weekend – Scientists

adaAda Twist, Scientist is the third book in a series by Andrea Beaty, illustrated delightfully by David Roberts.

Ada is a curious girl who’s endless questions turn her parents Art Deco home on it’s head.  Never has a heroine rocked rubber gloves and eye goggles so well!  And she demonstrates the use of scientific principles in her experiments.  The rhyming text glides effortlessly, while the cleverly detailed art adds humor and style.  Look for cameo appearances in the background by her class mates, Rosie Revere and Iggy Peck.

And if you haven’t already, read their stories!  Iggy Peck, Architect features a full spread homage to our very own mid-century modern Gateway Arch, and Rosie Revere, Engineer, was the first story to kick off this picture book series!



Book Weekend – Gingerbread Man

gingerbreadThe Gingerbread Man may be familiar to some readers already, but even those who don’t remember the tragic incident of the Fox and the River, will enjoy these new adventures.

In 2011 Laura Murray, introduces the classic crumbly hero to a classroom of school children in the picture book The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School.  After that, he went on a field trip to the fire house with them in Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck, 2013.

Now he’s back, just as cute and jaunty as ever.  His icing squiggles are ready for action.   This time he faces a host of zoo animals who think he looks tasty.  But when he runs across a lost baby kangaroo, will he be able to save it, too?  OR will he loose his classroom for good?

Book Weekend – School

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex
firstWhile many kids are nervous about starting a new year of studies, what about the building?  What if a school were just as nervous about starting the year?   When this new elementary school frets and worries, the kindly Janitor reassures it that the new children will be nice, and than yes, change can be good.

The playful diversity of illustrator Christian Robinson’s pictures invite all readers to see themselves in this colorful world.