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!


Squirrel Power!

Which animal do you see darting around the neighborhood during this time of year? Squirrels, of course! They’re everywhere and they are on a mission: to “squirrel away” the most nuts they can before winter begins. Here are some books about squirrels to keep you as busy as a squirrel.


Nuts to You! by Lois Ehlert
A rascally squirrel has an indoor adventure in a city apartment.

Bear and Squirrel are Friends…Yes, Really! by Deb Pilutti
Although Squirrel‘s friends warn him that bears eat squirrels, and Bear‘s friends remind him that squirrels make a good midnight snack, their friendship remains strong.

Squirrels on Skis by J. Hamilton Ray
Squirrels on skis take over a town, wreaking havoc among the human residents, until a girl reporter comes up with a creative solution.

Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins
After surviving being carried off by a hawk, a young squirrel resolves to find his way home, as his best friends begin their search for him.

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt
Scaredy Squirrel thinks about all the things that could happen to him if he left the safety of his home, but he has no choice when he accidentally drops his emergency kit.

Those Darn Squirrels! by Adam Rubin
When grumpy Old Man Fookwire builds feeders to try to keep birds–the only creatures he likes–from leaving for the winter, he finds himself in a battle with clever, crafty squirrels who want a share of the abundant food.

Squirrel in the House by Vivian Vande Velde
A Squirrel narrates this story of a family get-together turned upside down when he climbs down the chimney to join the festivities.

Squirrels by Diane Swanson
Describes the physical characteristics, behavior, habitat, and life cycle of the animal that never seems to stay still.

Now that you’ve read all about these bushy-tailed critters, create some squirrel friends of your own!  Peek-a-boo squirrel puppet instructions courtesy of One Artsy Mama, and pine cone squirrel instructions courtesy  of About.com.



Monster Reads

Check out these great read-alouds, perfect for storytime with your little monsters!


Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
Monsters are supposed to be good at one thing – scaring people! However, one little monster, Leonardo, just can’t seem to do it. No matter how much he growls and roars and makes his scariest faces, nobody is even a little afraid. But when Leonardo hatches a plan to terrify the most scaredy-cat kid in the whole wide world, scaring someone seems like a sure thing. When the boy cries, though, everything changes for Leonardo. Hilarious, quick, and a great read aloud – both parents and kids will enjoy this not-so-scary monster story.

If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca Emberley & Ed Emberley
With bright illustrations and text set to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” this book invites readers to sing and dance along. With prompts to snort, growl, twitch your tail and more, this book will have everyone channeling their inner, goofy monster.

My Teacher is a Monster! by Peter Brown
Bobby’s teacher, Ms. Kirby, is a monster. He’s sure of it! She stomps. She roars. Definitely a monster. So, when Bobby runs into Ms. Kirby at the park, he’s less than excited. When a gust of a wind blows Ms. Kirby’s favorite hat off and away, it’s up to Bobby and Ms. Kirby to chase it down before it’s too late. After a day together outside of school, Bobby starts to see Ms. Kirby a little differently. Is she still a monster? Bobby’s not so sure.

Monster Trouble by Lane Frederickson
Winifred Schnitzel is never afraid, not even of the monsters that come creeping into her room right at bedtime every night. But, with her sleep interrupted, Winifred finds that she’s going too sleepy to focus at school or even have fun. Enough is enough. When tricks and traps fail, Winifred is shocked to discover the one thing that will send even the biggest monsters running—a kiss! Follow along with Winifred’s silly story written in rhyming text and with bright illustrations.

Big Bad Bubble by Adam Rubin
All of the big, scary monsters living in La La Land are terrified of one thing – bubbles! Chewing gum bubbles, bubble baths, even bubble wrap is terrifying to this group of monsters. Watch as Wumpus, Froofle, Mogo, and Yerbert attempt to overcome their fear of bubbles. You’ll never guess what they’ll be afraid of next!

Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley
Follow along in this classic, interactive book as the Big Green Monster’s face appears piece by piece. When the Big Green Monster finally appears, watch him slowly disappear! Another great read aloud, kids will love telling the Big Green Monster to “Go Away!” over and over again.

Now that you’re in the monster mood, create your own yarn monster with this simple craft from ZingZingTree.



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?

Cool Cats

Some cats are cool, while others just ruin everything! Some cats are looking for action, while others just want a quiet place to nap. Cats are big and small, and we love them all. Here are some of our favorite cat books.


Cat Jumped In! by Tess Weaver
When someone leaves the kitchen window open, Cat jumps in! So begins the tale of an outdoor cat who finds his way into a tidy house, wreaking havoc at every turn. That is, until he finds his way in once more–this time into someone’s heart. Beautiful, bright watercolors from Caldecott-winning illustrator Emily Arnold McCully nearly spring off the page, buoyed by a playful text that highlights simple prepositions. Preschoolers will delight in Cat’s unintended disasters and mess, and the heartwarming story, the product of a pairing of exceptional author and illustrator talents, will charm cat people of any age.

Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School by Kimberly and James Dean
Pete the Cat is back in New York Times bestselling author James Dean’s beginning reader Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School. In this funny My First I Can Read Book, Pete just can’t decide which outfit to wear to school! He has so many options to choose from. Fans of Pete the Cat will enjoy Pete’s creativity in choosing the coolest outfit. Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School is a My First I Can Read book, which means it’s perfect for shared reading with a child.

Hi, Cat! by Ezra Jack Keats
On his way to hang out with the neighborhood kids, Archie very innocently greets a stray cat who follows him and gets in the way. The cat ruins everything – Archie’s street show is a mess and his audience drifts away. But things aren’t all bad: when Archie goes, the cat follows him all the way home, too!

Homer, the Library Cat by Reeve Lindbergh
Homer is a very quiet cat. He lives in a very quiet house with a very quiet lady. But one day, while the lady is away, Homer hears a very loud sound, and out the window he goes! Poor Homer just wants to find a spot where he can curl up and be quiet, but his hometown is a surprisingly loud place. Will Homer find a bit of calm in all the noise? And will he ever find his quiet lady? Reeve Lindbergh’s cheerful, rhyming text pairs with Anne Wilsdorf’s charming illustrations for a story-lover’s ode to everyone’s favorite quiet place.

Mummy Cat by Marcus Ewert
Mummy Cat prowls his pyramid home, longing for his beloved owner. As he roams the tomb, lavish murals above his head display scenes of the cat with his young Egyptian queen, creating a story-within-a-story about the events of centuries past. Hidden hieroglyphs deepen the tale and are explained in an informative author’s note.
Marcus Ewert and Lisa Brown’s smart, beautiful book is a marvel of sophisticated simplicity, infinitely engaging to examine in detail, and complete with a sweetly surprising plot twist sure to delight young cat-lovers and budding Egyptologists alike.

Cat by Juliet Clutton-Brock
See a jaguar swimming, a cat that can outrun a car, a leopard who lost his spots, and a black panther stalking its prey. Learn why cats need whiskers, how they purr, how the Manx cat lost its tail, and why a tiger is striped. Discover how cats communicate, how cats find their way home, why the black cat has been both persecuted and pampered, why they are said to have nine lives, and more. From domestic cats to the beasts prowling in the wild, Eyewitness: Cat looks at these beautiful mammals that are a part of our world.

How to Speak Cat : a Guide to Decoding Cat Language by Aline Alexander Newman & Gary Weitzman
We know cats are beautiful, secretive, and independent … but even the most loyal cat owners are often baffled by their own pet’s behavior. With veterinarian expert Dr. Gary Weitzman as guide, this fun book helps kids understand what cats are trying to communicate by their body language and behavior. So if you’ve ever wondered what Fluffy means when she’s purring or moving her tail emphatically from left to right – this book is for you! It’s full of insights, expert advice, and real-life cat scenarios, and showcases more than 30 poses, so you’ll soon learn what each meow and flick of the tail means!

After you check these books out from the library, have fun with this simple cat craft from Crafty Pammy.


Oceans of Fun

The world’s oceans cover around 70% of the Earth’s surface but there is still a lot we don’t know about them. They are full of everything from colorful fish, crabs and octopi to really weird creatures that create their own light in the dark depths. Dive into the weird and fun depths of the ocean with these books.


One Lonely Seahorse by Saxton Freymann
One lonely sea horse learns that she has a lot of friends–friends she can really “count” on to help.

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it’s a good thing that enormous fish won’t wake up. And even if he does, it’s not like he’ll ever know what happened. . . .

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck
Way down deep in the deep blue sea,
there’s a lot to find. I guarantee!
Come on! Be brave!
Just follow me!
And let’s explore the deep blue sea!

I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry
When a giant squid takes inventory of all of the creatures in the ocean, he realizes that he’s way bigger than most of them! Of course, there are bigger things lurking around . . . but maybe this giant squid with a giant touch of hubris doesn’t really care?

Flotsam by David Wiesner
A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam–anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there’s no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share . . . and to keep.

The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 by Lauren Tarshis 
Ten-year-old George Calder can’t believe his luck-he and his little sister Phoebe are on the famous Titanic , crossing the ocean with their aunt Daisy. The ship is full of exciting places to explore, but when George ventures into a first class storage cabin, a terrible boom shakes the entire boat. Suddenly, water is everywhere, and George’s life changes forever.

Oceans: Dolphins, Sharks, Penguins and More!: meet 60 Cool Sea Creatures and Explore Their Amazing Watery World by Johnna Rizzo
Swim with sharks! Dive with dolphins! Stroll the beach with penguins! Young readers will joyfully immerse themselves in this awesome adventure at sea, in which stunning National Geographic photos reveal hidden worlds of action and beauty. We meet 30 favorite sea creatures and explore their watery homes: playful dolphins, mysterious sharks, graceful sea turtles, waddling penguins, and dozens of others. Kids will marvel at speedy swimmers on the hunt, and smile at cuddly scenes of animal families.

After enjoying some ocean stories, have some more watery fun with an ocean snack and octopus craft!