Halloween Reading

12 Oct

Now that Matty has learned to enjoy more than just 3 favorite books, I thought it was time we branch out into our first themed reading box. Ahem, cauldron. Hehe.

Favorite Halloween Books 

1. Where Is Baby’s Pumpkin?, Karen Katz

We have amassed quite a few Karen Katz books, and Matty loves them all.  He especially loves this one because it is lift-the-flap and the little girl is dressed as a kitty, which is kind of a big deal around here right now.


• Lift the flaps!
• Touch the textures. Discuss different words-rough, sparkly, soft, smooth, etc.
• Use real-life gestures to show under, behind, in, etc. (not just lifting the flap)
• Get a small pumpkin to hide around the house. Ask “Is Matty’s pumpkin under the pillow?”, “Is Matty’s pumpkin behind the toy box?” Is Matty’s pumpkin on the chair?

2.  Halloween Dogs, Roger Priddly

Okay, I absolutely hate the words in Priddly books, but of course, Matty loves them.  And that’s the point, right? He picked this one out himself, by shouting “DOG!” and running to the display in the store.  Then he just giggled-screamed at the cover for a good 2 minutes. So  naturally, we added the book to our cart and brought it home with us.


  • Touch & Feel. Matty’s favorite page is the “Hocus Pocus” page with glittery stars.
  • There’s a page about howling dogs, where we (I) of course, howl.
  • Dress up your dog? Just kidding!, Kind of.  If we had a dog, I’d totally dress it up. Maybe Kitty will be a good sport?

3.  The Spooky Wheels on the Bus, J. Elizabeth Mills

The Wheels on the Bus is one of our faves around here, so I thought Matty would get quite the thrill out of this.  It took him a few reads to warm up to it, but he loves it now.


  • Sing!
  • There’s a CD that goes along with the book, so this could be a fun alternative.
  • Lots of hand movements, for example, instead of “the wipers on the bus goes swish swish swish”, we’ve got “the white wipers go creak creak creak” (it’s a bony hand). I dangle my arm and creak it back and forth.  Granted, Matty doesn’t fully get what I’m doing, but he sees I’m having fun, so he has fun, and that’s the point, no? Plus, after reading a book 100 times, you got to entertain yourself somehow!
  • The illustrations have lots of detail, so a great anchor to add more vocabulary.  “Do you see a ghost? There it is! It was hiding behind the driver.”  Matty isn’t able to find things on his own yet, but kids a little older can probably start finding some of their favorite items.

4.   Who Said Boo?, Phyllis Root

We just got this book today, and we’ve already read it at least 15 times.  Needless to say, we’re digging it.  It’s a lift the flap book, and the  illustrations are great.  It’s a rhyming book, and as I was reading it for the first time, I was really anticipating finding out the next rhyme (what rhymes with skeleton?!).


  • Lift the flap
  • Each page begins with “Who Said Boo?”, and on “boo” I’m sure to “scare” Matty by leaning in and saying “boo” in my scariest voice.  He likes to be scared. Weirdo.
  • At the end, all the characters shout “Eeek”, which I really draw out.  I get lots of giggles on that.
  • Each rhyme includes a Halloween character saying “No!”, which I shout and wag my finger.  Matty is already “reading along” shouting “No, No, No!” at those parts (but that’s his favorite word anyway).
  • So basically, be sure to read with expression.
  • For older kids, you could make your own rhymes to go along with the story.  For example: Who Said Boo? Was it Matty? NO! Matty was busy driving Mommy batty. Sorry, couldn’t resist…

5. Pumpkin Heads, Wendell Minor

While I love this book, I can’t believe that Matty actually does, too.  The premise of the story is all the ways the ways jack-o-lanterns are used: trick or treat decorations, scarecrows, and even on a hot air balloon.  The illustrations are more real-life drawing and would appeal to older kids, but aren’t very engaging for younger ones (or at least I don’t think so); Actually, I think a few of the images could be a bit frightening.  But Matty brings it to me and sits through repeated readings,so we keep it in rotation.


  • Matty really enjoys pointing to the eyes and noses of all the pumpkins
  • Lots of reading with expression and adding sound effects (for example, I bounce Matty on my lap for the page about hayrides and say “Yee Haw” on the page about cowboys).
  • Older kids could have lots of fun trying to find a new way to use their own pumpkin

The best part  is that we’ll be able to keep these books in our collection for at least a few more years. And yes, he’s in LOVE with the little reading corner.  I have large floor pillows next to the tree so we can snuggle and read.  The tree has been up for a week, and he hasn’t knocked it over, maimed it, or been rough with it in any way.  He does touch the lights (and smile!) and he also takes the the little decorations on and off, which I’m completely fine with  (No, I’m not worried about choking.  He’s been out of the everything-in-my-mouth stage for awhile and hasn’t tried to put these in his mouth once.  I think he really knows the difference between food and non-food substances).  I had more decorations, but figured since he’s doing so well with it, why push it?  I did try a craft today that we were going to put on the tree, but uh yeah…he’s just totally not into crafts. 😦

Any other recommendations?

One Response to “Halloween Reading”


  1. Fall Fun Recap « This Girl's Canon - November 28, 2012

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