Halloween is right around the corner, and what better way to get into the spirit than to curl up with some scary stories and seasonal tales? Laura Foner, the children’s librarian at Hyde Square’s Connolly Branch Library, recommended dozens of beloved books for readers of all ages. We narrowed it down to these:
“Hoy Es Halloween!” by P.K. Hallinan, translated by Aida E. Marcuse, ages 3 and up. This colorful book, originally written in English but can be found at the Connolly Library translated into Spanish, depicts Halloween as a holiday of mystery and illusion. The children are spirited, but are good role models for how to behave on Halloween night.
“Scared Silly! A Halloween Book for the Brave” by Marc Brown, ages 3-8. From the author and illustrator of the Arthur series, this book is a collection of poems, stories, illustrations, and riddles. The foreword, written by child psychiatrist Robert Coles, assures parents that this book would calm rather than rile the fears of youngsters, musing that as children venture into the unknown, they “learn to take on this world, to get some sense of confidence about it, control over it.”
“Five Little Monkeys Trick or Treat” by Eileen Christelow, ages 4-8. The same monkeys we know to be jumping on the bed are now out trick-or-treating on Halloween night and stirring up trouble once again. This is a non-scary Halloween book that is fun to read aloud, and it also includes recipes for Eyeball Cookies and Worm Juice at the end for would-be tricksters.
“Los Gatos Black on Halloween” by Marissa Montesages, ages 6-10. This bilingual poem is accompanied by beautifully spooky pictures. The blend of English and Spanish words is easy to understand in context for an English speaker, but it also provides a glossary and pronunciation guides for the sprinkled-in Spanish.
“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” by Alvin Schwartz, ages 8-12. This classic book, originally published in 1981, is a collection of creepy folklore and urban legends adapted by Schwartz. If you can’t get enough, there are two more books in the series. Everyone in the library, old and young, had a memory to share when they caught us flipping through this one.
“The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural” by Patricia C. MckKissack, ages 8-12. This book contains mesmerizing stories from the South. Each story is given historical and fictional context at the beginning and thoughtfully depicts themes of racism, haunting and vengeance.