Saturday, October 21, 2017

My 5 Favorite Fall / Halloween Children's Books From My Childhood

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I love doing these posts to help introduce a new generation to some of my childhood favorites.  I hope you find something you and your child enjoy here.

The one Halloween book that stands out to me most is Grandpa's Ghosts Stories.  I'm not the only one who would put this at the top of the list -- it FINALLY came back into print after the ones from the late 70s and early 80s were going for huge prices on eBay and Amazon.  (I have to confess, I sold mine once when I desperately needed the $60 it was going for.)  Now that it is back in print, I plan to get another copy!  But enough about the high prices this one could fetch, let's get to what I remember about the book.   It was fun, and I think you would enjoy love it.  There's a scary thunderstorm out, and Grandpa starts telling stories of things that are a lot scarier -- like a witch that turns little boys into spiders.  I got it from Weekly Reader book club about 1979, and it's the first book I think of when I think of Halloween.  (Although this isn't exactly a Halloween book, the content is appropriate for the season.)


The Thanksgiving Treasure by Gail Rock is another favorite from the 1970s.  I loved all the Addie Mills stories as a child, and I still love them today.  This is a sequel to The House Without a Christmas Tree.  The Addie Mills books are set in the 1940s, which was a far away time for me when I grew up, and likely would be considered ancient history to today's children.  Ha!  Gail Rock's writing paints such a wonderful picture it feels like you are there -- and her stories emphasize what is important.  This is also available as a DVD

The smaller children will love The Monster at the End of this Book.  It's not scary at all -- Grover from Sesame Street says there is going to be a monster at the end of the book -- and surprise!  It's HIM he's been warning you about through the story!  My first memory was of a Frankenstein walking down our street on Halloween 1974.  I was only 15 months old.  I sometimes wonder if I had been read this book that early on if I would have been as frightened thinking that monsters can be our friends.  I believe I was given this book when I turned five, and I still have my copy.  Who doesn't love Grover?

A chapter book that older children will understand but younger children might need some things explained to them is Bunnicula.  Again, not exactly Halloween related but still fits in well with this time of year.  I can remember loving the title and reading The Celery Stalks At Midnight when I was in 3rd and 4th grade.  There are seven books in this series, so if you get a child hooked on the first one you just might need to get him/her all seven!  Told by the viewpoint of the family dog, this is a well loved favorite.

To round out the top five, I would have to go with Garfield's Halloween Adventure.  While it is no longer in print, the books are reasonably priced, unlike the DVD with the same story .  The book is full color and in comic form.  I loved the whole story when I was growing up and I still sometimes say the "candy, candy, candy, candy" line from the TV special.  But the book is fun as Garfield and Odie look for things in the attic to create a costume.  (Remember those days instead of buying everything pre-made?)

I hope you enjoy this list I put together and I hope you find a new family favorite!

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