Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Goodnight Goon by: Michael Rex

(I read this book as a part of my participation in the FrightFall Read-A-Thon.)

Title: Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody Author: Michael Rex
Publisher: Putnam Pages: 32

From the inside cover:
In a cold gray tomb with a black lagoon and a picture of Martians taking over the moon, a little werewolf is trying to get to sleep.  But as he says goodnight, and before he turns out the light, a goon comes in and trashes everything in sight.  What are we going to do with this terribly naughty goon?

I purchased this book for my school library.  I LOVE Halloween books, and I am always looking for new additions to our library.  Goodnight Goon is a delight!  A parody of Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon, the book is appropriate for all ages.  If you loved Goodnight Moon, you are sure to enjoy Goodnight Goon.  A tiny werewolf lies in bed in his striped pajamas saying goodnight to his room.  Unfortunately, his night time ritual is interrupted by a naughty goon.  Children will love the illustrations and rhyme in this charming book.  Teachers seeking an example of parody will find this book very useful as well. This book makes a wonderful addition to any child’s or classroom library.

Read this book if:
*you love Halloween books
*you(or your child)  love Goodnight Moon
*you love children’s picture books
*you enjoy parody

Monday, October 1, 2012

Precious and the Boo Hag
(I am reading this book as part of my participation in the FrightFall Read-A-Thon.)

 Title: Precious and the Boo Hag Authors: Patricia C. McKissack & Onawumi Jean Moss Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Pages: 40

I checked this book out from my own school library.
From the inside cover:
When Precious is left home alone with a stomachache, she’s got nothing but a warning from Mama- “Don’t let nothing or nobody into this house”- to keep her company.  You see, nothing or nobody could turn out to be something awful: the Boo Hag! The Boo Hag’s got a voice that rumbles like thunder and hair that shoots out like lightening.  And she can disguise herself to look like anything.  So when the Boo Hag comes calling, will Precious be clever enough to outwit the trickiest trickster?

Never let strangers into the house! Mind your manners! Always tell the truth!  This book teaches age-old childhood lessons in a fun way.  When her big brother warns her about the Boo Hag, “She’s tricky and she’s scary and she tries to make you disobey yo’ mama…Pruella is strange from head to toe. She aine none too smart, got no manners, hates clean water, can change her shape, and tells whoppers.” Precious has no idea how tricky a Boo Hag can be.  With quick wit (and hilarious sing-song taunts) Precious teaches the Boo Hag a lesson she won’t soon forget.
I fell in love with this book the first time I read it. I have used it for many story times and the children can never get enough.  This book begs to be read aloud.  It has predictability, repetition, and a child hero that outwits the villain.  Children of all ages will love this story.

Read this book if:
* You love “scary” books
* You love books about African American heritage
* You love trickster stories
* You love read-aloud books

The 13 Nights of Halloween
(I am reading this book as part of my participation in the FrightFall Read-A-Thon.)
Title: The 13 Nights of Halloween Author: Guy Vasilovich
Publisher: HarperCollins Pages: 40

I checked this book out from my school library.

From the inside cover:
On the first night of Halloween, what does your mummy give you?  A bright, shiny skeleton key, of course!
In fact, each of the thirteen nights leading up to the big night, your mummy is ready with gifts that include everything from singing skulls to demons dancing to icky eyeballs….

A parody of The Twelve Days of Christmas, this Halloween picture book is hilariously charming.  Bright, gorgeous illustrations bring all sorts of magical creatures to life.  (My personal favorite was the 6 corpses caroling.)  All this book needs is an accompanying CD to play along with it.  Young children will enjoy the repetition, but the book is delightful for all ages.  A must-add to your Halloween collection.

Read this book if”
*You love Halloween picture books
*You love parody

Bone Soup by: Cambria Evans
I read this book as part of the FrightFall Read-A-Thon.

Title: Bone Soup  Author: Cambria Evans Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company  Pages: 32

I borrowed this book from my school library.

From the inside cover: 
Known across the land for his infamous appetite, Finnigin is never seen without his eating stool, his eating spoon, and his gigantic eating mouth.  When Finnigin finds himself in a new town on Halloween, he hopes to join in a great feast with the creatures who live there.  But not a body or soul will share any of their food with the famished Finnigin.  So what’s a hungry skeleton to do?  Armed only with his wits and a special ingredient, will Finnigin be able to stir up a cauldron’s worth of Halloween magic?

I loved this book!  A (very) creative take on the old Stone Soup tale, this one brings out all of a child’s favorite spooky creatures (werewolves, witches, and zombies, oh my!)  Children love the predictability and the (mild) gross-out factor.  The main character is humble and lovable, and accomplishes his goals through creative thinking.  Humorous illustrations add to the charm. This book will appeal to younger and older children alike.

Read this book if:
*You love “scary” children’s stories
*You loved the old Stone Soup folktale (An excellent compare and contrast lesson)

The Tailypo by: Paul Galdone

The Tailypo by: Paul Galdone

(I'm reviewing this book as part of my participation in the FrightFall Read-A-Thon.)

Title: The Tailypo Author: Paul Galdone
Publisher: Clarion Books Pages:  40

I borrowed this book from my own school library.

This is my all-time favorite scary children’s book!  I read it every year to all my classes at Halloween.  The student’s love it, too. They always start asking, “When do we read the Tailypo?!”   A parent recently asked me, “Do you have The Tailypo? I used to love that book!”  
This book has everything a great scary children’s book should have: suspense that builds, a bit of repetition, spooky illustrations, and – best of all- a true scary ending. No “happily ever afters” here.
An old man lives alone far out in the woods with only his three dogs for company.  While he is sleeping one night a strange creature creeps into his home.  The man quickly cuts off the creature’s tail, but it escapes.  Later that night, however, the creature returns looking for its tail…
This book is a classic, and, while not for the faint hearted, I highly recommend it.  Paul Galdone was an awesome author, and this is one of his finest.

Read this book if:
*You love a scary story
*Your child loves scary stories