Halloween Is Coming!

Halloween Is Coming! follows three unnamed friends delighting in the early signs of Halloween. Together, the friends enjoy the fall weather, hayrides at their town fair, picking pumpkins to carve into Jack-o’-lanterns, dressing up for their school parade, and several other activities. Finally, they make their own costumes to wear for trick-or-treating. Then, the long-anticipated night arrives. 

This sweet and short book is a celebration of autumn and Halloween, clearly written and illustrated by lifelong Halloween enthusiasts. Halloween Is Coming! is a great pick for younger readers who are looking for a story that captures Halloween’s fun side, while staying away from its scarier side. 

Most illustrations are spread across two pages, with monsters, ravens, and other symbols of the holiday hidden in the background. Typically using shades of orange and yellow, the illustrations feature multicolored trees, candy store windows brimming with detail, and unique costumes for every character. Younger readers will enjoy the characters’ diverse and elaborate variety of costumes, ranging from checkerboarded jesters to scaly dinosaurs. The narration is a passionate love letter to Halloween, told in rhyme and limiting itself to one to three sentences per page. 

Although the book does not follow a traditional story, readers will still detect themes of friendship, enthusiasm, and creativity. The relationship shared by the three main friends will teach kids that Halloween should be less of a day dedicated to scaring, and more of an opportunity for you to express your creative, unique self alongside the people closest to you. 

Sexual Content 

  • None 

Violence 

  • None 

Drugs and Alcohol 

  • None 

Language 

  • None 

Supernatural 

  • Friendly ghosts and monsters appear in the background of several pages, but none are threatening.

Spiritual Content 

  • None 

The Halloween Queen

It’s Halloween and time for trick-or-treating. But there is one little girl who is afraid to go near her neighbor’s house. However, the Halloween Queen has the best candy on the whole block and hosts a fun party too. What is the little girl to do?  

Young readers will relate to the little girl, who is excited to dress up for Halloween but scared by the neighbor house’s scary decorations. The person who lives in the house clearly loves Halloween, because “a ghost haunts her front yard, and bats hang out back. Wolves howl from her rooftop. Cats hiss from her trees.” Once inside the woman’s house, the little girl realizes there was no reason to be afraid. The cute conclusion reveals that the woman, who dressed as a witch, is actually the little girl’s teacher. 

The book’s full-page illustrations use all the fall colors and are full of black cats, orange pumpkins, and white ghosts. Despite skeletons hanging from the trees, flying bats, and a green witch with spiders on her glasses, the illustrations are not scary but are festive and cartoonish. Each page has two to four short, rhyming sentences. Even though The Halloween Queen is a picture book, the story is intended to be read aloud to a child rather than for the child to read it for the first time independently.  

The Halloween Queen is best suited for young readers who are still frightened by the thought of monsters being out on Halloween night. Readers will enjoy looking at all the kids who are dressed up: a monster, a vampire, a cat, and a cowboy can all be found within the pages of the book. For a fun, Halloween read that reminds readers that there is nothing to fear on Halloween night, be sure to grab a copy of The Halloween Queen! For more wonderful, witchy fun, add The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches by Alice Low to your reading list. 

Sexual Content 

  • None 

Violence 

  • None 

Drugs and Alcohol 

  • None 

Language   

  • When the girl is afraid to go up to the door of a house, some of the kids call her chicken. 

Supernatural 

  • None 

Spiritual Content 

  • None 

Stitch-or-Treat!

It is Stitch’s first Halloween on Earth! Lilo has prepared a list to ensure that the day is perfect. First, they need to find the right costume for Stitch. After several tries, Stitch finally decides on a vampire costume. Next, Lilo shows Stitch how to carve a pumpkin. Impatient, Stitch carves his pumpkin with his laser blaster. Finally, it’s time for trick-or-treating. Unlike Lilo, Stitch prefers tricks over treats. To Lilo’s chagrin, Stitch scares every person they meet. Stitch delights in this, but all these scares mean no candy for him or Lilo. Disappointed, Lilo walks away, believing that her perfect Halloween has been ruined. However, her spirits are lifted when Stitch catches up to her, boasting a mountain of candy! 

Lilo is thrilled. Her Halloween may turn out to be perfect after all! However, her excitement ends when Stitch admits that he stole the candy from other trick-or-treaters. Together, Lilo and Stitch do the right thing—return the candy. They board Stitch’s spaceship and fly over the town, dropping the candy on the trick-or-treaters below. That night, Lilo and Stitch sleep happily, with Lilo’s list completed. It was a perfect Halloween after all. 

Stitch-or-Treat continues the story of Disney’s beloved Lilo and Stitch and is sure to charm fans of the film. Readers who are unfamiliar with the characters will nonetheless be entertained by the sweet and short misadventure of the unlikely pair. The book’s art style matches the style of the film, with decorations drawn in the background to create a proper Halloween spirit. Readers will laugh at the illustrations of Stitch trying on various costumes and his confused, frustrated expressions. Fans of other Disney films will also delight in seeing background characters dressed as characters like Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood. 

The book is part of the Step into Reading Level Two series, which targets readers in preschool through first grade. Each page features 1 to 3 short sentences in large font, making it an easy read. While it is an entertaining Halloween story, Stitch-or-Treat also teaches a valuable lesson about the importance of considering the needs of others. Stitch shows kindness and maturity by choosing to stop scaring others. Plus, both Lilo and Stitch show the same level of maturity by choosing to return the stolen candy, even if it meant that they both went without it. 

Sexual Content 

  • None 

Violence 

  • None  

Drugs and Alcohol 

  • None 

Language 

  • None 

Supernatural 

  • None 

Spiritual Content 

  • None 

Hardly Haunted

After years with no residents, a lonely house on a hill comes to realize that she is haunted. The revelation scares her even more than any of the strange noises and rumblings inside her ever have. Who would ever want to live in a haunted house? The house starts to fear a lifetime of living alone, until she hatches a plan.  

The house believes that if she is on her best behavior, no one will know her secret. She tries her best to keep quiet, to keep her doors from creaking, her stairs from squeaking, and her pipes from rattling. After a long effort, she finally manages to hold still. Unfortunately, she is quickly ambushed by a rush of wind, and her efforts are immediately squashed. The branches of the tree beside her scratch at her windows. Her lights flicker. Her chimney howls. The wind passes, but the house thinks that the experience was fun. She realizes that she enjoys being noisy and haunted and does not want to pretend not to be. However, this doesn’t change her feelings of loneliness. After some thought, the house decides that she should look for people who like that she’s haunted. Just then, a family of ghosts approaches the house and steps inside. They make themselves at home, much to the haunted house’s delight.  

Hardly Haunted is a fun and delightfully scare-free picture book for the Halloween season. Each illustration is spread across two pages. The story takes place throughout one day, beginning in a sunny background with bright blue skies and ending in a dark violet background with twinkling stars and a glistening full moon. Young readers will enjoy the illustrations of the personified house with windows for eyes and a water pipe for a mouth. Plus, detail-driven readers will have a fun time finding the black cat in every page.  

The book uses simple and short vocabulary, with 1 to 4 sentences per page – though the font is relatively small on some pages. To help immerse the reader into the story, words such as creak and squeak appear in large, messy font and make the story fun to read aloud. 

By reading Hardly Haunted, readers will be introduced to such themes as loneliness and insecurity. The house’s decision to happily stay haunted will teach readers that they don’t have to change themselves to be accepted. The arrival of the ghost family at the end of the book shows that the right people will find you in time. This story will particularly appeal to those looking for a Halloween-themed story that is light on scares. 

Sexual Content 

  • None 

Violence 

  • None 

Drugs and Alcohol 

  • None 

Language 

  • None 

Supernatural 

  • The narrator is a talking haunted house. 
  • At the end of the novel, a family of ghosts appears. 

Spiritual Content 

  • None 

Room on the Broom

The witch and her hat couldn’t be happier, flying through the night sky on their broomstick—until the wind blows away first the witch’s hat, then her bow, then her wand!

Luckily, three helpful animals find the three missing items and all they want in return is a ride on the broomstick. But is there room on the broom for so many new friends? And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from the clutches of a hungry dragon?

Room on the Broom portrays a witch in a new way. Instead of being scary and evil, the friendly witch happily makes friends with the animals. The witch’s adventure comes to life through the large illustrations, which use a dark and dreary day to contrast with the bright animals and the red dragon. Young readers will love each illustration’s details, such as a fish jumping out of the river and a bird peeking out of a hole in a tree.

The illustrations are not the only fun aspect of the story. The text uses rhyming, repetition, and imagery that makes Room on the Broom an excellent book to read aloud. The surprising and silly conclusion will leave readers with a smile. In the end, the witch’s new friends save her from a dragon. In return, the witch casts a spell to make a new and improved broom that will keep the new friends together for a long time.

Even though Room on the Broom is a picture book, the story is intended to be read aloud to a child, rather than for the child to read it for the first time independently. Each page has 3 to 6 sentences. Even though some pages are text-heavy, the story will keep readers interested until the very end.

Room on the Broom is a great Halloween story that uses humor to teach about kindness and friendship. The silly plot will delight young readers who will want to read the book again and again. For those looking for another unique witch story, The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches by Alice Low is sure to delight.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • A dragon threatens to eat the witch. He says, “witch with French fries tastes delicious to me!” The witch’s friends save her.

 Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • None

Supernatural

  • The witch says a spell, “Iggety, ziggety, zaggetry, zoom!” The spell makes a “truly magnificent broom” that has enough seats for all of her friends.

Spiritual Content

  • None

Sleepy Hollow Sleepover

Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are spending Halloween in Sleepy Hollow, New York, home of the legendary Headless Horseman. They are going to sleep in a cabin, take a haunted hayride, and go to a spooky party near an old graveyard. That’s where some people say they’ve spotted the ghostly horseman. But strange things start happening that don’t seem to be part of the planned Halloween fun. Is there a real Headless Horseman haunting Sleepy Hollow?

Readers looking for a Halloween scare will want to read Sleepy Hollow Sleepover. A little history, a scary setting, and a mystery to solve make Sleepy Hollow Sleepover a fun Halloween read. The three friends use their power of observation to solve the mystery. While investigating, Dink, Josh, and Ruth put themselves in danger by crawling into the back of a truck and getting kidnapped. However, their quick thinking allows the police to find them before the bad guys can get away.

Sleepy Hollow Sleepover‘s short chapters and black and white illustrations make the story accessible to many readers. Large illustrations appear every 2 to 4 pages. Many of the illustrations are one page and help readers understand the plot. Plus, readers can hunt through the pictures to find a hidden message.

The story’s suspense doesn’t just come from the mystery. Bats, a zombie, and other Halloween fun add to the spooky scene. The conclusion explains how the kids solved the mystery and also leaves readers wondering if the kids really did see a Headless Horsemen. Another positive aspect is that the story portrays police officers in a positive manner. However, when the wagons burn, four police officers pack 25 kids into the backseats and some kids are sitting on other’s laps.

Sleepy Hollow Sleepover will get readers’ hearts pumping as they follow the kids on the haunted hayride. Mystery-loving readers will enjoy following the clues as the kids try to find the culprits. Readers who are ready for chapter books will enjoy both the story and the illustrations. Grab a flashlight, turn out the lights, and enjoy Sleepy Hollow Sleepover. Readers who want more fall fun should also read Marley and the Runaway Pumpkin by John Grogan.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • Someone intentionally sets the wagons on fire. That person also makes all of the car’s tires flat.

 Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • Heck is used twice. For example, while on a haunted hayride a boy says, “All this stuff is planned, just to scare the heck out of us.”
  • Jerk is used twice. The kids are talking to a police officer about the person who set the wagons on fire. The police officer says, “whoever it was is a real jerk.”
  • The bad guys call the kids “rats.”

Supernatural

  • The kids think they see the Headless Horseman riding by their cabin. The story leaves the reader wondering if the Headless Horseman is real.
  • During the haunted hayride, the wagon drives by a graveyard. “A hand was rising out of the grave! Then came an arm, covered in filthy rags. A second hand and arm appeared, then a face blotched with dirt. Some of the flesh was peeling off.” The kids know the zombie isn’t real but is part of the hayride.

Spiritual Content

  • None

 

The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches

Wendy’s sisters can fly fast, cackle loudly, and cast spells. Wendy can’t do all of those things and when Wendy loses her broomstick, she can’t even fly.

On Halloween, Wendy’s sisters fly into the night, planning on scaring people. They leave Wendy home in a dark house. When a lone tricker treater shows up dressed as a ghost, he asks Wendy to join him. Wendy and her new friend Roger go to his house to get Wendy a new broomstick. With the encouragement of Roger, Wendy is able to fly and cast spells. With Wendy’s newfound confidence, Wendy and Roger fly into the night.

After a fun Halloween, Wendy decides to teach her mean older sisters a lesson. She casts a spell so her two sisters can’t fly, and the sisters have to walk home. Wendy and her sisters learn that Wendy is a very good witch, even if she isn’t exactly like her sisters.

The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches is a fun Halloween story that readers will enjoy. Wendy is a friendly, relatable character who lacks self-confidence. With the help of Roger, Wendy learns that she doesn’t have to be like her sisters in order to be a good witch. Wendy changes Roger’s Halloween costume so he looks like a witch and the two friends have a fun Halloween. Wendy’s spells are silly and fun to read aloud.

The book’s illustrations use fall colors with pops of orange and purple. Even though Wendy and her sisters are witches with green skin, they are not frightening to look at. Readers will giggle as both Roger and his mother try to ride Wendy’s broomstick.  Most pages have a large illustration and oversized text. The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches has five short chapters with short paragraphs, which make the story the perfect bridge to chapter books.

The high-interest topic, fun illustrations, and easy-to-read format make The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches a wonderful Halloween story. Many readers will relate to Wendy, who just wants her sisters to be nicer to her. In the end, Wendy learns that she does not need to have a frightening voice or a broom made of sassafras in order to be a good witch. More importantly, Wendy learns to accept her differences and becomes self-confident.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • None

 Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • Dang is said once.

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • Wendy says a spell, “Frogs and lizards / Toads and newts / Buttons, raincoats / Hiking boots. Turn this ghost / Into a witch. / Presto, change-o / Make a switch.” The spell changes her friend’s robe from white to black.
  • To make a pointy hat for her friend, Wendy says, “Stew and brew / And cat and bat. / Give this witch / a pointed hat.”
  • To reverse both spells, Wendy says, “Broiled figs / And toasted toast. / Turn this witch / Back to a ghost.”
  • Wendy’s sisters stay out too late, and Wendy wants them to learn a lesson so she makes a spell. “Snakes and cakes / And pumpkin pie. / Oldest sister / You can’t fly. / Salt and pepper, / Bouncing ball. / Middle sister / You will fall.” Later, her sisters come home limping because they had to walk home.
  • Wendy reverses the spell so her sisters can fly again. “Oldest sister / You can fly. / All you have to do / is try. / Middle sister / Flying’s fun. / The spell I made / is now undone.”

 

 

Dragon’s Halloween

Dragon waits too long to go to the pumpkin patch. When he gets there, he finds six small pumpkins. When Alligator and Fox see Dragon carving his pumpkins, they laugh. Fox says, “Those pumpkins are too small to be scary.” Even though the pumpkins are small, Dragon is able to make a scary jack-o-lantern.

After carving pumpkins, Dragon has a hard time deciding what costume to wear to a costume party. He finally dresses as a mummy, but on the way to the party, rain ruins Dragon’s costume. His friends laugh at his silly costume. But then a pumpkin falls on Dragon’s head and all of his friends are so scared they jump into Hippo’s arms. When Dragon removes the pumpkin, everyone feels better. Everyone except the one animal that Hippo sat on.

In the final story, Dragon is frightened by strange sounds in the night. When Dragons yells, an angry squirrel tells him, “That’s no monster. That’s your stomach! Now go home and get something to eat before you wake up the whole forest!” So Dragon goes home and bakes a feast of pumpkin-flavored foods. And then he “ate and ate and ate.”

Readers won’t be able to get enough of Dragon, the loveable blue dragon. Dragon’s Halloween has three silly, short stories that will entertain readers. Each page has 1-4 easy-to-read sentences and large illustrations. Each Halloween story has a simple plot. The book is intended for children who are learning to read. With simple text, humor, and full-color illustration on every page, Dragon’s Halloween will help readers build confidence and fluency. As Dragon gets into the Halloween spirit, readers will laugh as he discovers both the fun and the scary parts of Halloween.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • None

 Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • None

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

Trick or Cheat?

Harris is excited about sharing the traditions of Halloween with Zeke. Zeke discovers that he can use his true form for his “costume.” Zeke wants Harris to have an amazing costume, so Zeke uses his powers to create a costume for Harris. Now Roxy feels left out because she and Harris always make their costumes together.

When Halloween finally arrives, Roxy is still upset with Harris. To make matters worse, another student is jealous of Zeke’s costume and tries to ruin it. Can Harris and Roxy keep Zeke’s costume from being destroyed? Who will win the Halloween costume contest?

Harris is the only human that knows that Zeke is an alien. When Zeke goes to school as his true self, others wonder about his “costume.” Will Zeke be able to keep his identity a secret? Readers will keep turning the pages to discover the answer. The story doesn’t just revolve around Zeke’s “costume,” but also focuses on Roxy’s hurt feelings. Even though Roxy is upset with her friends, she still helps them. Readers will learn that friends can be upset with each other and not want to talk to each other; this doesn’t mean that the friendship is over.

Readers will be drawn to the book because of the cute cover and the black and white illustrations that appear on every page. The fun illustrations will help readers recognize the characters’ emotions. The story will keep the reader engaged with its fast-paced plot, large font, simple vocabulary, and short chapters. Although Trick or Cheat? is the fourth installment of the series, the story can be enjoyed without reading the previous books. The humorous story is perfect for students who are transitioning to chapter books.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • A student puts a bag of flour over a door. The student was trying to destroy Zeke’s costume, but instead, “it fell right on top of Mr. Mulvaney. A cloud of white exploded right on the gym teacher’s head, and Zeke looked over to see him covered in flour.”

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • None

Supernatural

  • Zeke is an alien who can change shape. Zeke explains, “People from Tragas have the ability to change our appearance. We can make ourselves look like the inhabitants of whatever planet we’re currently on.”
  • Zeke used his power to “redirect” a bag of flour.

Spiritual Content

  • None

 

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