Spooktacular Giveaway!


Join the fun with us for our 31 Days of Halloween! We are keeping this Giveaway old school & simple:
To enter:
  • Follow our Pinterest board and comment DONE in the comments [1 entry]

One winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card!


Now hop on over to the next blog & win something good.

And for those of you that are still interested in donating books to our Macy Kate, click HERE
#hurricaneharvey
 

Revisiting The Little Shop of Monsters by RL Stine & Marc Brown

Summary: A frighteningly fun picture book adventure from two monstrously talented children's book icons--Marc Brown and R.L. Stine!
 

Are you are afraid of monsters?
Do they make you shiver and shake and shut your eyes really tight at night?

Welcome to the Little Shop of Monsters! Do you want a SNEEZER? A TICKLER? Or one of the CREEPIEST monsters of all? Come on in and choose your favorite, if you dare (before one of them chooses YOU!).

Renowned children's book creators Marc Brown and R.L. Stine join forces for the very first time-in Stine's picture book debut-with a tale that is monstrously good fun. 





I originally reviewed Little Shop of Monsters HERE and I still feel the same --> It's EPIC!

This still remains one of our family favorites to read and re-read aloud. 

I was really excited when I stumbled upon the Pocket Monsters that are available to download on the books website [HERE] but what I was most excited to find out was that the audiobook is available and.... 

wait for it...





                     still waiting?...




 
JACK BLACK is the narrator! 
Yes, you must buy it. 
Yes, right now. 
Click HERE.
image source: ew.com
And just one more gem, RL Stine & Marc Brown have delivered yet again with their latest scare, Mary McScary


AHHHH! I am so excited! 
<insert crazy excited emoji
I have it ordered & fingers crossed it's in before Halloween.   
 

13 Spooky Stories for Beginner Readers {Level 2 Readers}



When your little monster is finally to the point of reading solo but still needs a little help, level 2 easy readers are the best! 

Here are my top 13 picks that are Halloween themed!

1. Inside a House that is Haunted by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

2. Flat Stanley & the Haunted House by Jeff Brown

3. Hot Rod Hamster & the Haunted Halloween Party by

4. Sponge Bob Squarepants: The Big Halloween Scare by Steven Banks

5. Happy Haunting, Amelia Bedelia by Herman Parish

6. Scooby-Doo! and the Cupcake Caper

7. The Cat in the Hat: Have No Fear! Halloween is Here! 

8. Never Kick a Ghost & Other Silly Chillers by Judy Sierra

9. Monster School First Day Frights by Dave Keane

10. LuLu Goes to Witch School by Jane O'Connor

11. Thomas & Friends: A Ghost on the Track

12. Halloween Parade by Abby Klein

13. In a Dark, Dark Room & Other Scary Stories by Alvin Swartz

Most of these are on Amazon at a reasonable price. I did find a box set at Sam's Club called "My Favorite Spooky Stories" and it included numbers 2, 5, 9, 10, 13.


Book Review: Glow by Megan E. Bryant

Summary:
"I used to worry about the dark. When it's dark, your whole life can spiral out of control. But there's a certain kind of light I should have been afraid of all along."

Separated by the span of a century, two girls are drawn to the same dangerous secret. With her college plans wiped out by her mother's financial problems, Julie's stuck in a dead-end job, watching her best friend move on without her. A chance discovery of antique paintings with hidden glowing images captivates Julie and leaves her determined to learn the identity of the artist—even as she is haunted by the paintings' increasingly nightmarish images.
One hundred years earlier, Lydia spends her days in a factory painting luminous watch dials for soldiers; her nights are devoted to writing letters to her beloved on the front lines of the Great War. Lydia hopes the factory, and its exciting new scientific paint, will provide her whole family with a brighter future.
As Julie's obsession with the mysterious paintings mounts, truths about the Radium Girls—and her own complicated relationships—are revealed. But will she uncover the secret of the luminous paintings before putting herself and everyone she loves at risk?

Release Date: September 2017
Age Group: 
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Ms. Leger

Review:
This is a 5/5 star read! The story-line & accuracy of this historical fiction is superb.  

Glow was so good that I read it in two days (while working). The story is told between two different periods in time. Bryant blended past & present perfectly, two simultaneous stories in one, not always easy to accomplish and she does is with ease. There is just enough mystery that it keeps the reader from finding a stopping point.  

I was familiar with the Radium Girls before beginning, had I not been familiar I would have stopped & done some quick research. I feel 100% confident that Bryant's research before writing this story was extensive and detailed. 
The past is written in the form of letters. As the story progressed, I found myself wanting to warn the dialpainters about working with radium.  So many times I wanted to shout "Stop, find another job!" but to no avail. 

The present day character, Julie, is more obsessed with art than with danger, not realizing what she has found. I have never seen radium but I can suspect its glow is memorizing. I understood Julie's fascination, I got pulled in too.
I recommend this book to all YA & historical fiction readers. I also insist Nat read GLOW next!
Ms. Leger 
One quick suggestion: read this fabulous fact sheet [HERE] before beginning Glow if you are unfamiliar with the discovery & uses of radium by dialpainters.

Book Review: Why Can't Everyday be Halloween? by Jaclyn Kruzie


Summary: Who doesn't want holiday fun to last a little longer? One young boy does! He wishes Halloween would last forever. It is also the night monsters roam, and they show up in the most unexpected places.

Release Date: 2015
Age Group: Children, Rhyming-Text
Source: Amazon Purchase
Reviewed By: Nat & The Boys

Review:
I don't normally start off a review with a quote but this is fitting. Tim Burton once said,
Everyday is Halloween, isn't it? For some of us...
I love Halloween. I love the colors, the pumpkins, the black cats & witches, the costumes, really I love all of it except the candy. I loathe the candy. It is very surprising to people that know me when I tell them I confiscate all candy on November 1st. My monsters get to choose 5 pieces to hoard away and eat at their own discretion... eat it all at once or eat it sparingly, I don't care BECAUSE THAT'S ALL THEY HAVE ACCESS TOO!

Don't panic, I don't throw away the overpriced chocolate. I happily donate it the first chance I get and get that crap out of my house. Obviously, I loved this book because it was inline with my mad parenting skills.

Why Can't Everyday Be Halloween? is a fun children's book that tells the tale of coming down from a month of monsters and candy. Of course this story relays to kids in a fun way what might happen if you keep eating all that junk; unlike my approach of just ripping off the band-aid (aka take all the crap away).

I really enjoyed the simplicity of the story. What really caught my eye was the art! The watercolor was awesome and the facial expressions were so creepy! Hats off to Curt Cryer, you nailed it.

This really is a fun Halloween book to add to a family library or class library as a read-a-loud book. I would recommend reading this book to young children the week following Halloween. You know the week when they are whiny, won't go to bed and you almost want to choke them... THAT.WEEK.

I borrowed a copy from a friend but I did find it on Amazon HERE and ordered my own.

As always, Happy Haunting Friends & put the candy down! {Pace yo selves, your butt will thank me later}.



Campfire Tales: Are You Afraid of the Dark? {31 Days of Halloween}


Nothing is scarier than sitting in the dark, hearing the crickets and having everyone around you holding their breathe waiting to hear what happens next...

It's the perfect time of year to sit around a fire and tell spooky stories, but for that to happen you have to have the right story. The scariest stories I have ever listened to were from two series: Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs by QL Pearce & Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz. These are the stories that are sure to cause children to sleep with their parents. I still remember being scared out of my mind as a tween and it was great! 

Scariest episodes HERE.
If you have a group of kids that are leery about sitting and listening to a campfire story because a) it sounds lame or b) they are lame have them watch a few episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark? 

[Here is an intro that I randomly found on YouTube just to give you a preview.]

They WILL have a chill down their spine after watching the intro, gosh I miss 90's TV. That preview was the catalyst that got a group of us to have our own Midnight Society and tell spooky stories (well and sneaking a lighter into the woods). Of course it only lasted a few weekends and then we were glued to the series but hey, those were scary Saturday nights!

You can stream all of the series on Amazon & Netflix, I'm sure there are also other ways to find episodes if you are tech savvy. As for me, I risk nothing when it comes to a scare, I bought the complete seasons... I hate to depend on internet streaming.

Happy Haunting,








Book Spotlight: Winnie the Witch series by Valerie Thomas & Korky Paul

I've loved Winnie the Witch since 1987 when she made her first debut! She was a quirky, clumsy witch that always seemed to get into a pickle, kind of like Amelia Bedelia but with a wand and a cool cat! 

Wilbur, her black cat, always seems to be right in the middle of whatever adventure Winnie has cooked up and most of the time it's to his dismay. I love that cat.

I've kept Winnie around since my childhood and I am thrilled to report that my kids love her too. We always read the original and have started adding more to our collection each year. Winnie the Witch can be read year round because her adventures are similar to how The Magic School Bus series runs, with each book discussing a specific theme (planets, the sea, pirates, birthdays, dinosaurs, etc.). There are even sing-along's & audiobooks available for pre-school age children. There is even a play that's been adapted based on the original Winnie book.




If you want more than a picture book, no worries, Winnie also has a series of chapter books too.



Note to Teachers: There are several free resources on Winnie's website <HERE> that are specific to each book, plus lots of other fun activities that are Winnie & Wilbur inspired. My favorite activity is How to Dress up as Winnie! <HERE> If you're feeling really witchy, there is a complete party pack available to download! How cool is that! <HERE>


Bottom line: I love Winnie. I love Wilbur. You should hop on the broom, you won't regret it.



Quick Character Costume: Kung Fu Panda


I'm sure you've seen them in Wal-Mart and might have even thought one of two things: 
  1. What are those? 
  2. Who in the world would buy them?

1. They have a name, Maskimals. And oddly enough they are not even for Halloween. They are apart of the back-to-school merchandise as a type of mascot/school spirit item.

2. Me! I'm the nut that almost bought the entire bin. Well, I bought not one... not two... not three... 

I bought FOUR okay, F.O.U.R. Maskimals! I regret nothing. 

When I saw these giant animal heads I instantly thought of all the book character costumes I could throw together with the bonus of just laughing at these ginormous animal heads bobbing around on kids. So naturally, I went a little overboard.


Here we have our version of Kung Fu Panda Po. This is an easy and quick idea for kids who love the martial arts (karate, jiu jitsu, tae kwon do, etc.) or just flat out like to pretend they have mad ninja skills. You can grab any gi, in any color, and throw this #maskimal Panda head on and BAM, you now have Po from Kung Fu Panda. 


Up next will be our T-Rex maskimal! So keep your heads on and an eye out! What book do you think I have in mind?

Happy Haunting!






Thanks Amelia for being such a good sport! Slay girl, SLAY!

Scary Book Review: Bony Legs by Joanna Cole

Summary:  
When a terrible witch vows to eat her for supper, a little girl escapes with the help of a mirror and comb given to her by the witch's cat and dog.


Release Date: 1983 (before smart phones)
Age Group: Childrens, Picture Book
Source: A relic that I still own
Reviewed By: Nat








Review:
Bony-Legs was one of my classic reads from childhood. It was creepy, had a nasty old witch and a happy ending. Just how I like it, a little scary but in the end I have a smile on my face.

As a parent I still love this book! Bony-Legs is a picture book with a good plot. It teaches the reward of kindness even in the most unlikely of circumstances and the concept of trust via a persons actions-- we do not trust the witch but we trust the kind girl. There is humor mixed in the text and I think this book is best read as a read-a-loud to pre-K to kindergarten age children.

Bony-Legs is an oldy but still a goody! In fact it is such a good one that finding a copy is going to cost you a pretty penny! I found a first edition on Amazon for $134! That alone should tell you it is special. 








 

Halloween Book Displays {31 Days of Halloween}



Today I discovered that Maryn's high school librarian, Deedra, has her library looking festive! {or as the cool kids say "on fleek"}

Here are her Halloween inspired book displays that dot the library desks.

Dr. Frank


The Twins: Yin & Yang

Casper's cousin is BOOtiful!


Witch better have our Candy!




Witch is your favorite? 

Obviously I can't choose and love them all! Word on the street is that a student has challenged the librarians to come up with a Bat display... challenge has been accepted friends! I will update when Mr. Bat is ready for debut.

Group Shot.


 






Happy Haunting Friends!