Halloween with the right dose of scary

Halloween with the right dose of scary
By Janis Campbell
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Halloween may be a holiday that very little ones don't quite understand yet. But they do catch on to the excitement in the air, the fun of dressing up and sticking little hands into the mushy insides of a pumpkin.
There's a good crop of new books out this fall for sharing the fun of Halloween.
Two different books share the counting rhyme "Five Little Pumpkins" and both are fun. One version is a sturdy board book by popular picture book artist Dan Yaccarino (Harper Festival, $5.99). His bold, stylized artwork fits this rhyme, recited this time of year in preschools. The other version, also "Five Little Pumpkins," is a re-issued paperback by Iris Van Rynbach (Boyds Mills, $8.95). Her version captures portraits of a group of kids out trick-or-treating.
Both books make for pleasant bedtime reads for your little goblin.
"Five Little Monsters" by Jessica Nickelson (Little Simon, $5.99) is a fun twist on the pumpkins rhyme. The fun little board book has googly-eyed monsters by Matt Novak on its sturdy pages, making it a sure treat for your trick-or-treater.
For a misty, moody holiday feel, pick up "Halloween" by Harry Behn (North-South Books, $15.95) which features young trick-or-treaters out for a night when it seems like magical and mysterious goblins and ghosts are on the prowl.
The illustrations by Greg Couch capture the spirit of Halloween so well that some young ones may be a little frightened by the skeletons, but some will also enjoy getting a little bit scared for this fun holiday.
Talking about scary, if your little one imagines creepy things when the lights go out, "Creepy Things Are Scaring Me" by Jerome and Jarrett Pumphrey (Harper Collins, $14.99) is a good bedtime read. In the story, the little boy sees plenty of scary things that turn out to be not so strange when Mom turns on the light to explain.
The illustrations by Rosanne Litzinger capture the nighttime fears in this comforting sweet book.
"Yikes!!!" by Robert Florczak (Scholastic, $15.95) isn't about Halloween, but it is a book that takes your child into dangerous places and will help beat fears and frights just like the young explorer in the book. Each page has just one word with a big exclamation like EEK! or AAAH! or WHOA!
You can bet this will be a fun read-aloud and it will especially appeal to kids who love scary creatures.
(c) 2003, Detroit Free Press.
Visit the Freep, the World Wide Web site of the Detroit Free Press, at http://www.freep.com.
Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

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