h"Halloween Recipes &amp; amp; Crafts," by Christine Lyseng Savage, Rosa Poulin and Tamara
h"Halloween Recipes & amp; Crafts," by Christine Lyseng Savage, Rosa Poulin and Tamara Eder; photography by Alan Bibby and Tamara Eder (Ghost House Books, $9.95)
"Halloween Recipes & amp; Crafts" claims to have everything necessary to have a "thrilling, chilling Halloween." The book features recipes for disturbing party food, such as witch's fingers cookies, eerie eyeballs -- which are basically deviled eggs with green olives for the iris and red gel icing to give that bloodshot look -- and spider-web brownies. There are instructions for creating various indoor and outdoor decorations, party favors, costumes and jack-o'-lanterns. There is also a section of "Ghoulish Games," which features such classics as Pin the Mouth on the Pumpkin and Encase the Mummy.
"Pumpkin Carving," edited by Ghost House Books staff (Ghost House Books, $7.95)
"Pumpkin Carving" is a handy book put out by Ghost House Books. It includes step-by-step instructions on how to carve a pumpkin. It also features 22 jack-o'-lantern designs that can be separated from the book and used as templates to kick start your creativity. The designs range from easy to difficult. In addition to the scary faces that are typical jack-o'-lantern fare, the book has more unusual designs, such as bats, cats, spiders and witch's feet.
h"The Fierce Yellow Pumpkin," by Margaret Wise Brown; illustrated by Richard Egielski (HarperCollins, $15.99)
A not-quite-ripe pumpkin relishes his role as protector of the field once the local scarecrow becomes too busy fending off a flock of nasty black birds in "The Fierce Yellow Pumpkin." And once three children give him a makeover with a nose shaped like a witch's hat and jagged teeth, he breaks out into a "happy" song: "Ho, ho, ho! He, he, he! Mice will run when they see me!" The story was written in the 1930s by Margaret Wise Brown, the author of "Goodnight Moon," who died 50 years ago, but this is its first publication. Illustrator Richard Egielski created the menacing-yet-somehow-sweet face of the pumpkin.
"The Runaway Pumpkin," by Kevin Lewis; illustrated by S.D. Schindler (Scholastic, $15.95)
The only way to describe the main character of "The Runaway Pumpkin" by Kevin Lewis and illustrated by S.D. Schindler is larger than life. So, when members of the Baxter family try to stop this gigantic orange ball as it rolls down a hill, headed toward their home, they are faced with more than a few challenges. The advantage, though, of such a big fruit is that there is enough to make soup, bread and pie -- and a jack-o'-lantern with a twinkle in his eye.
"Five Little Pumpkins," by Dan Yaccarino (Harper Festival, $5.99)"Five Little Pumpkins," by Iris Van Rynbach (Boyds Mills, $8.95)
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. 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. Her version captures portraits of a group of kids out trick-or-treating. Both books make for pleasant bedtime reads for your little goblin.
h"The Flying Witch," by Jane Yolen; illustrated by Vladimir Vagin (HarperCollins, $15.99)
The main character in Jane Yolen's "The Flying Witch," illustrated by Vladimir Vagin, is a composite of the hags in old Russian folktales. Baby Yaga persuades a young girl to climb onto a very nontraditional broomstick and the witch fully intends to eat her guest for supper. But then the girl convinces the witch that turnips are far tastier than she is and they end up breaking bread -- er, slurping stew -- together.
"Hallo-What?" by Christel Desmoinaux (McElderry, $14.95)
Marceline, a curious little witch, asks the Halloween questions that many children and probably as many adults have in "Hallo-What?" by Christel Desmoinaux. She learns that people used to light bonfires to protect themselves from evil spirits and that, according to an Irish legend, the first jack-o'-lantern was made of a turnip, not a pumpkin. Of course, Halloween has since become a happy holiday and little witches and children go from house to house collecting sweets, Grandma explains to Marceline.
"One Witch," by Laura Leuck; illustrated by S.D. Schindler (Walker & amp; Co., $15.95)
Four goblins, three scarecrows and two cats help "One Witch" fill her empty pot. Once she gets cooking, the witch invites all her pals to a spooky bash in this book by Laura Leuck and illustrated by S.D. Schindler. This crew, which also includes five vampires, six mummies, seven owls, eight ghosts, nine skeletons and 10 werewolves, even saves a bowl of brew for you!
"Dracula and Frankenstein Are Friends," by Katherine Tegen; illustrated by Doug Cushman (HarperCollins, $15.99)
Another unusual friendship is forged in "Dracula and Frankenstein Are Friends" by Katherine Tegen and illustrated by Doug Cushman. The neighbors, who live in a place where no one thinks it's odd to have your house's shades pulled down all day or to have an electrical conductor on your roof, battle boredom by playing tricks on the townspeople.
"The Essential Worldwide Monster Guide," by Linda Ashman; illustrated by David Small (Simon & amp; Schuster, $16.95)
"The Essential Worldwide Monster Guide" is a map locating 13 of the planet's legendary scary creatures including Loch Ness in Scotland, Sasquatch in North America and Hotot in Armenia. Linda Ashman describes the monsters in a rhyming text and illustrator David Small offers his vision of what these monsters look like.
"Five Little Monsters," by Jessica Nickelson (Little Simon, $5.99)
Jessica Nickelson's "Five LIttle Monsters" 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.
"Moonlight the Halloween Cat," by Cynthia Rylant; illustrated by Melissa Sweet (HarperCollins, $14.99)
"Moonlight the Halloween Cat" looks forward to her favorite holiday all year long. Every Oct. 31, she, in stealth black cat fashion, follows children hunting treats and she smiles back at toothy jack-o'-lanterns. Late at night, once the kids are in bed, Moonlight watches the rest of the Halloween critters, raccoons on porches and owls in the trees, from her perch under a wide yellow moon. The book is by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet.
"Julius's Candy Corn," by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow, $6.99)
Julius, the white mouse featured in several of Kevin Henkes' books, is all dressed up -- as a clown -- and ready to party in "Julius's Candy Corn." As Julius waits for his friends to come over, his mother reminds him not to eat the cupcakes she baked. But she never said anything about not eating the decorations!
h"Tell Me a Scary Story ... But Not Too Scary!" by Carl Reiner (Little, Brown, $18.95)
Humor takes some of the bite out of Carl Reiner's "Tell Me a Scary Story ... But Not Too Scary!" which is illustrated by James Bennett and comes with a CD of the story as told by Reiner. Youngsters are asked on each page if they want to continue their descent into a creepy basement filled with marbles that look like eyeballs. If they do stick it out until the end, readers are rewarded with a tour of workshop used to develop costumes for horror films.
"Haunted Halloween Stories: 13 Chilling Read-Aloud Stories," by Jo-Anne Christensen (Ghost House Books, $10.95)
Jo-Anne Christensen's "Haunted Halloween Stories" features an appropriately eerie number of scary tales: 13. There are stories about a cursed quarter, a boy with a recurring nightmare, a widower tortured by prank calls from someone impersonating his dead wife and a mysterious visitor at an isolated hospital ward. Some of the stories are longer than others, but each is short enough to be read aloud at a Halloween party or some other scary event.
"Halloween," by Harry Behn; illustrations by Greg Couch (North-South Books, $15.95)
For a misty, moody holiday feel, pick up "Halloween" by Harry Behn 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.
Source: Combined Dispatches