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Spooky fun time with kids’ books

October 15, 2015
Amy Phelps , MOV Parent

It's time to get in the mood for fall and Halloween with some fun new books!

Using three-dimensional backgrounds, fabric and photography, Harriet Muncaster creates something magical in "Happy Halloween, Witch's Cat!" (Harper, ages 4-8, $15.99.)

A little girl likes to dress up like a black cat to be her "good witch" mother's helper. But when Halloween comes around, what should she be? A green frog? A silver skeleton? A pink ballerina? A black vampire? A yellow mummy? An orange pumpkin??A white ghost? Nothing feels right, until she gets an idea at home... The hand-crafted illustrations give this book a vibrant appeal with a cute story.

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An otter and his teddy bear get ready to celebrate the holiday in "Otter Loves Halloween!" by Sam Garton (Balzer + Bray, ages 4-8, $9.99.)

It's time to celebrate, and Otter has been marking down the days. First Otter Keeper needs to take him and Teddy to get a pumpkin. Then Otter Keeper needs to carve it while Otter and Teddy decorate the house. Next, Otter fashions costumes for he and his friends - a witch for him, a mummy for Teddy, giraffe wants to be a fairy (though Otter gives him fangs so he will be a scary fairy.) Finally, the trick-or-treaters arrive! Except there is a flaw in Otter's plan - the trick-or-treaters are too scary for him! Is there a way to still celebrate without being scared? This is a very funny story that will have kids and grown-ups laughing at Otter's antics.

My daughter's favorite Pete the Cat is back with another cool song in "Pete the Cat Five Little Pumpkins" by James Dean (Harper, ages 4-8, $9.99.)

Pete the Cat follows the song as five pumpkins sit on gate, until they realize it's getting late and there are things to do. Witches are around, the wind is howling and everyone is in the Halloween spirit, including Pete! This is a fun adaptation of the song with Pete the Cat's trademark cool.

Splat the Cat tries to celebrate Halloween despite being scared in "Scaredy-Cat, Splat!" by Rob Scotton (Harper, ages 4-8, $9.99.)

When Splat's broom breaks and he can't be a scary witch cat, he takes inspiration from the thing that scared him earlier, a spider, and his mom fashions him a spider costume out of socks. His friends Spike and Plank are a mummy and a skeleton, and they sure are scary, especially when they yell "Boo!" He won't be the scariest. And neither will his jack o' lantern. But when things get out of control during a scary story time, maybe Splat just might be scary after all. This is a funny book that contains just the right amount of scares from young children.

The popular Fancy Nancy overdoes things with candy in "Fancy Nancy Candy Bonanza" based on the creation of Jane O'Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser (HarperFestival, ages 4-8, $4.99.)

There are also 35 Halloween stickers included with this book!

It's Halloween and Nancy is the Sugar Plum Fairy. She goes trick-or-treating with her sister, JoJo, and her best friend, Bree. At the first house, they get super-sized cookies, which Nancy eats right away. At the next house, she gets a candy bar that she eats. Then they get candy corn, which Bree hates, so she gives it Nancy. Then there's lollipops, a jelly bean tree and so much more! Nancy quickly gets a stomachache from too much candy and has to go home and lay down. Is her Halloween ruined? This is a good cautionary tale to remind kids not to overdo it!

The popular characters The Berenstain Bears return with a fall tale in "Berenstain Bears: Harvest Festival" by Mike Berenstain (Zonderkidz, $3.99, ages 4-8.)

It's a beautiful fall day and the cubs are enjoying jumping in leaves while Mama is cutting late flowers. A Harvest Festival is being held at Farmer Ben's and the Bears can't wait to go! There are plenty of crops there, as well as some tasty pumpkin pies. And the cubs get to pick apples and pumpkins. There is even a hayride! And they get to wind up the day with a delicious meal. This is a good story about the time of year with a different twist than the usual Halloween theme.



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