Ghouls, bats, princesses, and black cats will soon be roaming our neighborhoods. It’s trick-or-treat time!
Halloween is a holiday that is hundreds of years old. Its traditions have merged and morphed from a celebration of the harvest and an honoring of the spirit world to its present day rendition of dressing in costume and collecting candy.
As you introduce your children to this cultural tradition, you can choose how to explain the creatures and customs that may initially be frightening. Ghosts, witches, vampires, and mummies can be mysterious and threatening, but often show up in children’s books as fun-loving characters. Things that may be scary, can be less so if they are explained and explored.
Read some Halloween books before the holiday and set the stage for your young child to enjoy the spookiness of the night!
“Five Little Pumpkins” illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. This board book has bright illustrations of jack-o-lanterns that act out the well-known rhyme. The pace and text are just right for a toddler. Also for your young child, try “Ten Timid Ghosts,” by Jennifer O’Connell for a rhyming countdown from 10 ghosts to one haunted house. Illustrations are colorful and friendly.
“Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson, Illustrated by Axel Scheffer. As a witch rides her broom on a windy day, the wind keeps blowing things away. She has to keep making trips down to the ground to collect her hat, her wand, her bow, and more. At each trip a critter asks if there is room on her broom to join her, so she collects lots of friends along the way too.
“Broom, Zoom!” by Caron Lee Cohen, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier. A little witch with a big, red, pointed hat and little green goblin with a long red tail both want to use the same broom. They don’t want to share, but when they see that each has important work to do with the broom, they take turns so both can use it. Illustrations are big areas of color with black outlines.
“Big Pumpkin” by Erica Silverman, illustrated by S.D. Schindler When a witch grows a pumpkin that is so big that she can’t get it off the vine, she needs help from her friends the ghost, vampire, mummy, and bat. It takes teamwork and cooperation to get the job done and make the pumpkin into a delicious pie.