Halloween wears many masks: funny and frightening, silly and scary, clever and corny. And though I am a self-admitted scaredy cat, frightened of loud noises and bumps in the dark, I love Halloween. I can’t get enough of decorating the house, dressing in costume, and pilfering the Kit Kat bars (hiding the tell tale evidence of course!).
Here are books to get you in the trick-or-treating mood. The Monsterator by Keith Graves contains 625 monsters and Master Edgar Dreadbury who finds Halloween to be a bore. “When he entered a dusty costume store, one that he hadn’t seen before. He got what he’d bargained for . . . and more. Enter the Monsterator if you dare. Put a coin in the slot . . . but beware!” Edgar has fiendish fun as a monster until he tires and wants to go to bed. He tries to find the Monsterator Machine to revert back, but to no avail. Play with the fantastic flip book in the back to see all of the monsters Edgar will be as he howls and growls.
For local haunts, pick up A Halloween Scare in Maryland by Eric James. “The greediest dragon loved Smith Island Cake, And ate more and more till he got a tummy ache. He had indigestion with burping so dire, It started the second Great Baltimore Fire!” For something subversive and scientific, read Rotten Pumpkin by David Schwartz which explores life, death, decomposition and rebirth through photographs of a moldy grinning pumpkin.
A scary (though not too much) chapter book that is perfect for the witching hour, is The Only Thing Worse Than Witches by Lauren Magaziner. For shivers, try Newbery Award winner, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman about a boy raised by the ghostly inhabitants of a cemetery.
So, plan your costume, buy your candy, carve your pumpkin, grab a great Halloween read and prepare to be tickled or terrified – it’s your choice (mhahaha)!
For more haunting selections, check out The Ivy Bookshop blog.