Posts tagged ‘Halloween’

WITCHES STEW

Lula’s Brew

Written by Elizabeth O. Dulemba

Lula

Lula is a young witch who has a problem. She does not want to be a witch; she wants to be a chef with her own restaurant. Lula hides her cookbooks under her bed. But Lula lives with her four Aunties who are witches dedicated to making Lula a successful witch. At the beginning of the story they are supervising Lula in preparing a brew to cast a magic spell on the town, but Lula sneaks in other ingredients when they are not looking. Soon a delicious aroma wafts across the town and its residents come knocking on the witches door to partake of the brew. When they demand seconds, Lula has an unusual request for them. Lula manages to cast her magic in a most peculiar way.

This tale is beautifully illustrated. The text will have young children laughing. This is a cute Halloween story that is not scary and appropriate for preschoolers and children in the early elementary grades. Makes a nice read aloud in the classroom, bedtime story or a family share to celebrate the holiday.

If you enjoyed reading this post please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS Feed button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

HALLOWEEN WITH A TWIST

Tommy Goes Trick-Or-Treating (Bird Brain Books 4)

Written by Emlyn Chand

Illustrated by Noelle Giffin

Tommy Goes Trick-or-Treating, pic

Story revolves around two animal friends, a woodpecker named Tommy and his raccoon friend, Michael. Both enjoy watching humans for amusement. One day Tommy notices something strange; all the children are dressing in weird costumes and knocking on neighbors’ doors asking for candy. Michael tells Woody that this is the custom on Halloween.

Woody is jealous; he wants some of his own candy. So he enlists Michael to go trick or treating with him. At first they are unsuccessful, until they figure out that they need their own costumes and must say the magic words, “Trick or Treat.” Once they get the hang of it, the two animal friends go off the deep end and abuse the custom. Read the book and find out what happens to them and what lessons they learn.

Illustrations cleverly done in Halloween colors are interspersed throughout and will hold the interest of younger readers. The book is an excellent choice for an early chapter book. Don’t be fooled by the length; half the pages are not part of the actual story but rather author background and summaries of other books in their series. Teachers might use the book as a read aloud for Halloween and parents might want to discuss its lessons before their children go trick or treating. I would recommend it especially for ages six through nine. This book is also available in Spanish. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS Feed button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

TEA-TIME TRAVELS

Mrs. Trimble’s Magic Tea-Pot!

Written and illustrated by Steven-Watson-Morris

MagicTea-pot

This book is really an early chapter book which could also be used as a classroom read aloud or bedtime story. All the stories center around Mrs. Trimble, her assistant Rose and her twin nephews, John and Jack. Mrs. Trimble owns a tea shop where she serves tea and delicious home baked cakes. While working one day in her shop, suddenly a giant cloud of smoke arose and a giant tea-pot appeared in the center of the shop. A wizard wearing a pointed cap adorned with stars popped out. Walter the Wizard needs her help because the king’s cook is ill, and he is in need of someone to bake cakes for his party. They all climb into his tea-pot and are whisked away to the kingdom where Mrs. Trimble saves the day by baking the cakes. Walter is so grateful that he gives her a magic tea-pot as a gift that will take her anywhere in the world she wants to visit. The magic words are magic teapot backwards—“Top eat Cigam!” So begins the magical adventures of our characters.

In the first book of adventures, they decide to visit a spooky house and some ghosts where they meet Arthur Halloween, they take a trip to the moon and visit four purple men who are in need of polishing dust to keep the moon shiny and then visit another moon to gather supplies, convince a greedy dragon that he is eating too much and needs to go on a diet, and visit a land of dwarfs where Jack and John receive some surprise birthday presents. Mrs. Trimble even manages to confront an ogre and rescue the key to the city for the mayor. Perhaps my favorite adventure involves her ingenious solution to save the day when Santa Claus is unable to deliver presents on Christmas Day because his reindeer are sick.

There are just enough black and white pencil drawings to hold the interest of young readers just getting accustomed to longer story books. I like the mixture of conversation and prose. Neither one overpowers the other so that the story flows

The Further Adventures of Mrs. Trimble’s Magic Teapot!

Written and illustrated by Steven-Watson Morris

MagicTeapot,pic2

So delighted that the author is giving us a sequel. In Book Two the reader is treated to seven more magical adventures. This time the reader will meet a one-eyed giant, a silver snake, a naughty goblin, the Easter bunny, an alien planet, some bubbles, and a castle of dreams. The children will learn through Mrs. Trimble that we should be kind and understanding toward others even when others are angry with us, but she also teaches us that when we are naughty like the goblin, we need to undo the harm we have done to others, apologize, and make restitution for our mistakes. When Mrs. Trimble meets the Dream Maker, she learns how to drink hot chocolate as well as tea and sees how sweets can be turned into healthy fruits. What child would not like to have a bubble adventure! Mrs. Trimble and the twins are astonished when the Easter bunny oversleeps one year; they must rescue him and save the day! In their last adventure the stalwart group get to land on the Teapot planet where everything is shaped like a teapot, and where they are introduced to Earlgrey who will restore the magic to their teapot. To return his kindness, Mrs. Trimble will leave them with a special gift of her own. As in the first book, there are delightful pencil drawings. At the end of the book, readers will find a special bonus, coloring pages that feature all the characters in the book’s stories.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

BEDTIME BONANZA

LOTS AND LOTS (RHYMING CHILDREN BEDTIME STORIES)

Written by Peter Collier

Lots and Lots pic

What a refreshing collection of amusing short stories written in rhyme! This collection is very different from the typical bedtime fairytale or animal story. I especially like the fact that the featured character is a very bright little girl named Frances Nicolson, who just can’t stop asking questions. She inquiries about common everyday activities like baking a cake without a recipe and using the wrong kind of pebble as a skipping stone. Frances questions her neighbor about the funny words he uses like, “Hunky Dory” and “old curmudgeon.” She refuses to believe in tales like the Loch Ness Monster because they can’t be proven. Her imagination is unlimited: Frances uses her own backyard to go on an African safari, have tea with kings and queens, and climb the world’s highest mountain.

Frances’ curiosity is insatiable. Some of her questions include:

Do you have any bellybuttons?
If chickens are boneless, how could they walk?
What’s the difference between hunks and chunks?

When the circus came to town, Frances had all sorts of questions for the clowns like what is the reason for their baggy pants and why don’t they get dizzy from standing upside down all the time. Frances has a friend named Susan Jane who has a habit of exaggerating the truth. That exasperates Frances because she just has to have the right answer! There is only one time when Frances is quiet. Can you guess when?

The bottom line of this enticing book is that you cannot learn without asking questions. That might be annoying to parents and teachers, at times, but it is the way all children enrich their minds. Collier is to be commended for a clever story line and a character who represents a wonderful role model for children.

MONSTER MELANGE

Monsters I Know (Rhyming Bedtime Stories

Written and illustrated by Peter Collier

MonstersIKnow, picThis book would make a delightful Halloween read. The types of monsters are unorthodox and most of them are not very scary! First, the reader encounters The Big Foote Belly Button Lint monster. He lives at the feet of Thomas Mcfee’s bed. It began as some belly button lint and grows bigger every day eating only colored string. There is a Hungry Tree who walks about eating farm animals, the Smelly Kiss, Smelly Sam stomach gasses monster, a Spaghetti Dinner Monster, and the Dead End Rubbish monster.

Perhaps the scariest is the cursed School Chair monster.
The author describes it as,

“One moment you’re there
and the next you’ll be gone;”

The Jones family certainly lived to regret not getting rid of The Fridge. I won’t give away its secrets except to say,

“No one goes near it anymore:
Never will anyone open its door;
All it does now is snarl and snore.”

Children age six and up will love the absurdity and the silliness in these rhymes, although some of the vocabulary will not be understood by younger readers This kind of slapstick humor is especially appealing to middle grade boys. Although the concepts are clever, the rhymes are sometimes a bit forced. There are some issues with punctuation and line placement. In this kindle version, the illustrations are very small. Larger pictures would have added a lot more to the desired effect of the tales. On the other hand, if you are looking for a very different and funny Halloween book of short tales, this one will surely fit the bill.

If you enjoyed reading these posts, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS feed button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

%d bloggers like this: