As Halloween eerily creeps up on us, kids are eagerly preparing for the scariest night of the year. Costumes, tricks, treats and hair-raising stories about all things gory, evil and creepy are just part of the Halloween experience. Kids love reading stories about menacing monsters, ghoulish ghosts, haunted houses and things that go bump in the night.
We don’t want to traumatize our children, so getting age-appropriate Halloween books that offer a soft scare or humor is important, especially for toddlers. This year I have a fresh stack of soft sinister stories that won’t frighten kids, but might make their hair stand up. Boo!
The Halloween Tree is a touching story about a sapling who starts life hating lights, people and decorations. He was supposed to be a Christmas tree, but his bad attitude prevented him from blossoming into a beautiful tree. Sadly, all the trees were picked except the gnarled tree. He grew and so did the neighborhood around him. Soon he was part of a family’s property.
The family had kids and the tree was not happy about that. But over the years the kids played on him during all seasons except winter. He got used to the kids and developed a deep fondness for them. When the parents wanted to cut the tree down in autumn, the kids were upset and decided to decorate him in Halloween decor. Finally, the tree was happy and had a purpose, he was the Halloween Tree. The story is heartwarming and the illustrations are colorful and attractive. Recommended for ages 3-6 years.
This cheerful story is written with a bouncing rhyme that makes the story even more appealing to kids. It’s about an alien who comes to visit Canada on Halloween eve, so without realizing it, he fits right in. But who is he and wherein the galaxy did he come from? He’s eager to see all of Canada so he used his transporter to beam to various cities. He takes selfies, posts them on Spacebook and sends them back home to his parents.
He suddenly notices that the kids look like scary monsters that want to eat him. He tries to leave, but his transporter has a dead battery. They are coming closer and he wants to run but turns out, they just want to say how cool his costume is. The alien kid shows the Canadian kids some awesome tricks and even walk him back to his spaceship. But, there is a serious problem! Will this ruin the aliens Halloween celebration? We loved the story. It shows how kids can be kind, open and helpful to other kids, regardless of what they look like or where they live. The illustrations are spectacular and festively spooky. Recommended for kids ages 4 – 10.
Scary Stories for Young Foxes is about two young foxes, Mia and Uly, who get separated from the litter and ultimately lost. Finding their way home is scary. The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood and an eerie mist has settle amongst the trees. The book is divided into eight chapters that are interconnected and share the experiences of the little foxes as they endure frightening weather and horrific dangers while finding a way home. A zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention. There are also some really sad parts in the book that might be too painful for smaller children. Although death is part of life, my family will not read any books that feature this aspect. Recommended for kids aged 9 – 12.
A Box of Bones is about a young girl named Kallie. She’s pragmatic, logical, serious, grounded and abhors nonsense. We’ve all met people like Kallie. They try to come up for a sensible and intelligent explanation for anything odd. This is Kallie to a tee. But one day, she’s at the Festival of Fools with her Grandpa Jess and a faceless man gives her a strange-looking wooden box. She uses her little grey cells to open it and discovers that she has released something. Interestingly, the same box is connected to a girl name Liah and soon her world leaks into Kallies. Kallie has to act fast, but what can she do! Filled with mystery, intrigue and evil, you won’t be able to put the book down. Recommended for kids ages 8-12 years.
Disclaimer: I received product to facilitate a review. All opinions are my own, yours may differ.