My son knows me well. One of his favorite parts of the library routine is typing his search word into the catalog. (He’s even been known to leave the sacred puppet shows one or two minutes early because he can’t contain his excitement for the keyboard.) Recently, in response to my usual question about what kind of books we were going to check out today, my son says “I want skeleton books, but the Halloween kind, not the body kind.”
In case this isn’t clear, let me explain: he knows very well his mom used to be a middle school science teacher, even if he can’t explain it in so many words. And he knows very well that asking said mom for skeleton books will likely result in bedtime stories about tibias and fibulas. (We’ve done that before actually. The only bone name he seems to really remember is the patella. But we’ll work on that.) So what he was saying is this: “I want a scary skeleton book. A book where the skeletons are main characters, where they do things. I do not want to learn anything about anatomy when I read these books.”
Done. We typed “skeleton” one letter at a time into the catalog and came home with a whole pile of non-academic Halloween-based scary and not-so-scary skeleton books which we have been enjoying reading for the past few days. Here are our favorites:
Title: Cinderella Skeleton
Author: Robert D. San Souci
Illustrator: David Catrow
Genre: Picture Book, Scary
Age: 3 – 7
Summary and Review: This book is wonderfully creepy. It’s by far my son’s favorite of all the library books we’ve gotten, seeing as it combines two of his loves: skeletons and fairy tale princesses. He looked at the pictures in the car on the way home from the library and excitedly showed me how, instead of losing a glass slipper, Cinderella loses a foot. What is not to love about this gorgeously-illustrated, somewhat creepy fairy tale re-telling with an unusual rhyming scheme?
Title: Skeleton hiccups
Author: Margaret Cuyler
Illustrator: S.D. Schindler
Genre: Picture Book, Halloween
Age: 0 – 7
Summary and Review: This one is funny. The only downside is that my son doesn’t remember ever having the hiccups, so he doesn’t relate very well. But he loves it and reads it out loud to himself all the time–at least the “hic, hic, hic” part. Skeleton tries to get rid of the hiccups with a lot of traditional ways, but the water he tries to drink upside down goes right through him. He has other similar problems. Ghost is trying to help, and finally Ghost gets an idea that cures Skeleton once and for all. (Hint: it involves a mirror.)
Summary and Review: This is a collection of cute Halloween poems. Fun to read out loud.
What about you? Any great Halloween stories? Or skeleton stories? Or fairy tales about the undead? What are your kids into right now?