I always love a great Halloween book! Some of my favorites have always been the Hallow-wiener and Piggie Pie! But every season I'm always excited to see the new holiday books! Take a look.
Grimelda’s house may not be tidy, but it’s cozy, and that’s just the way she likes it. She also likes pickle pie. There’s only one problem—she can’t find the main ingredient in her messy house! Readers who enjoyed Norman Bridwell’s classic The Witch Next Door will love this funny, charming story about the everyday life of a witch.
With a repeating refrain and lively, rhyming text, Grimelda: The Very Messy Witch is perfect for reading aloud with a child at Halloween as well as all year round, or for an emerging reader to enjoy on their own. The vibrant illustrations by Crafty Chloeillustrator Heather Ross provide plenty of fun things for readers to discover on repeated reads.
A little girl finds her house overrun with fairy tale characters all looking for somewhere to hide from the witch in this fast-paced and funny picture book that brings all of your favorite tales to life!
Frankie loves fairy tales! And one morning she wakes up to find that all her favorite fairy tale characters have appeared in her house! From a princess to a king, a mermaid to a knight in armor—even a unicorn—and they’re all looking for a place to hide from the witch who’s coming fast! Can Frankie help them all? And once she’s hidden them, what will she do?
It happens every fall. The leaves from the tall trees that surround her house drift down until the teeny tiny woman’s teeny tiny house is buried completely. Inside it’s dark and a teeny tiny bit scary, but the resourceful woman has a plan and a few surprises up her teeny tiny sleeve.
Written to be shared through read-aloud or story-telling, the type face indicates where the teller should be whispering and when suddenly s/he should shout – surprising the listeners, even causing them to jump, which puts this book in the realm of jump-tales, so popular at spooky-story times like Halloween and around the campfire on summer evenings. Short enough for even young children to remember after reading or hearing the story a few times, the book encourages children themselves to tell the tale themselves, making a family tradition.
Birdie loves the fall. She can't wait to go apple picking with Mommy and her dog, Monster, wear big fuzzy sweaters, and play touch football with her friends. But Birdie can't stop thinking about Halloween! One year she was a robot, and another she was a mummy-princess. But this year, nothing is feeling quite right... until Birdie visits her local museum, and is INSPIRED by everything she finds.
Sujean Rim offers another winning story about being yourself that's rich with warm fall colors, beautiful collage, and unforgettable images of Birdie dressed as everyone from Albert Einstein to Sandra Day O'Connor to the first female President!
Readers will delight in this lively read-aloud story with a clever and surprising twist at the end—perfect for Halloween and year round!
Ready, set, go! The monster truck race is on in this frightfully delightful picture book. On a spooky speedway, Monster Trucks moan! Monster Trucks grumble! Monster Trucks groan!
Join Frankentruck, Zombie Truck, Ghost Truck, and more as they race to the finish line. But one of these trucks isn’t quite who you think.
Bestselling illustrator Bob Shea and poet Deanna Caswell are back, this time with a haiku book filled with frights that delight.
Here’s a spooky haiku just for you!
broom across the moon
pointed hat at the window
Can you guess who from this haiku?
A witch, a bat, a skeleton, a jack-o’-lantern, a ghost, a black cat, a spider, an owl, and a scarecrow are all hiding in the pages of this clever Halloween-themed book. Deanna Caswell’s playful haiku cleverly hint at the creatures revealed after each turn of the page while Bob Shea’s bright illustrations capture the scary silliness.
"This is the skeleton who nailed down the floor,
That upset the werewolf who put in a door,
That stopped the spider who started to crawl,
That shocked the mummy who raised the wall,
Inside the house that monsters built."
This Is the House That Monsters Built uses the building verse characteristic of the original nursery rhyme "This Is the House That Jack Built." A vampire, a ghost, a zombie, a mummy, and more all contribute to the spooky fun in the house that monsters built.
Celebrate Halloween with this bright and adventurous picture book!
Fans of Room on the Broom will want to fly the night sky with these ten little witches in this fun and festive Halloween counting book! Whether zooming past rattling skeletons, buzzing by pie-stealing mummies, or soaring over a werewolf with bad breath, readers will be cheering for this exciting group of witches and their high-flying Halloween adventures! Plus, play a game of I Spy and find the cat and owl on every page!
The leaves fall, the wind blows, and one little pumpkin seed tries and tries to be scary. But he doesn't scare anyone . . . not the snowflakes in winter, not the bees in spring, not even the watering can!
The wind tells him to be patient―he'll be scary soon enough. But waiting is hard. Will the little seed ever be really, truly scary?
This simple story is more than a fun Halloween read―it is a heartwarming tale perfect for any child who can't wait to grow up.
Strange and spooky things are happening down on the farm, and Farmer Greg knows exactly who to call — Ghost-hunters! A specialist team of three little ghost-hunting pigs equipped with the latest gadgets seem to be the perfect guys for the job. There’s certainly something suspicious about the mysterious chicken coop up on the hill, but when the Phantom Finder 5000 fails to recognize any paranormal activity, the pigs realize that perhaps all is not quite as it seems.
Boo! Boo! Boo! It’s Halloween night and the ghosts are out of the shadows and ready to scare! One by one and then two by two, the ghosts float through the neighborhood having some fun. Seven by seven and eight by eight they cause a fright for everyone they meet! Count from one ghost to ten ghosts on this silly and spooky Halloween night!
To the tune of “The Ants Go Marching,” this is a fun read-aloud and sing-along book for kids and grownups alike. The perfect book to add to your Halloween collection, children will love identifying all the costumes in the ghost march. Be on the lookout for ghostly silhouettes and other spooky objects hidden in the amusing illustrations!The Ghosts Go Scaring doubles as a counting book and young readers will have fun pointing out the new ghosts as they appear on each page, counting along with them as they go scaring through the neighborhood!
Did I miss any new Halloween books? What are some of your favorites?
I am so excited about Georgia Heard's newest book! I've used this strategy of hers before and am so happy she created a book specifically about heart mapping.
Heart Maps: Helping Students Craft and Create Authentic Writing with Essays by Pam Allyn, Nancie Atwell and Penny Kittle
How do we get students to "ache with caring" about their writing instead of mechanically stringing words together? We spend a lot of time teaching the craft of writing but we also need to devote time to helping students write with purpose and meaning. For decades, Georgia Heard has guided students into more authentic writing experiences by using heart maps to explore what we all hold inside: feelings, passions, vulnerabilities, and wonderings. In Heart Maps, Georgia shares 20 unique, multi-genre heart maps to help your students write from the heart, such as the First Time Heart Map, Family Quilt Heart Map, and People I Admire Heart Map. You'll also find extensive support for using heart maps, including:
Filled with full-color student heart maps, examples of the resulting writing, along with online access to 20 different uniquely designed reproducible heart map templates, Heart Maps will be a practical tool for awakening new writing possibilities and engaging and motivating your students' writing throughout the year.
Check out more about Heart Maps on her website:
The Lunch Witch, written and illustrated by Deb Lucke is a graphic novel with the kind of gross-out, dark humor that older elementary and middle school students will be unable to resist. Grunhilda, the lunch witch herself, is from a long line of evil witches. These ancestors gave Grunhilda their famous recipes and bubbling cauldron, but despite their tried-and-true results, no one believes in magic anymore.
Grunhilda is fired from her job pretending to be a witch at the Salem Haunted Museum– how humiliating! – when she turns her boss into a piece of poop. He deserved it! Desperate, she is forced to search for new work before all her witchy animal friends starve in her home. When she finds the listing for a school lunch lady, she is finally excited about her prospects. Boiling disgusting concoctions in a giant pot to make children suffer? Perfect. She gets the job.
However, Grunhilda’s wicked scheme begins to go awry when she meets Madison, a girl with big glasses and lots of school troubles. Madison needs a lot of help, but Grunhilda’s ancestors will do more than turn over in their graves if she does something – gasp! – nice. Will Grunhilda turn her back on generations of wicked witch agreements and help Madison, or will she live up to her evil upbringing?
Illustrated in a style reminiscent of Shel Silverstein’s art, only darker and dingier, the story seems to be set on top of greasy, food stained pages. Dark green undertones and thick lines, with sporadic pops of contrasting color, the artwork feels simultaneously creepy and hilarious. Skin-crawling details like maggots, pencil shavings, onion skins, bones and torn pages add to the grimy feeling of the story. Readers will find themselves squirming with delighted disgust as they turn the pages, unable to put the book down.
The Lunch Witch is a book that kids of all ages will read over and over again. They will love Grunhilda’s endearing character and her humorous battle between good and evil decisions. They will love Madison, the seemingly ordinary girl who has a punch packed up her sleeve. They will love the deliciously disgusting illustrations and humor running through the story. Finally, they will await copies of the recently-released sequel, The Lunch Witch #2: Knee Deep in Niceness, with great anticipation.
Mondays with Mira review of the fabulous Graphic Novel Skim
Skim, a graphic novel written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki is a startling glimpse into adolescence in today’s world. Kimberly Keiko Cameron, aka Skim, is a biracial, queer, would-be Wiccan attending a private girls’ school. She drifts on the edges of the school social scene as she works to untangle her life, thoughts and emotions.
Though they impact her deeply, each event and its ensuing aftermath seem to float around the periphery of Skim’s existence. A clandestine kiss with a teacher, the suicide of a popular girl’s ex-boyfriend, the superficial positivity in the community’s response, a crumbling friendship, explorations into a Wiccan gathering, divorced parents and geeky dates seem to happen at a distance as each experience unfolds. We experience the world through Skim’s outsider, detached perspective. Yet, her heartbreak and confusion is always painfully clear.
When reading the words and examining the illustrations, readers get the sense that they are only scratching the surface. There are layers upon layers of meaning waiting to be discovered as Skim opens her life and heart on each page. Nothing is obvious, readers must dig deeply to discover meaning. It is the kind of book one wishes to read in a class, or with a group to truly uncover the subtexts and ideas at the heart of Skim’s story. Like life – and particularly adolescent life – it takes time and deep reflection to understand all the nuances of experience.
Jillian Tamaki’s illustrations are done in a Japanese-influenced style in monochromatic colors. The line work is detailed, at once fine and bold, with strong white space in between. They layout of each page changes with the story as the art seems to be untangling itself with Skim’s journey through adolescence. The muted, yet detailed artwork reflect the story of deep layers written in an aloof teenage voice. They perfectly complement the depressed, dazed and distant feeling of Skim’s narration.
Skim is written in an authentically teenage voice while avoiding caricature-like clichés. It’s sensitivity to the realities of coming of age – friendship, sexuality, suicide, race, peer pressure, popularity – are portrayed in painful, touching and sometimes humorous ways. Readers experiencing these teenage struggles to readers reflecting on their past experiences will read this book over and over again, finding deeper meaning with each pass.
Dr. Mira Reisberg is an award-winning children’s book creative, a former kidlit university professor and a former literary agent. She is also the Director of the Children’s Book Academy and has taught many now highly successful authors and illustrators. Sign up here http://bit.ly/CBA-Tribe-SignUp to receive awesome goodies and special offers starting with a Fab Free deeper than most plotting worksheet called the “Make It Great Plot Template.” Wahoo!!!
A Special Guest Post from the Delightful Hazel Mitchell
We are delighted to feature this guest post from established illustrator and now debut author Hazel Mitchell. She'll be talking about that elusive quality known as "style" and lots of other good things. And because we didn't get the word out well about this wonderful giveaway, we've extended the deadline to the 17th!!! Wahoo!! Just leave a comment at the end.
As an illustrator one of the most important decisions I make when I receive a manuscript from a publisher is the style I’m going to work in. For some illustrators this is not the first thing they think about, if they work in the same style for every book. But I’m not like that. It’s not that my style changes out of all recognition from book to book (line work and color palette give me away!)– it’s just I see the illustrations for each book differently. Which keeps things interesting - I never get bored! Neither do I say to myself ‘I’m going to use style A, or style B, or even style C. What I do say is ‘How does this book make me feel?’, ‘What age group is it aimed at?’, ‘What is the mood?’, ‘Where’s it set?’, ‘Is it a full color picture book or a black and white chapter book?’, ‘What does the story call for?’. All these things inform the illustrations. Often when an illustrator begins to work in children’s books, or is looking to break in, style becomes a bit of an obsession. You can hear little knots of illustrators at conferences discussing their style or someone else’s style or wondering if they should jump on the latest bandwagon and be a clone of so and so who just won a Caldecott?
I am here to tell you that you should not think so much about ‘style’ as what the words in the book are telling you. Begin by writing down your feelings … happy, sad, thoughtful, sweet, hilarious? What color scheme is suggested? Bright, loud, subdued, monochrome? And so on. Even if you create your illustrations in the same style, delving deeper into the words the author has written will give you a real feel for the pictures you will create.
When you are both author and illustrator of a book how does that change things? For one thing, you are master of the world you are creating. Both the words and pictures come from your own imagination! You have free rein over style, because you dictate all the elements in the book. What power you have! Oh my. Which, of course, can be somewhat daunting.
I’m telling you this because after illustrating many books for other authors (some rendered in pen and ink, some watercolor, some digital, some mixed media) I finally found myself looking at my own story and wondering just what kind of images I wanted to create to give it life. So, I employed the same technique I do when I receive a manuscript from a publisher. I thought about mood, setting, characters, age group, and the themes I had woven into the story.
‘Toby’, my tale about a dog adopted by a lonely boy (based on my own experiences with my rescue dog of the same name), is a quiet story. It’s aimed at 4-6 year olds. It’s about relationships and emotions and not giving up. Most of the book is set inside the boy’s house and garden, so there are few panoramas or fantastical elements or fireworks or crazy stuff. But there are lot of small incidents, inferences of body language and facial expression and everyday exchanges between the dog, the boy and the boy’s father.
I knew I wanted to have a limited color palette and line work that was gentle and not overpowering. I chose to use graphite in a loose way and a one color-watercolor wash and then over colored that sparingly in Photoshop. I kept everything light and matched the color palette to the mood. There are night time scenes mostly in blues and grays and daytime images that are washed in browns and beiges. The illustrations have a retro anywhere feel to them that does not distract from the journey of the boy and his fearful, adopted dog.
The one bright color I used in the book is red and I made it the color of Toby’s collar and the boy’s sneakers. It gives a nice, visual and emotional connection between the main characters.
The endpapers of the book are important … they lead in and out of the book and are the most detailed illustrations. I like to think that the reader is at a distance when he sees the front endpapers, then he or she goes into Toby’s world and at the back endpapers he sees again from a distance the boy and his dog for a first time going for a walk in the park. I don’t think that was planned, it was a happy accident! But because I considered the overall feel of the book before I began the artwork, it happened naturally.
Even if you work in one style for the most part, give yourself a little time to really feel the words and story before you begin to illustrate a book. Make color and line samples, try making a mood board. I guarantee you will have a better handle on the direction of your illustrations before you put pencil/brush/digital pen on paper.
TOBY is Copyright © 2016 by Hazel Mitchell. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA
Here's a synopsis of Toby:
When a young boy and his father move from one house to another, they decide to adopt a dog from the local rescue shelter. But their chosen dog, Toby, is having a tough time adjusting to his new life outside the shelter—howling all night, hiding fearfully from his new humans, forgetting where to go to the bathroom, and chasing a ball through the flower bed. The boy has promised to train his new companion, and he’s trying his best, but Dad is starting to get exasperated. Will Toby ever feel comfortable with his new family and settle into his forever home, or will Dad decide he’s not the right dog for them after all?
A heartwarming story about the growing bond between a child and a new pet—inspired by the author’s experience with a rescue dog of the same name.
And a little about Hazel:
Hazel Mitchell has always loved drawing and still cannot be reliably left alone with a pencil. She has illustrated several books for children including Imani’s Moon, One Word Pearl, Animally and Where Do Fairies Go When It Snows? ‘Toby’ is her author-illustrator debut from Candlewick Press. Her work has received several awards and been recognized by Bank Street Books, Learning Magazine, Reading is Fundamental, Foreword Reviews, NYCReads365, Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, Charlotte/Mecklenburg , Chicago and Maine State libraries among others. Originally from England, where she attended art-college and served in the Royal Navy, she now lives in Maine with her poodles Toby and Lucy and a cat called Sleep. She still misses British fish and chips, but is learning to love lobster. See more of her work at www.hazelmitchell.com. Repped by Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown Ltd.
You can find Hazel here: http://www.hazelmitchell.com/toby • tweet@meetToby
http://www.facebook.com/meettoby/ • Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TgIF-6Yo1o • Buy it here http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780763680930 and here http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/toby-hazel-mitchell/1123282586.
To win a FREE signed copy of TOBY and Toby SWAG, leave a comment on this blog post! The winner will be drawn on 9th October.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays feature funny Aussie author Sharon Giltrow sharing awesome Aussie books.
And 5th Mondays will feature Libyan American author Koloud Tarapolsi sharing wonderful diverse books.