A haunted journey worth taking.

SPOOKYTALE

From the Trail Tales series

Two friends and their pup trek through a dark wood toward a haunted house.

Spooky but not-too-scary moments abound in this lift-the-flap board book. Each turn of the page or flip of the fold reveals the friends moving closer to the house in the distance; the opening spread looks like a map displaying the path to the house. During their journey, they cross a rickety bridge (complete with a troll), trudge across a dismal swamp, and tromp through a graveyard. When they arrive at the house, expecting a scare, they discover a raucous Halloween party. The rich vocabulary includes words like dismal, deserted, and rotting. There is plenty for eager eyes to observe and linger over on each page. Cutouts allow for animal faces to peek through pages that have been turned, and even the dog has its own experiences with critters and slightly frightening moments. All of the creatures of the night are nonthreatening—even adorable—which makes for age-appropriate scares. The illustrations are eye-catching, and the gatefolds allow for a playful approach to vertical space and height. One child has pale skin and red hair; the other, light-brown skin and dark hair. The suspense inherent in the journey, coupled with the positive relief of tension at the end, makes this a fun Halloween tale.

A haunted journey worth taking. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5019-9

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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A satisfying friendship story to share with very young children in the days leading up to Halloween.

TEENY TINY GHOST

This board book twists the traditional “Teeny Tiny” tale into a less-scary Halloween treat.

This version uses a singsong-y rhythm and cadence to tell the story. “In the teeny tiny barn / Of a teeny tiny house... / Lived a teeny tiny ghost / and a teeny tiny mouse.” Of course the ghost (being teeny tiny) is not very frightening. “But the determined little ghost / Let her mighty courage through / And with a teeny tiny breath / She said a teeny tiny: boo.” Spoiler alert: After just seven page turns the ghost and mouse become friends: “And now the teeny tinies play / In the teeny tiny house. / Just a teeny tiny ghost / And her best friend, mouse.” Pumpkins decorate the cover and final spread and illustrations throughout are in autumnal hues. The fairly high-for-the-format word count—19 to 21 words per page—may be more than toddlers will sit still for, but the “teeny tiny” repetition and rhymes will help. The size (just 6 inches square) makes using the book with a group a challenge, but with a lap-sitting child, it’ll be a pleasure.

A satisfying friendship story to share with very young children in the days leading up to Halloween. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-31848-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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Sweet and practical holiday advice delivered by two darling dinos.

TINY T. REX AND THE TRICKS OF TREATING

Tiny T. Rex shares the top six tricks of treating for those wanting to become Halloween Treat-masters.

“The very best part of Halloween is the Treats,” the book opens. “It is a mathematically proven fact.” From there, Tiny T. Rex and pal Pointy, who declare themselves masters of treating, share their tricks, which range from what to wear (with a caveat to avoid wearing multiple costumes at once) to being sure to express “thank you” (even frightful creatures have manners, after all) to the “greatest trick” of all—sharing treats. Stutzman’s play on trick-or-treating, coupled with original words like Nom-bies and Crawly-creeps, give this board book a refreshingly original take on familiar Halloween themes. Fleck’s illustrations depict the dinos as endearing and playful. Tiny T. Rex has two pointy, nonintimidating teeth and a diminutive stature, and Pointy’s ever so pointy back plates are incorporated into its costume as a unicorn with a rainbow-colored tail. And who can resist a dinosaur wearing “mitties” over its hands? The brightly colored illustrations are visually appealing, and the details give readers plenty to observe. From showing gratitude for a cucumber “treat” handed out from a basket of veggies to sharing their haul with a homebound friend, these dinosaurs are adorable in more ways than one.

Sweet and practical holiday advice delivered by two darling dinos. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4521-8490-6

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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