I was a teacher for twelve years. One of the things I miss is creating and growing readers. As a teacher, I loved hunting for great books, sharing my favorite books, and recommending books to kids and families. This post is the first in a series sharing book ideas and (hopefully) helping you to create and grow readers in your home.
Below are some amazing books that I believe are worth sharing with your kids this month. However, I believe (with the exception of those that are vulgar or inappropriate) ANY book your child will read is a “good” book.
Even if you don’t love a book, it’s important to let your child exercise choice, because it may create the love of reading that we desire in our kids.
Infants and Toddlers
Little Master Board Books by BabyLit
Each book in the Little Master series takes a classic and utilizes its themes, ideas, or vocabulary to introduce little ones to the story on a basic level through simple illustrations and limited words. The Dracula book is a counting book, and the Frankenstein book is about anatomy.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
This book is pattern predictable (repeats phrases throughout) and utilizes sound and motion words, making it perfect for young readers because they can get involved in the reading.
Big Pumpkin by Ericka Silverman
This book is also pattern predictable, uses rhythmic language, features an assortment of Halloween characters, and has a lesson about teamwork.
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
The colorful, engaging illustrations combined with a silly story told through rhyming text make this an enjoyable choice for kids. From an educational perspective, I appreciate the author’s use of quality vocabulary.
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara
This is a cute fictional story with a math and science tie. It would lend itself to an educational family exploration comparing the number of seeds in pumpkins of various sizes. I like the relatable story of a classroom and the underlying theme about not judging people by their outward appearance.
Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson
I would share this book with kids for the gorgeous photographs alone. This is a quality non-fiction option that explains the life cycle of pumpkins from year to year. Some of the rhyming text feels a little forced, but it does make this non-fiction topic a bit friendlier for younger kids.
Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween: A Safety Guide for Scaredies by Melanie Watt
Scaredy Squirrel is excellent for reluctant readers because each page is engaging and can be read quickly. These books use many different text features (i.e. diagrams, maps), which are important for young readers to understand. If your child enjoys this book, there is a whole series of Scaredy Squirrel books to keep him reading.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow retold by Will Moses
It is important to introduce classics, and this picture book could be read as a family or read to your child. This version is true to the original story, but told in a kid friendly way. After reading, watch the Disney animated version and discuss which is better and how they are different.
A to Z Mysteries: Sleepy Hollow Sleepover by Ron Roy (Grades 1-3)
This would be an excellent follow up to the Will Moses book. If your child hasn’t already read A to Z Mysteries, this lighthearted mystery book is a nice introduction that might get them hooked on the series.
Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe (Grades 2-5)
Bunnicula is a fun story told from the perspective of a family dog. It was one of my favorites as a kid and has ties to the story of Dracula, making it a logical Halloween choice. The authors have written several books featuring these characters for kids who want to continue to follow their adventures after this story.
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury (Grades 5-8)
This story follows boys on Halloween night through a fantastic adventure. It is a great introduction to Halloween traditions throughout history and in a variety of cultures. When read as a family, this book could result in a desire to learn more about Halloween and its traditions. Also, as a fun fact to engage your young reader, there is a Halloween Tree dedicated to Bradbury at Disneyland every year during the Halloween season.