It's that very spooky time of year again and BookBairn has been enjoying the Halloween fun! We've been embracing pumpkins by playi...

Spook-Bairn's Halloween Reads

Sunday, October 30, 2016 BookBairn 6 Comments

It's that very spooky time of year again and BookBairn has been enjoying the Halloween fun! We've been embracing pumpkins by playing with miniature pumpkin pots and conkers (chestnuts) counting them as she plays; painting pumpkins, creating Halloween sticker pictures and getting all dressed up for Halloween parties. Just the big night tomorrow to go out guising (trick or treating).

And, of course, we've been reading some spooky books to get in the mood! I bought a bundle of new books for BookBairn this Halloween but I will be completely honest with you: she prefers reading the ones from last year! We've read Spooky House countless times and Boo! just makes her giggle galore! To read our previous reviews click here and here. But that's not to say she hasn't been spooked by her new reads too!

I absolutely adore the BabyLit books by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver and when I saw that they had classic dark horror stories I couldn't resist! Unfortunately I couldn't get 'Dracula' in our local bookshop and it was going to be delivered after Halloween if I ordered online so I picked out 'Frankenstein' instead and it has been a brilliant read! Like all the BabyLit books this a vocabulary primer based around a classic text and is as much fun for adults as it is with children! BookBairn has certainly enjoyed this one in particular as she is loving singing "head, shoulders, knees and toes" at the moment. Each page introduces a new part of the body and the opposite page builds it onto the Frankenstein character. Alison Oliver has again done an incredible job of making complicated literary texts accessible to little readers through irresistible illustrations that are less monstrous and appropriately adorable for the young audience! Another fantastic addition to our collection!

Another great Halloween primer book that we have been reading is 'Halloween ABC'  by Jannie Ho. An alphabet of all things Halloween: perfect for introducing little readers to the idea of Halloween and the season! BookBairn has enjoyed flipping through these pages and has learned lots of new words like "ghostie", "pumpkin" and "witch". A great little vocabulary-builder. The illustrations in this book are more treat than trick with cute monsters, silly zombies and smiley bats. Perfectly-pitched for toddlers and little ones (or for grown-ups who spook easily). As this is an alphabet book, it is limited in holding BookBairn's attention as she already shows a preference for stories and has moved on from primer books for the moment (not that it stops me from buying them of course!). Instead, I gave her charge of turning the pages and we started a simple game of "can you find ...?" which was great fun!

 We've also been reading 'The Haunted House' by Kazuno Kohara (who wrote and illustrated 'The Midnight Library' which is one of BookBairn's repeat library borrows!). Illustrated using only orange, black and white, this book is a perfect Halloween tale. A little girl moves into a new house to discover that it is haunted! But this little girl isn't just a little girl, she's a witch and she knows just what to do with the ghosts. First she catches them and wrangles them into the washing machine! Of course, the washing machine - why didn't I think of that?! And then she hangs them out on the washing line. Finally, she puts them to new use as tablecloths, blankets and curtains. What a sweet story! And perfect for putting any little minds to rest about how to deal with ghosts. BookBairn loves counting the ghosties on the page and it would make great inspiration for older ones artwork. I love the strong colour contrasts and bold lines that are typical of Kohara's illustrations and this is just perfect for Halloween!

Finally, a book I couldn't resist but it turns out it was more for me than for BookBairn! 'Boo! Haiku' by Deanna Caswell and Bob Shea is a book filled with Halloween haikus (a style of Japenese poetry) set in the for of riddles. Each page shares a three line poem describing a typical Halloween character and the idea is you guess the solution before turning the page to reveal a cute and colourful illustrated solution. Such a great way to use the page-turn to interact with readers! This is a brilliant book and would make a great teaching resource but, unfortunately, it's not for BookBairn yet. It's a little too complicated for a toddler and perhaps I should have read the description more carefully before ordering. However, I really enjoyed it. And I can save it for future Halloweens!

Hope you all have a spooky Halloween tomorrow night! And I promise to share some pictures of Spook-Bairn all dressed up back here later this week! *UPDATE* BookBairn had a great time as a little witch and she enjoyed the sweeties even more!

Happy haunting!
Mummy and Spook-Bairn xx


  1. I can't believe that BookBairn is reading Frankenstein but it sounds like a fun book. I'd love to know how Dracula can be made in to a fun story!! Looking forward to the pics of SpookBairn in her costume and please keep some monkey nuts for Papa C.

    1. Thanks Papa C! She had great fun in her costume once she got used to it! The Dracula book is a counting book so I'm looking forward to seeing that too but maybe for BookBump as BookBairn will have outgrown it by next year!

  2. These all look fab, I love all the bright colours and what a cute little Halloween model you have! Thank you for sharing with #ReadWithMe

    1. Thanks Chantalle! She is a bit hit and miss with posing for photos these days but she was good for Halloween!

  3. I must read The Haunted House, I've read so many great reviews of the book.

    I love Book Bairn's pumpkin dress :o)


    1. Thank you Catherine - I love the dress too and wish she could wear it all year round but soon she will be in Christmas jumpers so that will hopefully fill the gap! And you would love Haunted House! x