Three years ago, I rang in the Top Ten Tuesday Halloween blogpost by talking about the many, many children's books we pile onto our coffee table every major holiday, and sorted through my Top Ten, in order to give you a glimpse at what's there. But that was so long ago, and so much has changed since then...
That's why for today's Top Ten "Halloween Freebie," I decided to tell you about even more options for my favorite spooky-but-relatively-tame reads for kiddos!
1. How to Make Friends with a Ghost, Rebecca Green
Equal parts sweet and spooky, and surprisingly earnest, this adorably illustrated children's book became a recent favorite last year.
2. and 3. Disney Parks' The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean sing-along books
Being that I've had the words to "Grim Grinning Ghosts" and "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" down pat since approximately the age of 5, you'd think these additions to the family lineup wouldn't impress me too much. However, these reads - which you can only get from the Parks - are not only colorfully illustrated, with plenty of jokes included just for Disney superfans, but come complete with a CD so your little monster can listen along with the book!
4. The Dark, Lemony Snicket
A sweet, short, and charmingly-illustrated story about a boy learning how to share his house with an unexpected guest: the dark.
5. The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed, Patrick Rothfuss
Fans of Fantasy juggernaut Patrick Rothfuss will surely be pleased with this simple collection of short, cliff-hanger packed stories about the Princess, and her stuffed teddy bear, Mr. Whiffle. Guaranteed there will be at least plot twist you don't see coming!
6. Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody, Ludworst Bemonster
A riff on the family favorite Madeline series, this take on the classic "twelve little girls in two straight lines" follows the escapades of little nightmares, rather than Parisian schoolgirls. The illustrations are cute, the rhymes are simple, and these misbehaving monsters might just make for the perfect Halloween bedtime story!
7. The Wicked, Wicked Ladies in the Haunted House, by Mary Chase
This one might be geared more for middle grade readers, but the vintage copy we have - from my mom's own childhood - has been sitting on our coffee table for what feels like forever. Move aside, Roald Dahl's The Witches... this is the vision in my head as to what those foes look like.
8. and 9. Tales from the Haunted Mansion, Volume One: The Fearsome Foursome and Volume Two: Midnight at Madame Leota's, Amicus Arcane
I was always a fan of middle grade short-form horror, and these books fall squarely in line with exactly the sort of things that would have interested me as a kid. Divided up into short stories, these tales - set inside and around the Haunted Mansion itself - have been an unexpected favorite to pick up on Disney vacations. (And apparently there's a third volume out now... guess we have to go back!)
10. The Art and Making of ParaNorman, by Jed Alger
Okay, so technically this isn't a Halloween book... mainly because I keep it out on my coffee table in my room year round! ParaNorman isn't just one of my favorite Halloween movies, but one of my favorite movies, period, and this fun and informative tome detailing aspects of its creation is obviously one, too.
What's in YOUR Top Ten? Let me know, in the comments below!