Trio of picture books usher in Halloween fun


Halloween is nearly upon us. The following are fun picture books sure to help the young readers in your home get ready for this spooky holiday.

MONSTER MASH,” by David Catrow, Orchard Books, July 1, 2012, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 4 and up)

In1962, Bobby “Boris” Pickett and Lenny Capizzi created a song with staying power — “Monster Mash.” Every year, as Halloween approaches, the song re-enters the cultural mainstream. This year, illustrator David Catrow is taking the song to new heights with a picture book full of wacky art that will have kids giggling and wiggling and eventually singing along with the tune.

There’s nothing traditional about Catrow’s “Monster Mash.” It’s pure imagination and silly fun. The characters come across as likeable, though there are some skeletons that may be scary for younger readers.

READY FOR PUMPKINS,” by Kate Duke, Knopf, Aug. 28, 2012, hardcover, $16.99 (ages 5 and up)

Hercules, but you can call him Herky, is a classroom guinea pig. In the spring, he watched the students grow plants, and now he wants to, too. Summer vacation comes, and Herky gets his chance. Herky has some Halloween pumpkin seeds and with the help of Daisy, a friendly rabbit, he prepares the soil, carefully plants pumpkin seeds, and waits.

And waits.

And waits.

But the plants sprout and then the pumpkins begin to grow. Herky has to leave them behind when fall comes and school begins again. But Daisy watches over them and in October, the teacher’s dad arrives with a big pumpkin for Herky’s class.

“Ready for Pumpkins” is actually cuter than it sounds. It’s not the most beautiful picture book, but children will enjoy Herky’s adventures.

BEDTIME FOR BOO,” by Mickie Matheis, Golden Books, Aug. 28, 2012, hardcover, $10.99 (ages 3 and up)

In a big dark house sitting high on a hill… There lived a family of ghosts. The littlest one was Boo.  The ghosts go a-haunting and Boo gets to go with them for the first time. Boo flies through the night sky, playing hide-and-seek in the silver-streaked clouds. When time for bed comes, he still wants to play, but Mama knows just how to help him fall asleep. “Bedtime for Boo” is a sweet picture book that takes the fear out of ghosts and Halloween.

© 2012 – 2017, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.


About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.


  1. Hi, can i ask you something? I’m looking for children books with “scary” animal illustrations like the big bad wolf (or a fox) eating pigs (or seven kids or Red Riding hood or birds in Chicken Little) or being pictured with a fat stomach. Could be any other animal as well. Have you seen any book of this sort? Any sort of help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Great blog, by the way!


  2. @n1
    Hi, Nelly.

    Thanks for stopping by. Your best bet is probably a book of compilations. Something that features older pictures. One good option is “The Fairy Tales of Brothers Grimm” published by Taschen. It has an image of the wolf about to eat Red Riding Hood (

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.