This Week’s Children’s Book Reviews: The Pumpkin Smasher – It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – Home in the Woods – It Happens in the Month of October – The Cat at Night – Slinky Malinki – I Walk at Night #ChildrensBooks #HalloweenBooks

This Week’s Children’s Books:

We’ve been reading all of our Halloween favorites and some new books too. Here are some books we’ve read this week.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

By Charles M. Schulz


We read this book multiple times a year, even when it’s not Halloween. It wouldn’t be Halloween without it either. Our copy is a 1972 printing, but this year we picked up the beautiful, bright orange 2018 deluxe edition. Both editions are wonderful, and this is a Charles Schulz childhood favorite. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is all about Linus and his belief in the Great Pumpkin. He gives up trick-or-treating to wait for the Great Pumpkin on Halloween night, and just about the only person who believes he might be on to something is Sally.

“Dear Great Pumpkin, I am looking forward to your arrival on Halloween Night. Everyone tells me you are fake, but I believe in you. “ – Linus


Will the Great Pumpkin bring toys and visit Linus this year? Follow along to find out!


  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Series: Peanuts
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Spotlight; Deluxe ed. edition (July 24, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1534413944
  • ISBN-13: 978-1534413948

Home in the Woods

by Eliza Wheeler


This isn’t a Halloween book, but it does have an autumn season. This book is just beautiful. Knowing that it’s based on the true story of the author’s grandmother made it even more special.

Marvel is six years old when her father passes away in 1932. Because of this, Marvel, her mother, and seven siblings must start their lives over. In the woods of Wisconsin they discover a tar-paper shack and they quickly move in. At first, the living circumstances are difficult and they struggle to make ends meet, especially during the first frigid winter. The children adapt, but they miss their father. Through the seasons they learn how to entertain themselves and just enjoy being together as a family.


Home in the Woods made me emotional. My grandparents went through the Great Depression, but losing a parent or husband on top of every other struggle during that time had to just be harrowing for this family. I think the author did an amazing job writing this story into a children’s book so they can be aware of the events from this time period and think about what’s really important in life.


  • Age Range: 5 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books (October 1, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399162909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399162909

It Happens in the Month of October

By Ellen B. Jackson

Illustrated by Robin and Pat DeWitt


Now this is a fun book for October!

This book teaches tons of facts regarding October including:

-animal migration
-zodiac signs, constellations, and birthstones
-October birthdays
-Origin of Halloween
-famous October events


It even concludes with a funny folktale. We loved all the history and trivia. The illustrations are nice too. Highly recommend this one for ages 5 and up.

  • Age Range: 6 – 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten – 4
  • Series: It Happens in the Month of
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge (February 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088106923X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881069235

The Cat at Night

By Dahlov Ipcar


“When the farmer goes to bed, he winds the clock and he puts the cat out. But what does the cat do out there in the darkness all night long?”

This book is about a cat and how it keeps busy all night when everyone else is sleeping. Children will learn simple facts about how cats are nocturnal and what they can see at night.


The illustrations in this one are so fun. The author alternates dark night scenes with colorful ones to illustrate how cats see differently from humans at night. It feels like a surprise with each turn of the page. This is another beautiful book perfect for night time reading, and we found it to be a good read for Halloween too.


  • Age Range: 2 – 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 2
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Islandport Press; Second edition (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934031232
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934031230

Slinky Malinki

By Linley Dodd


Slinky Malinki is on the prowl at night looking for items to add to his heaping stash. He steals whatever he can find from slippers to teddy bears. One night he steals more than ever and gets busted by his human family.

All over town,
from basket and bowl,
he pilfered and pillaged,
he snitched and he stole.
Slippers and sausages,
biscuits and balloons,
brushes and bandages,
pencils and spoons.

This book is hilarious and the illustrations are perfect.


What I love most about it is that it’s great for young readers with the way the story rhymes and repeats, yet it’s interesting and keeps your attention as well. Kids can’t wait to find out how the story will end. Since we picked this up, my youngest daughter wants to read it everyday. It’s that cute.

Of course we love black cats! This is another one we read with our halloween themed books even though it isn’t technically Halloween themed. There are others in the series that we ordered which I’ll review later on.


  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 – 2
  • Series: Gold Star First Readers
  • Library Binding: 31 pages
  • Publisher: Gareth Stevens Pub (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836827848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836827842

The Pumpkin Smasher

By Anita Bernarde


It’s October, and the people of Cranbury are preparing for Halloween. Scarecrows, big black cats, ghosts, and jack-o-lanterns adorn the town, until Halloween comes and a pumpkin smasher smashes all of the beautiful pumpkins. Who would do such a thing?

Next year, signs are posted and police are on the lookout. Unfortunately, the pumpkin smasher strikes again. The people of Cranbury are ready to cancel Halloween for good. They come up with a plan, but will Halloween be ruined again?


Our copy of this one is very old. It’s from 1972 and falling apart, but it’s still a favorite. The illustrations are a tad lackluster with just black and white with a bit of orange for color, but they work well and this is a vintage copy.

  • Grade Level: 2 – 3
  • Paperback: 34 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1484875923
  • ISBN-13: 978-1484875926

I Walk at Night

By Lous Duncan

Paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher


My family is full of cat-lovers, so books like these quickly wind up on our reading lists.

I walk at Night is a very pretty picture book about a domesticated cat who’s a little mischievous at night, but enjoys being warm in its owner’s arms during the day. The oil-painted illustrations on textured paper are beautiful and make this story so atmospheric.


The rhyming story is easy for young ones to read, but it’s one to be enjoyed by all ages. Because of the mood, it’s soothing, which makes this great as a read-aloud for young ones at night.

This was a last minute addition to our Halloween stack of reads this week which worked out nicely


  • Age Range: 3 – 8 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile; 1St Edition edition (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670875139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670875139

What Halloween books are you reading?

Mischenko 🎃

9 thoughts on “This Week’s Children’s Book Reviews: The Pumpkin Smasher – It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – Home in the Woods – It Happens in the Month of October – The Cat at Night – Slinky Malinki – I Walk at Night #ChildrensBooks #HalloweenBooks

  1. Pingback: October 2019 Wrap-up #Books #BookReviews #Music #ReadingChallenge #October – ReadRantRock&Roll

  2. Gosh. All these books have the best illustrations & they all sound so fun. I’m especially loving all the cats! So cute that your daughter wants to read Stinky Malinki everyday– can’t wait to see the other books your ordered from the series. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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