Book Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman #BookReview #Coraline

Coraline

by Neil Gaiman

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From Goodreads:

“Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house. . . .”

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.

But there’s another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life. Continue reading “Book Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman #BookReview #Coraline”

Music Monday: ☆Halloween Edition☆ Michael Jackson “Thriller” | Rockwell “Somebody’s Watching Me” | G Tom Mac “Cry Little Sister” | The Cure “Burn” #MusicMonday

-Music Monday-

This meme was created by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday.

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I thought I’d post a few favorites for the Halloween season. Hope you enjoy! 🎃


Michael Jackson

“Thriller”

I posted “Thriller” last year, but how can you ever get tired of this! I can still remember the first time I saw it on MTV as a child. It still captivates me and this remains my favorite Michael Jackson album of all time. There’s a story here and if you watch the entire video, you’ll see some phenomenal dancing.

Continue reading “Music Monday: ☆Halloween Edition☆ Michael Jackson “Thriller” | Rockwell “Somebody’s Watching Me” | G Tom Mac “Cry Little Sister” | The Cure “Burn” #MusicMonday”

Flower Friday: Sedums and Pumpkin Harvest!

I discovered Flower Friday last year while visiting Lorilin@Bugbugbooks and have been having a blast sharing some flower pictures and information. Please check out Lorilin’s blog if you haven’t already for book reviews and more!


We don’t have a large variety of fall blooming flowers, but I do have Sedums which I’ve grown to love over the years.

Continue reading “Flower Friday: Sedums and Pumpkin Harvest!”

Halloween Reads for Children – Happy Halloween!

When I first started posting about our favorite children’s Halloween reads, I had big plans to share as many as possible. Last week we were so busy and things didn’t go as planned. So, I missed out on a few posts. Today I thought I’d share a bunch of our favorite Halloween reads for this season!

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First, let’s start with the board books. Of course, this was hard to pick just a few Halloween board books because there are so many adorable board books for toddlers, but we chose these two.

The Best Classic Halloween Stories – Board Book Collection

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We picked up this set from Costco last month. It contains eight different favorite Halloween stories in board book format for toddlers. You get all of these stories:

  • Little Blue Truck’s Halloween
  • Hooray for Halloween
  • Five Little Monkeys
  • Halloween Mice!
  • Ollie’s Halloween
  • Sheep Trick or Treat
  • Trick or Treat
  • Boo, Bunny!

It’s a very nice collection for your little ones. The books are good quality and have gorgeous illustrations!

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B is for BOO – A Halloween Alphabet

by Greg Paprocki

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A great introduction to the alphabet for babies and toddlers. The illustrations are perfect and have a vintage children’s book feel. There are twenty-six different illustrations throughout the book to teach all about Halloween to our little ones while they visualize the alphabet and learn the sounds as you read. A perfect addition to the Halloween shelf that I plan on keeping even when my little ones are grown!


Halloween Cats

by Jean Marzollo and Hans Wilhelm

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This is a super simple rhyming read for young readers with beautiful, colorful illustrations. It’s all about trick-or-treating cats causing trouble. There isn’t much of a story, but we still enjoy reading this one every year.


The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin
by Joe Troiano, Susan Banta (Illustrator)

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Spookley was different than all the other pumpkins. He was square, and the other pumpkins made fun of him and thought that he was worthless. Spookley finally gets the chance to prove that he’s just as good as all the others. Will he prevail?

This one is certainly a keeper. It’s a cute story that sends a strong message to children about the importance of kindness and that it’s not right to make fun of others. A cute story with colorful illustrations! The movie is also a family favorite.


 

I Like Pumpkins

by Jerry Smath (Illustrations)

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A cute Halloween story about the different sizes of pumpkins. Some are big, some are small, some are scary, some aren’t at all. The story shows many different ways we use pumpkins during the Halloween season. Easy to read for young ones and the end of the book has a few seek and finds.


We’re Going on a Spooky Ghost Hunt (A StoryPlay Book)

by Ken Geist
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This is a new Halloween book that I purchased from Scholastic. It’s our first Story Play book yet. The story can be read to the song “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.” The story contains little questions along the way that inspire young readers to count and answer questions about the story. It really gets them thinking about the story. The illustrations are detailed and interesting. I’m happy with this one and I think it’s best for preschoolers.

The Pumpkin Smasher

Anita Benarde
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It’s October, and the people of Cranbury are getting reading 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. 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 black and white with a bit of orange for color.

Love Monster and the Scary Something (Love Monster)

by Rachel Bright

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Love Monster just can’t sleep and the night becomes spookier. Is something out there to get him? Love Monster must be brave. Follow along to see if he can overcome his fears.

Although this isn’t technically a Halloween book, we love this one for this time of year. The best illustrations!


Franklin’s Halloween

by Paulette Bourgeois, Brenda Clark (Illustrations)
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Franklin has always been a favorite show in our house and my kids would watch it on PBS all the time. In this book, Franklin dresses up as Frankenstein for Halloween and prepares for a Halloween party, parade, haunted house and games. It’s a cute book for Franklin fans complete with a wonderful story and detailed illustrations.

Happy Halloween, Snoopy!

by Charles M. Schulz, Jack C. Harris, Art Ellis, Kim Ellis
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Better than candy, “Happy Halloween, Great Pumpkin!” is a great gift-giving opportunity, coinciding as it does with the Great Pumpkin TV special, the most popular of the Peanuts cartoon specials. Full color.


There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat!

by Lucille Colandro, Jared Lee (Illustrator)
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What won’t this old lady swallow? This time around, a bat, an owl, a cat, a ghost, a goblin, some bones, and a wizard are all on the menu! This Halloween-themed twist on the classic “little old lady” books will delight and entertain all brave readers who dare to read it!

Room on the Broom

by Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler
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The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand!  Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom.  But is there room on the broom for so many friends?  And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon.

Gus And The Baby Ghost (Gus the Ghost)

by Jane Thayer, Seymour Fleishman (Illustrator)
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Gus, Cora the cat, a mouse named Mouse, and Mr. Frizzle all live in the Historical Museum. They have a fairly symbiotic relationship, until the arrival of this baby ghost that is left on the doorstep. Frizzle who has a terrible temper and is reminiscent of most bad-tempered excessively rigid old men overreacts a number of times in most theatrical and entertaining ways before the mild-mannered Gus stands his ground, puts Frizzle in his place, and restores order to the emotional state of the household.

 


It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

by Charles M. Schulz

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We read this book every year and even when it’s not Halloween. Ours is a 1972 printing and a Charles Schulz favorite 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. ” – Linus

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


Continue reading “Halloween Reads for Children – Happy Halloween!”

Shabby Sunday: Time Life – The Enchanted World Series – Ghosts 1984

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Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

Ghosts (The Enchanted World)

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Blurb: Presents tales and examines varieties of beliefs about death and hauntings, characteristics and habits of ghosts, exorcism rites, and haunted places.

I chose this book because it’s one of my favorites in the series and perfect for this time of year. This volume is from 1984 and although the cover has some heavy wear, the pages are in excellent crisp condition.

My Thoughts:

I’ve been working to complete my collection of The Enchanted World Series throughout this year and this has to be one of my favorite volumes yet. The volume titled Ghosts is packed full of ghost stories dating from the 1800’s up to the 1980’s. Some are hauntings and exorcisms, while others cover haunted places. Some of the stories include banshees, nightwalkers, ravens, poltergeists, ghost children, and the Ankou (skeletal monsters). A few of my favorites in this volume are “Glam’s Tale” and “Song of the Sorrowing Harp”, but my absolute favorite is a story about a woman and her detaching head from the English county of Lancashire titled “A Meeting on the Road Home” which is creepy and comical.

These books contain stunning works of art and they always steal the show. You can locate the artists in the back of the book and learn about where all these tales originated in the bibliography. I like the way this volume was put together as it contains multiple stories from around the world. The artwork in this volume isn’t as explicit as the others, and the tales are interesting, but I probably wouldn’t recommend this one to young children as some of the stories are very eerie and involve killings. 4.5 ****


You can find this book on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Series: Enchanted World
  • Hardcover: 143 pages
  • Publisher: Time Life Education; 1st edition (September 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809452162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809452163

With shipping, you can probably find this volume on eBay and Amazon for under $9

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Some of the gold letters on the title are wearing off. The fabric cover is a bit faded as well.

 

 

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Glam’s Tale

 

 

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To see the banshee, said the Irish, meant to foresee one’s own death. This sad harbinger often appeared as a pale young woman, washing graveclothes in lonely streams.

 

 

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Song of the Sorrowing Harp

Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Time Life – The Enchanted World Series – Ghosts 1984”

Halloween Reads for Children #5 – Octavius Grimwood’s Graveyard Guide by Rod Green

Every day or so, until Halloween, I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

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Today’s pick is:

Octavius Grimwood’s Graveyard Guide

by Rod Green

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Blurb: Boys and girls who relish scary stories and macabre movies will love this coffin-shaped book. It’s an illustrated collection of short articles that present thumbnail descriptions of vampire bats, the Frankenstein monster, the spooky tunnels beneath the streets of Paris, the Dracula legend, and much more. Each two-page spread is devoted to a separate category of factual or fictitious creature, such as Vampires, Skeletons, Werewolves, Zombies, and others. Kids will also find fact lists of descriptive details about terrifying beings, and even ghoulish jokes, such as: ” Why doesn’t Dracula have any friends? Because he’s a pain in the neck. ” The color illustrations on every page are comically creepy.


My Thoughts:

Leave it to Rod Green to come up with the coolest children’s books. We already have a few Christmas books written by him that are forever favorites. This one is for Halloween and it’s titled Octavius Grimwood’s Graveyard Guide. It’s shaped like a coffin! So cool.

The book starts with an introduction of Octavius Grimwood, an investigator of the supernatural, spooky, and weird. Octavius Grimwood is the guide as he takes readers on an exploration retelling stories about ghosts, witches, skeletons, werewolves, vampires, mummies, and zombies. Each page contains true facts and some events as well. It even covers some fairly spooky legends and places like a few different haunted houses, Highgate Cemetery, and Borley Rectory in England to name a few.

“Borley Rectory was one of the most famous haunted houses in England. It was built near the ruins of Borley Hall, once home to the wealthy Waldegrave family. Its most famous ghost was a nun, and she was the figure I met there one chilly night in 1939. The specter told me she ran away to marry one of the Waldegrave sons. However, her fiance killed her in a violent argument. The rectory burned down shortly after my visit, and the bones of a young woman were discovered.”

The book finishes with an explanation of Halloween and how it all got started. It may not seem like it, but it’s actually quite educational. I even learned a few things myself about safety coffins and the story of “Stingy Jack.” Overall, it’s fun and we love the format. The illustrations are both creepy and interesting. We look forward to pulling it off the Halloween shelf every year!

5 Sterne

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Barron’s Educational Series (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764163779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764163777

Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon


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Continue reading “Halloween Reads for Children #5 – Octavius Grimwood’s Graveyard Guide by Rod Green”

Halloween Reads for Children #4 – Happy Troll-o-ween! by Mary Man-Kong – Random House

Every day until Halloween I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

 

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Today’s pick is:

Happy Troll-o-ween! (DreamWorks Trolls)

by Mary Man-Kong –  Random House

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Blurb: Trolls—the most magical creatures with the wildest hair—go on a hair-raising adventure just in time for Halloween.

Poppy and Branch and their Bergen friends King Gristle and Bridget from DreamWorks Trolls have a scary good time when they learn about things that go bump in the dark forest. Boys and girls ages 3 to 7 will love this adventure-filled book that comes just in time for Halloween!

My Thoughts:

This book really doesn’t have much of a story, but for kids who love Trolls, this will be one of their favorite Halloween books. Branch tells readers all about how they used to be scared of the Bergens, but now they’re not. There are plenty of spooky things that live in the dark forest though, like Tarantapuffs (spiders) and other creatures.

It comes with a few pages of stickers and a Poppy and Branch pop out mask. It’s a cute book at a good price that Troll fans will enjoy.

4-stars

  • Age Range: 3 – 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 2
  • Series: Pictureback(R)
  • Paperback: 16 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; Stk edition (July 25, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524769584
  • ISBN-13: 978-1524769581

Find it on Amazon and Goodreads


 

 

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Pop-out Poppy and Branch Masks

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Continue reading “Halloween Reads for Children #4 – Happy Troll-o-ween! by Mary Man-Kong – Random House”

Halloween Reads for Children #3 – Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and S.D. Schindler

Every day until Halloween I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

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Today’s pick is:

Big Pumpkin

by Erica SilvermanS.D. Schindler (Illustrator)

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Blurb: The witch has grown the biggest pumpkin ever, and now she wants to make herself a pumpkin pie for Halloween. But the pumpkin is so big she can’t get it off the vine.

It’s so big the ghost can’t move it, either. Neither can the vampire, nor the mummy. It looks as if there’ll be no pumpkin pie for Halloween, until along comes the bat with an idea to save the day.

How can the tiny bat succeed where bigger and strong spooky creatures have failed? You’ll be surprised!

Book Details:

Format: Paperback Publication Date: 9/1/1995 Pages: 32 Reading Level: Age 4 and Up

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; Reprint edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689801297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689801297

Find on Amazon and Goodreads


My Thoughts:

As soon as we saw this on the Halloween table at Barnes and Noble, we had to grab it. It a book about a witch who grows a giant pumpkin! She plants the seed and watches it grow with plans to make a pumpkin pie, but the pumpkin is so gigantic, she can’t even remove it from the vine. The ghost thinks he can help, then the vampire, then the mummy, but not one of them is strong enough. Will a little bat be the answer? Follow along in the story to see if they can devise a plan as a team and finally enjoy some delicious pumpkin pie and good company.

We loved the story and colorful illustrations which aren’t scary at all. It has the perfect amount of text per page for young readers. It’s great with or without the audio and if you’d like, you can see and hear the book on YouTube. The ending is a wonderful surprise.

My rating on this one is 4****

4-stars


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Continue reading “Halloween Reads for Children #3 – Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and S.D. Schindler”

Halloween Reads For Children #2 – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 1-3

Every day until Halloween I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

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Today’s pick is:

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark:

Books 1-3

1- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Collected from American Folklore (Scary Stories #1)

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Blurb: This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz’s popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright.

There is a story here for everyone — skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney.

Stephen Gammell’s splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories — and even scary songs — all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark. If You Dare!

Find on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Scary Stories Scary Stories
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperColl; 1st edition (January 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0397319266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0397319268

My Thoughts:

This is a great collection of short scary stories for kids to enjoy. It’s a book that I enjoyed as a child and can now share with my own kids. Some of the stories are pretty scary and best for older readers, but a few of them can be read to younger readers as well. There are plenty of traditional ghost stories, retellings and folklore to enjoy. The black and white illustrations add even more eeriness!

A few of our favorites include The White Wolf, The Guests, The Wendigo, The Girl Who Stood on a Grave, and The Attic.

I really enjoyed reading the references in the back of the book which explain the tales and where they originated.

5 Sterne


2- More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Scary Stories #2)

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Blurb: All those who enjoyed shuddering their way through Alvin Schwartz’s first volume of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark will find a satisfyingly spooky sequel in this new collection of the macabre, the funny, and the fantastic.Is it possible to die — and not know it? What if a person is buried too soon? What happens to a thief foolish enough to rob a corpse, or to a murderer whose victim returns from the grave? Read about these terrifying predicaments as well as what happens when practical jokes produce gruesome consequences and initiations go awry.Stephen Gammell’s splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories — and even a scary song — all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark. If You Dare!

Find on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Scary Stories Scary Stories
  • Library Binding: 112 pages
  • Publisher: HarperColl (August 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0397320825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0397320820

My Thoughts:

Here’s another scary story collection that’s perfect for this time of year. Some of these are downright horrifying, but so much fun.

A few of our favorites are: Something was Wrong, The Cat’s Paw, Ba-Rooom!, which includes the simple sheet music we enjoy playing on the piano, Wonderful Sausage, and One Sunday Morning.

One of my favorite sections in the book contains the sources which explain the tales, adaptations, retellings and even different variations. Some even have a little history with them which explains where these tales were heard and when. The illustrations by Stephen Gammell are perfect and never disappoint!

5 Sterne

Irish Washerman Tune – “Ba-Room”

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The Cat’s Paw

Continue reading “Halloween Reads For Children #2 – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 1-3”