I love Halloween.

My son and I have a whole collection of Halloween books we usually read at this time of year. If he was a whole lot younger, both of these board books would be one our re-read list.

If You’re Scary and You Know It!

If You’re Scary and You Know It! Is written by Carole Gerber and illustrated by Noel Ill ($13.99, Raincoast Books, Familius) follows the tune of If You are Happy and You Know It but with Halloween lyrics including:

“If you’re Frightful and you know it, shake an arm,
while you’re standing in a field out on a farm.
If birds peck at your crop,
wave at them until they stop!
If you’re frightful and you know it, shake your arm.”

In this double page spread, a little girl is dressed as a cute scarecrow while happy birds are eating seeds on the ground and not the bright orange pumpkins.

All the rhymes are super cute (as are the illustrations) and it would be fun to watch your little one stretch, howl shout Yo Ho! like a greedy pirate.

Front cover image of Elmo in a Frankstein costume holding a bag of candy.
Sesame Street Happy Halloween

Sesame Street Happy Halloween

Sesame Street Happy Halloween ($18.99, Raincoast Books, Sourcebooks wonderland) is a My First Big Storybook, which makes “reading together magical.”

The Book is large and size and starts as Count is waiting for his first Halloween guests to arrive. One by one all your usual Sesame Street gang shows up in costume and once all ten arrives, the party begins. But then an unexpected guest knock at the door, making the Sesame Street friends worried – who can it be? It turns out the reader – you – is the guest and you are invited inside.

The story is cute with lots of things to look at. Along the sides of the book are three suggestions on how you can interact with each page: Engage with a light-bulb symbol (ask the child if it’s daytime or nighttime during the story); Skills with the letters ABC in a circle (what colours do you see on count’s chair); and Point with a finger pointing (It’s Halloween and the Count is waiting to give out threats to trick-or-tr eaters. Let’s point to his bowl of treats so he remembers where it is.).

According to the back of the book, these three prompts, and the fact that you do them, “extends story time and creates treasured moments together.”

Personally, I feel all these suggested prompts are obvious so therefore rather annoying. I just want a story and I can point out details and ask my own questions. The prompts at the side are distracting and takes away from the story.

My 10-year-old on the other hand, took an interest in what each of three symbols meant and what sort of questions they were asking. He thought it was really cool a book would have that in it.

A copy of these books were provided by Raincoast Books for an honest review.
The opinions are my own.