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Spooky Books For Kids

October 25, 1998|Ilene Abramson | Ilene Abramson is senior librarian, Children's Literature Department, Los Angeles Public Library

Between coming up with exactly the right costume and carving out an appropriately scary jack-o'-lantern, Halloween can strike fear in the heart of many a frazzled parent. Here to smooth the way to a beautifully creepy holiday, and get kids involved, is a selection of books that can be purchased at bookstores or borrowed from your local library.

HORRORGAMI

Spooky Paper Folding for Children

By Steve and Megumi Biddle

Barron's Educational Series: 32pp., $7.95

Traditional origami folds with a Halloween twist. It's intended for the beginner, with progressively more complex projects, but almost anyone should be able to produce, at the least, a blood drop. If you purchase this book at a bookstore, you will find 24 sheets of origami paper included.

*

CREEPY CRAFTS

By Tina Vilcich-Solomon

Illustrated by Bryan Baugh

Lowell House Juvenile: 64 pp., $7.95

From a Crawling Spider Candle to Dangling Digit Earrings, these 23 illustrated crafts for ages 9 to 12 make perfect gifts for friends or favorite enemies. Some supplies require a trip to the craft store, and some require adult supervision.

*

HALLOWEEN FUN FOR EVERYONE

By Ferida Wolff and Dolores Kozielski

Illustrated by Judy Lanfredi

Beech Tree Books: 79 pp., $7.95

From ghoulish games to ghastly riddles, this paperback contains a lot of simple ideas to make your Halloween party a horrific success. Kids can play Wart the witch's Nose Game, decorate the house with Leaping Lint Bugs or make spooky soundtracks by taping whistling teakettles.

*

THE HALLOWEEN HOUSE

By Erica Silverman

Illustrated by Jon Agee

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 32 pp., $15

Two cartoon convicts take refuge in a haunted house teeming with were-wolves, vampires, bats and ghosts and long for the safety of their cell. Four- and 5-year-olds will love the silly antics and diligently count the monsters on every page.

*

THE BEST HALLOWEEN OF ALL

By Susan Wojciechowski

Illustrated by Susan Meddaugh

Candlewick Press: 26 pp., $9.99

Oh, the horror of having to endure Halloween costumes made by creative moms! Ben has been a wedge of cheese to older brother Michael's mouse, an angel to Michael's devil and, most humiliating, a bunch of grapes. Five- to 7-year-olds will relate to Ben's plight and cheer him on in finding a solution.

*

YOUNGER READERS

GO AWAY, BIG GREEN MONSTER

By Ed Emberley

Little, Brown: 10 pp., $14.95

You can make it go away yourself

*

EEK

Stories to Make You Shriek

By Jane O'Connor

Illustrated by Brian Karas

Price Stern Sloan:

32pp., $3.95 paper

Three stories for beginning readers to read with a flashlight under the covers.

*

THE GHOST-EYE TREE

By Bill Martin and John Archambault

Illustrated by Ted Rand

Henry Holt: 32pp., $5.95 paper

Up ahead, down that dark lonely road in the moonlight: Watch out!

*

THE HOUSE THAT DRAC BUILT

By Judy Sierra

Illustrated by Will Hillenbrand

Voyager Picture Book: 32pp., $6

Read what happened to the fiend, the zombie and the monster who lived in Drac's house.

*

DIANE GOODE'S BOOK OF SCARY STORIES & SONGS

Edited by Lucia Monfried

Illustrated by Diane Goode

Picture Puffins:

64 pp., $6.99 paper

Find a story to really scare everyone's socks off at a sleepover.

*

THE DANCING SKELETON

By Cynthia C. Defelice

Illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker

Aladdin Picture Books:

32 pp., $5.99 paper

The most ornery man who ever died.

*

DID YOU SAY GHOSTS?

By Richard Michelson

Illustrated by Leonard Baskin

Simon & Schuster:

32 pp., $14.95

Some things parents should never tease about.

*

GHOSTS!

Ghostly Tales from Folklore

By Alvin Schwartz

Illustrated by Victoria Chess

HarperTrophy:

64pp., $3.75 paper

If you find a little green bottle washed up on the beach, don't open it.

*

SCARED SILLY!

A Book for the Brave

By Marc Brown

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: 61pp., $18.95

Stories, poems and riddles, shivery and silly.

*

SPOOKY TRICKS

By Rose Wyler and Gerald Ames

Illustrated by S.D. Schindler

HarperTrophy:

64pp., $3.75 paper

How to write invisible messages, make ghosts and other tricks.

*

OLDER READERS

THE DOOM OF THE HAUNTED OPERA

By John Bellairs

Completed by Brad Strickland

Puffin: 160 pp., $4.50

A wicked sorcerer plans to rule the world by bringing back the dead.

*

YOUTH GHOSTS

By Daniel Cohen

Scholastic: 122 pp., $3.50

True stories of child ghosts and ghosts only children can see.

*

CLASSIC GHOST STORIES

Timeless Tales of Horrifying Hauntings

Edited by Molly Cooper

Illustrated by Barbara Kiwak

Lowell House: 128 pp., $5.95

Horrifying haunts and the undead in stories by six masters of horror.

*

WAIT TILL HELEN COMES

A GHOST STORY

By Mary Downing Hahn

Avon: 192 pp., $4.99

A brother and sister must save their spooky stepsister from following a ghost child to her doom.

THE HEADLESS HAUNT

And Other African American Ghost Stories

By James Haskins

Illustrated by Ben Otero

HarperTrophy: 80 pp., $3.95

Learn how to acquire the ability to see ghosts and other useful skills.

*

THE WITCH'S FACE

A Mexican Tale

By Eric A. Kimmel

Illustrated by Fabricio

Vanden Broeck

Holiday House: 32 pp., $15.95

A man falls in love with a beautiful witch but doesn't follow her rules.

*

THE WITCHES

By Roald Dahl

Illustrated by Quentin Blake

Viking: 208 pp., $4.99 paper

A boy and his grandmother try to foil a witch's plot to turn all the world's children into mice.

*

THE DUPLICATE

By William Sleator

Bantam Starfire: 160 pp., $3.99

David finds a machine that crates replicas of living things. Too bad he tries it on himself.

*

THE DARK

Thirty Southern Tales of the Supernatural

By Patricia C. McKissack

Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Alfred A. Knopf: 128 pp., $12

African American ghost stories for the half-hour before sunset, when it's pretty hard not to believe in ghosts.

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