Zombelina: School Days by Kristyn Crow is an awesome picture book about celebrating differences and being welcoming of a new student. Zombelina is an enthusiastic, friendly and quirky protagonist. She loves to dance and share her talent with her classmates.
One day a new student named Morty joins Zomeblina’s class. At first he has some trouble fitting in. Zombelina and her best friend Lizzie do their best to make him feel welcome and included.
There are so many things I love about Zomeblina as a character. She is an extrovert and confident. She embraces her weirdness and doesn’t allow her differences to bring her down. This allows her to make real friends and make the most out of each experience. Not to mention that Zombelina is a zombie and she is constantly chasing after different body parts and struggling to keep herself physically together, which adds the perfect comical element to the story.
The story is written using a fun end rhyme scheme and there are lots of clever puns throughout. Click here to purchase a copy of Zomeblina: School Days (affiliate link).
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Warren the 13th is a peculiar 12-year-old boy and heir to the Warren Hotel. Saying he is hardworking is an understatement as he is the hotel’s bellhop, waiter, groundskeeper, and chimney sweep, among his huge list of other responsibilities. His father, Warren the 12th, passed away years ago and since he was too young to be in charge his uncle Rupert came to run things. Sadly for Warren, his uncle is rather lazy and at times exhibits evidence of narcolepsy, which led the hotel to fall quickly into disrepair.
One day a mysterious and unexpected guest arrives. His face is wrapped in bandages and he communicates by using a deck of picture cards. Despite how overwhelmingly strange this guest is, Warren does his best to be a great bellhop, welcoming him even though he seems unappreciative and impatient. Warren gives him the not so original nickname of Paleface.
When Warren’s wicked step-aunt Annaconda learns of the new guest’s arrival, she becomes irritated and paranoid. She asks many many questions and then starts asking if he mentioned the All-Seeing Eye, a mysterious treasure that is rumored to be hidden inside the hotel. We quickly learn that Annaconda is cruel, reminiscent of many of Roald Dahl’s evil characters, including the Twit and Miss Trunchbull. And thus begins the search for the All-Seeing Eye, each character trying to find it faster than the other.
Warren the 13th* is a clever and quirky book that fuses adventure and humor. The reader must pay close attention to small clues and keep track of details throughout this fast-paced chapter book. The Edward Gorey-esque illustrations by Will Staehle are really captivating and add to the emotion of the text.
Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye is perfect for kids ages 8-14. This book would be a huge hit in my 4th grade class as a read aloud, and my 5th graders would have loved to read it independently. Click here to purchase a copy of the book (affiliate link).
*I received a complimentary copy of Warren the 13th in exchange for my honest review.
The 13 Nights of Halloween by Guy Vasilovich follows the familiar rhythm of the 12 Days of Christmas. Each night adds an extra creepy element of Halloween from 6 corpses caroling to 12 ghosts a-ghosting. This is a comical Halloween read filled with word play and puns that is less scary and more fun for young readers. The illustrations are bright and colorful, making this a wonderful read aloud or even sing along to get kids into the Halloween spirit.
Click here to purchase a copy of The 13 Nights of Halloween (affiliate link).
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson is a Halloween must have! It is the story of a generous, friendly witch who cannot seem to hold on to her possessions. One item at a time goes flying off her broom stick and is rescued by a different animal. Each animal asks if there is room on the broom for one more. After the fifth creature joins the witch, the broom becomes too heavy and snaps in half. The witch gets discovered by a hungry dragon who is ready to make a meal of her until her new friends intervene. Room on the Broom is a delightful story filled with fun rhymes and a solid plot.
Click here to purchase a copy of Room on the Broom (affiliate link).
Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins is a fun adaptation of the classic Halloween Song… Five Little Pumpkins. It features all of the essential Halloween elements and is an exciting read to get little ones into the Halloween spirit. The story is as simple as the song, but the illustrations are fun. Ideal for kids up to kindergarten.
Click here to buy a copy of Pete The Cat: Five Little Pumpkins (affiliate link).
I’m so excited to feature some amazing Halloween books throughout the month of October. First up… Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere. This is one of those picture books that will have young readers squirming with delight. A combination of nervousness but excitement as you turn each page to find out if the scary monster actually coming to eat you! This picture book reminds me of The Monster at the End of this Book, an all-time favorite from my childhood. It is jam-packed with alliterations and onomatopoeias, Bedtime for Monsters is one of those bedtime stories that kids will want to hear over and over again.
Click here to buy a copy of Bedtime for Monsters and The Monster at the End of this Book (affiliate links).