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The Picture-Book Club > October 2010: Autumn/Halloween Books (Master List & General Discussion)

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message 1: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Sep 13, 2010 07:34AM) (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
The Picture Book Club will be celebrating AUTUMN come October. I, for one, am very excited! The fact that we had some votes for Halloween, and that Halloween is a big part of Autumn for many of us, we will also be sure to include one or two Halloween titles in our official selections.

Here's your opportunity to VOTE for books for our Autumn theme. Pumpkins, apples, scarecrows, falling leaves, harvest-time, harvest festivals, Halloween... what says "Autumn" to you?

To see a comprehensive list of the books nominated, please see the column on the right of this post, "Books mentioned in this thread" and then click the "More..." link.

As ever, I will choose our official selections based on the votes, but please note that I will try to include at least one book on autumn (the season), one about harvest-time, and two on Halloween so if you would like to consider your votes accordingly, please do so.

Votes will be collected until September 21st. Thanks!!!


message 2: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Sep 15, 2010 09:16AM) (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
I love-love-love autumn, too! Like Chandra, I am eager to see the heat of summer fade away. We do get some beautiful fall colors here in Northern California and I love going to Apple Hill (famous regionally for its many and beautiful apple orchards) for some apple pie, browsing craft booths in the crisp morning air, and bringing home lots of apples so I can start baking! I also love the idea of harvest-time and that Thanksgiving and Christmas are on the horizon--and that first rain after a long, dry summer. Bliss!

Here are some nominations of books I've read and enjoyed:

Autumn-y Books:
I Know It's Autumn
Wild Child
The Little Yellow Leaf
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves
Leaves
Mr. Murry and Thumbkin
Pumpkin Moonshine


Harvest:
One Red Apple
Scarecrow
Too Many Pumpkins

Halloween:
Georgie
Hoodwinked
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

All of the above:
Henry and Mudge Under the Yellow Moon

I, too, would love to read Zen Ghosts


message 3: by Manybooks (last edited Aug 31, 2010 02:07PM) (new)

Manybooks | 4311 comments In November

When Autumn Comes

Now It's Fall

Possum's Harvest Moon

By the Light of the Harvest Moon

And Then Comes Halloween

Red Are the Apples

Looking for Loons

The Fall Gathering

Every Autumn Comes the Bear

I have not read these, but they look interesting, and my library has all of them. Another book which I originally nominated for the food/culinary delights thread that also takes place in the Fall is Applesauce Season, and there is another book I find appealing, even though it might be more of a nature book, than a book about Autumn, Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf.


message 4: by Wilhelmina (last edited Aug 31, 2010 03:51PM) (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 229 comments I love In November by Cynthia Rylant - a beautiful book. I also love Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting.

And I almost forgot - Cranberry Halloween and Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende Devlin and Harry Devlin.


message 5: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 229 comments And, for the science behind changing leaves, Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro, a Let's-Read-and-Find-Out science picture book.


message 7: by ABC (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf

Do the books have to specifically be about autumn (pumpkins, leaves, Halloween, etc.) or can they just be set in autumn?
"Voices in the Park" is a good book set in autumn.


message 8: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
Kirei wrote: "Do the books have to specifically be about autumn (pumpkins, leaves, Halloween, etc.) or can they just be set in autumn?"

Great question! I think that autumn (or Halloween) has to be the primary "sense" about the book--so if the book has enough of an autumn atmosphere about it, then that's great.


message 10: by ABC (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments How about "Pumpkin Moonshine" by Tasha Tudor?


message 11: by Janice (last edited Sep 10, 2010 02:04PM) (new)

Janice  Durante | 27 comments These are some great autumnal books I've enjoyed sharing with children:

Littlebat's Halloween Story by Diane Mayr.
The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night by Peter Spier.
The Apple King by Francesca Bosca.
The Hallo-wiener by Dav Pilkey.


message 12: by Karol (new)

Karol Great nominations so far . . . I'll add just one to the list:

Christopher's Harvest Time by Elsa Beskow


message 13: by Manybooks (last edited Sep 13, 2010 09:06AM) (new)

Manybooks | 4311 comments My votes are:

Cranberry Halloween
Pumpkin Soup
The Fall Gathering
Possum's Harvest Moon
Looking for Loons

I would have voted for Zen Ghosts, but this is on order at the library and not available yet (it is a relatively recent book from August 2010, so others might have a problem locating a copy as well).


message 16: by Lana (new)

Lana Krumwiede | 19 comments Halloween picture books are so fun! Here are my votes. Some are old favorites and some are books I've been meaning to get to.

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves
Los Gatos Black on Halloween
A Very Hairy Scary Story
Boris and Bella
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything


message 17: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
Lisa--Haha! I know, it will be hard choosing only five (well, plus the alternate sixth title!)

Lana--I love Halloween books, too! This will be such fun!


message 18: by David (new)

David | 101 comments My Five

Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky
Harriet's Halloween Candy
Red Leaf Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
Fall by Ron Hirschi
The Hallo-wiener by Dav Pilkey


message 20: by Gale (new)

Gale Autumn is my very favorite season of the year, but I see that I have read very few of the books nominated. I have read Wild Child and love it, so I cast a vote for that one. I'll rely on others to choose the very best reads for October.


message 21: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 4311 comments Gale wrote: "Autumn is my very favorite season of the year, but I see that I have read very few of the books nominated. I have read Wild Child and love it, so I cast a vote for that one. I'll re..."

Gale, I have not read any of the books I voted for. I chose books that sounded interesting and I hope I will end up liking them.


message 22: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1025 comments Abigail wrote: "I voted for a mix of books I have and haven't read. :)"

Me too. 2 I've read, 3 I want to read.


message 23: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 192 comments Hmm someone at my library has checked out a whole lot of Halloween books already. Every one I look for has a wait on it. I am going to see what the group picks but may need to get on a hold list soon if I hope to join in :)


message 24: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
Brenda wrote: "Hmm someone at my library has checked out a whole lot of Halloween books already. Every one I look for has a wait on it. I am going to see what the group picks but may need to get on a hold list..."

Oh, dear. It's amazing they are checked out already!!! Most of the ones at my library are still in storage. Well, I hope you will be able to get some and also that other members will not have a similar problem. I was hoping that, by having the selections in place by the last week of September, we'd be a little ahead of the game...


message 25: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 192 comments No worries, I always enjoy following the discussions as well.


message 26: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
Brenda wrote: "No worries, I always enjoy following the discussions as well."

I'm glad :-)


message 27: by ABC (last edited Sep 18, 2010 05:06PM) (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments I know at my American library (in the States) they limit the number of holiday books a person can check out. I guess that is not the norm?

Here in Japan, it feels like I am the only one checking out English books. :-) But of course there are only a few autumn books on the shelves in English. I have a huge collection of my own! They are not that expensive if I buy paperback.

Editted to add: Here in Japan, the limit is ten per card. I have my card and ds's card, so luckily I can get twenty because ten really is not enough.


message 28: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
Hooray! Here are our winners:

Pumpkin Soup

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

Scary, Scary Halloween

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

Alternate Title:
Boris and Bella

I'm looking forward to joining you all for our discussing come October 1st. Here's hoping you will be able to find all (or most!) of these books :-)


message 29: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 4312 comments Mod
In case anyone is still reading this thread, even after the nominations are closed, I just read The Banshee by Eve Bunting. I'm not a big Halloween or paranormal fan, but this was a neat picture book and I recommend it. Here's my review:

Very scary. Very Irish, too, contemporary not mythology or old-timey at all. I'd love to share it with a classroom of 6-7 year olds as Halloween approaches. I *love* how the boy dealt with his fright.


message 30: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
Wow! That looks good, Cheryl! The cover is very spooky. I generally like Eve Bunting, anyway. Thanks for sharing!

Yes, this thread will be kept up for general discussion of those books not selected for our club reads and also for members to post any new books on the subject :-)


message 31: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 4312 comments Mod
The wonderful Eve Bunting also wrote a charmer about New England's fall colors and different people's perspectives of that beauty: Peepers.


message 32: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
The Apple Pie That Papa Baked is good for harvest-time. It follows along the lines of "The House that Jack Built" but instead we have a pioneer/farm girl explaining about the apple pie that her papa baked. While I'm not a big one for this sort of cumulative storytelling these days, I did love it as a kid! And Thompson chooses her words very well, creating a lovely and lyrical text. There's good insight here into how the processes of nature contribute to growing the food we eat. The illustrations have a charming, vintage feel although at times I wasn't a fan of particular scenes (the sun was a bit odd to me, and the animals looked a tad mournful at times, though the conclusion is very happy). Overall, like a slice of apple pie, this is a nice treat for the harvest season! :-)


message 33: by Janice (new)

Janice  Durante | 27 comments And how about Bring Me Some Apples and I'll Make You a Pie: A Story About Edna Lewis?
Rather than do a lot of hokey Halloween books, I've enjoyed exploring various aspects of autumn, in addition to a little Halloween. Here's my annotated bibliography of wonderful fall books to read aloud:

http://booksofwonder.wordpress.com/


message 34: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
Yes, that was a good one. Thanks for the list, Janice.


message 35: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 4311 comments I just read and enjoyed The Fall Gathering. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a Fall themed counting book, or for an easy to read picture book showing the Native American tradition of the "Fall Gathering."


message 36: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
For a "monster book" I really loved I Need My Monster--spooky monsters and a sweet story!


message 37: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
Published in 2009, And Then Comes Halloween is one of the newer Halloween titles I read this year and I loved it! The descriptive words are superbly chosen and the text just flows so nicely and evokes all the things I enjoy about Halloween. The format is good, too, with "WHEN....happens" on one page and "THEN....do this" on the other; such as when October comes, then it's time to start thinking of what costume you'll wear, etc. The only thing I didn't completely love about this book is the illustrations--they are nice in their own way, but not ...more I love the text for this book so much!!! The descriptive words are superbly chosen and the text just flows so nicely and evokes all the things I enjoy about Halloween. The format is good, too, with "WHEN....happens" on one page and "THEN....do this" on the other; such as when October comes, then it's time to start thinking of what costume you'll wear, etc. The only thing I didn't completely love about this book is the illustrations--they are nice in their own way, but not my usual style and I actually don't think the style of the illustrations fits the style of the text. But, still, I loved the story so much that I'm giving it five stars anyway ;-) This is a great choice for kids who like the fun autumn preparations, the creativity of making their own costumes, and the sweet delights of trick-or-treating with friends. (If you want a scary Halloween book, this isn't it!)


message 38: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
I was so excited to get a copy of Zen Ghosts from the library! I thought I wouldn't get it in time for Halloween this year. Anyway, it's not so much a Halloween story as a Zen "ghost story" that just happens to be told on Halloween night, by Stillwater the panda. Here's my review, it ended up being a four-star book for me--I thought it would be five, but I just wasn't as engrossed as I thought I'd be, especially since I loved the other two Stillwater books so much. Am curious if any of you have had time to read this one!

Stillwater the panda returns to his friends, the three young children, as they prepare for Halloween. (I love that the one little boy can't decide if he wants to be a pirate or an owl and that Stillwater tells him he can be both--this is such a great foreshadowing of the theme of this story!) After the children go trick-or-treating, they meet Stillwater for a ghost story and Stillwater tells them a Zen Koan (a teaching story with no "right or wrong" answer but something for the student to internalize--it's meant to resonate), the Story of Senjo.

The illustrations are beautiful--the trick-or-treat scene is a feast for the senses and I'm so in love with the girl's white dress! I also appreciate how the Stillwater narrative is in color whereas the illustrations for the story he tells are mostly black-and-white and much more Asian in flavor.

For some reason, I wasn't as enamored with this particular Stillwater book as I hoped I would be. I really appreciate Muth's work, and I admire that he is introducing children (and adults) to Zen. I love his artwork, the way he parallels the koan with the children's Halloween story is very clever. But, the story just didn't really flow--the koan is rather long and breaks-up the narrative of the Stillwater/children story. I think some children will be frustrated by this--though, of course, that's no reason not to share this story with them. But, I actually appreciated the picture book more after I read Muth's Afterward--I got what he's trying to say, and really appreciate the concepts he is trying to highlight and make accessible for children (i.e., the duality in our personalities, how we can sometimes feel like different people depending on who we are with, etc.) I guess I just wanted a little more from the text of the Stillwater story since the illustrations are so gorgeous and Muth's purpose seems so rich with possibility.


message 39: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 4312 comments Mod
I'm having a bit of trouble finding out which are the other Stillwater books. Could you send the series information to the GR librarians so they could properly identify all these books, please?


message 40: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1025 comments Cheryl wrote: "I'm having a bit of trouble finding out which are the other Stillwater books. Could you send the series information to the GR librarians so they could properly identify all these books, please?"

Cheryl, They're not really a series. The best way to find books is often by looking up the author, Jon J. Muth.

In this case the books are Zen Shorts and Zen Ties.


message 41: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
Yes, Lisa is right. Those are the titles! Sorry for being confusing. I don't think there is an actual series title. All of them feature Stillwater the panda and I just think of them as "Stillwater" books.


message 42: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1025 comments It's not a series and I don't think it should be listed as a series. They are all standalone books even though they feature the same character.


message 43: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "It's not a series and I don't think it should be listed as a series. They are all standalone books even though they feature the same character."

Hum. That is a good point! I kind of think of them as a series because they do feature the same characters, and united purpose (Zen teachings), but you are absolutely right that they can be read in any order and each can stand alone! :-) I would hate for someone to miss the second/third book if they couldn't find the first one.


message 44: by Janice (new)

Janice  Durante | 27 comments Kathryn wrote: "I was so excited to get a copy of Zen Ghosts from the library! I thought I wouldn't get it in time for Halloween this year. Anyway, it's not so much a Halloween story as a Zen "gho..."
I have to say, I, too, felt a bit let down by Zen Ghosts . I love the illustrations and appreciate the author's intention. I'm also fond of Zen stories and have used some, including Zen Shorts with fifth graders. Alas, I fear Muth's latest picture book is simply more appealing to adults than to children.


message 45: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 4027 comments Mod
Thanks for commenting, Janice. I thought maybe I was just missing something but I did love his other books so much and just felt something was missing here. At least I know now I'm not alone!


message 46: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 229 comments Since November is here, I had to reread one of my favorite Autumn picture books, In November by Cynthia Rylant. I love both the text and the illustrations in this book - the stark, bare trees, the animals huddled together for warmth, the family gathering for a Thanksgiving feast and then returning to their homes. I think that this book sets the perfect tone for the end of autumn, moving into winter. (November is also my birthday month, so I consider this to be "my" book!)


message 47: by Dolly (new)

Dolly (dollymart) | 250 comments Wilhelmina wrote: "Since November is here, I had to reread one of my favorite Autumn picture books, In November by Cynthia Rylant. I love both the text and the illustrations in this book -..."

Wilhelmina,
Thanks for the book recommendation. We love Cynthia Rylant and have read more of her books than I can count. We get excited when we find one we haven't read. I just put In November on hold at my library. Perfect timing!


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