2-5, 3-6, Books, Children

5 Monster Picture Books for a Fun Halloween

For this week leading up to Halloween week I wanted to throw out some great spooky recommendations for kids.

I’m starting with the youngest and as they are meant for little kids these stories are not so scary, but star some of our favorite Halloween Horrors.

 

This one in particular is one of my favorites.  Monsters of all shapes and sizes are staples this time of year and many kids can relate to the fear of the monster under the bed.  This is a story of a young boy whose Monster is going to spend a week on vacation and he just can’t get to sleep without his monster’s usual slurps and groans.  He spends the week testing different Monsters but in the end, there is only one Monster for him.  If your kid is a Monster’s Inc fan, or is a little bit picky this story will definitely resonate with them.  We all know what it is like to feel like something isn’t right, we just might not realize that the thing that the knowledge of the thing that scares us is the thing  that makes us feel safest.

 

Some of you might recognize this author as  none other than the chronicler of A Series of Unfortunate Events.  Known for his melancholic nature it is surprising to read such an adorable story… even if it is about a dead fish.  Goldfish Ghost is the story of … well a goldfish ghost trying to find the right place for him.  He was lonely on the boys dresser and nobody seems to pay him much attention in the real world.  You follow along on his journey to find a friend and get to see our world from an incredibly unique perspective.  Definitely worth a read.

Zombies are a personal favorite this time of year.  I think I was a zombie of a ghoul at least three Halloweens in a row (but then again I was a fan of scary things at Halloween rather than Princesses, Witches, or Dolls.  I find this one super cute in general, but  if you have a kid who feels a little unique or left out.  When one little zombie wants a peanut butter & jelly sandwich … rather than brains. It shows how sticking to your opinions and being yourself is worth while.  Even old … zombies … can learn new tricks.

 

My little sister dressed as a black cat one year, and my family has always raised black cats so this one is a favorite just for that.  This is a story about fear, about overcoming fears and facing the world unafraid.  This is the story about someone who thinks he is brave, even when he isn’t and is brave even when he thinks he isn’t.  Cat owners will especially love this one, and the art style is very evocative and cute.  Always a plus.

I know monsters can feel like a boys club, I certainly felt that way as a child, even as a tom boy I was frustrated that the things I liked seemed to be marketed exclusively at boys.  Well, vampires have certainly become a beloved thing for young girls and this cute little one is no exception.  It is hard to be a ballerina when you are also a vampire.  Not all aspects of it match up with the vampire life style.  Following your dreams is important and so she pushes through.  Definitely a good choice for a little dancer or for a little darkling like myself.

Hopefully these guys sounded interesting.  There are scores more great spooky picture books out there.  Head to your local library and I’m sure the librarians will have some favorites for you to choose from.  There are always interesting new ones coming out as well so its worth a trip to the book store to see what  was released in that department as well.

Advertisements
Adult, Books

Book Review! Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Image

So they said that zombies, ghouls, and ghosts would be the next big thing after vampires, werewolves, and demons if this book has any say I would call them omniscient.  Who are they? you ask.  I have no clue, literary analysts?  You tell me.  I read it somewhere I’m sure.

Some of you may have seen the preview for the soon to theaters movie based on this book:

This is what had originally drawn me to the book in the first place.  While I am not an avid book before movie person I do try to read before I watch when I can.  I am never against reading the book after.  I guess you would say I am the kind of person who promotes reading at all.  You will never hear me say oh you saw the movie, its fine then you don’t really need to read the book they are basically the same thing.  Never.

This is a perfect example of that statement being utterly false.  Even from the trailer I can tell they changed a few things that proved to be key components to several plot points in the novel.

I might update this post after viewing the movie and tell you about the differences and which I thought was a better medium for the story but for now I will leave it at this.

Let me get into the nitty gritty of the book.

As far as plot goes, I thought this book had a good arc but the flow was a little to my disliking.  For instance, I would say 85% of the novel was exposition and rising action.  It really held you until the end before getting to the meat of everything.  You would get snippets here and there, and you definitely had moments of action but the moment you were waiting for the big reveal the epiphany so to speak had to happen within the last fifty pages if not the last twenty.  Now the book was by no means slow.  I read it in one sitting.  Start to finish.

Part of what made it so likeable was our main character and narrator R.  This cute little zombie had quite the eloquent brain but the tongue of a toddler.  It was quaint.  He was valiant and daring for a supposed mindless corpse.  That was the point wasn’t it?

Our heroine Julie was slightly less endearing for me.  While I sympathized with her I couldn’t say that I liked her very much.  Even while looking through R’s rose colored glasses at her I didn’t find her very strong.  She had admirable qualities but there was something about her that bothered me.  Perhaps it was her nonchalance at the knowledge that her current dead boyfriend ate the brain and acquired the memories of her previous dead boyfriend.

I would have to say that my favorite characters in the whole novel by far though were the two best friends.  M, R’s best friend was sarcastic as hell and I loved him for it, even if he was a zombie.  How a zombie retains such a great quality I have no idea but the bruiser who can make me laugh will win my heart any day.  My second favorite being Nora a much more strong female.  When women are living in a zombie infested world I expected most if not all the women to be more like her.  She was brazen and hardened and I liked that about her.  While Julie seemed apathetic to some things she should have been emotional over and completely emotional over other things and was inconsistent in her fear and sadness Nora held a brave front.  I admired her as a character and the stock piles of gumption she administered throughout the final pages.

I would like to add that my copy has these great anatomical drawings at the beginning of each section and while they didn’t add anything to the story they were super cool to look at and I enjoyed them as an aesthetic addition.

I gave this novel a total of four out of five stars.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story and most of the characters while it had some little things that bugged me with the construction and unfolding of the story and definitely left me wanting to know what happened to the world overall I did get enough to satisfy myself as it is.  I would recommend this to anybody who enjoys romance novels because it is completely ridiculous idea.  It has some great social implications and I could consider it commentary on our society today as well as on the society within the novel.  Ever so slightly thought provoking.

I’m going to have another book review up soon.  I’ve been eating them up like candies it would seem.

For now, the pied piper is calling me.