Friday, October 28, 2011


The last Friday is October! AAHH!  So without further ado this is my most FAVORITE Halloween book ever!

Halloween By: Jerry Seinfeld  Illustrated By: James Bennett

This book is based on the stand up comedy of Jerry Seinfeld. It is all about what he perceived Halloween to be as a kid.  It is full of FUNNY things, like the masks that do not fit correctly, or how he felt like he was wearing Superman's pjs instead of a costume.  I love the pictures in this book because they make me laugh.  I don't know that children today truly understand this book because they just don't have the same experiences that Jerry had.  I think costumes today, at least the mask, must be made differently.  It also talks about all the candy that he got and how as he got older he had a system.  I related to the circus peanut reference and think it is hysterical. Anyway I love this book and read it every year on Halloween to my children and to the students in my class.

I purchased this book at one of those Halloween stores many years ago for only $10!

ISBN: 0-316-13454-6

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Bunnicula By: Deborah and James Howe

Harold and Chester are the family pets! And one night another pet is found and brought home by the Monroe family.  This pet is a bunny, but there is something strange about him.  Bunnicula, named because he was found at the Dracula movie, is never awake during the day and has strange red eyes. Chester, the family cat, thinks he is a vampire bunny and is out to prove this to Harold, the family dog.  Will they solve the mystery of the strange little bunny?

This book is one of the funniest books I know!  I was reminded today when I was reading it with my fourth and fifth graders. I was cracking up!  It is full of funny phrases and situations. For example, Chester is out to rid the family of Bunnicula. He thinks that Bunnicula is a vampire and so he decides to try to stake him, well, he uses a steak instead and the family thinks he has gone crazy.  I love this book so much.  Everyone should read it with their kiddos!

I have a class set of these that I don't remember where I purchased them. (They are falling apart with LOVE)
ISBN:  978-0689806599

Monday, October 24, 2011


Fateful By: Claudia Gray

It is 1912 and Tess is excited about the trip to America on the Titanic, she knows that when she gets there she will be able to leave the service of the Lisles family for good. She has saved enough money that when the ship gets to America she can give her notice and walk away from them forever. But what she does not count on is the attention of Mikhail, a man who seems to be after her for some reason.  Lucky for her though she meets Alec, who seems out to save her.  There is obviously something that Mikhail wants from Tess and he will stop at nothing to get it from her.  One night he locks her in a room with a wolf and she knows that he wants to kill her. If you do not want to ruin the surprises of this book stop reading now!!!! 

The wolf does not kill her and come morning she finds out the truth about the wolf, it is Alec, he is a werewolf.  He then explains to her what is really going on and how much Mikhail will do to get at her because he knows she can get something from the family that he needs.  And when you are stuck on a boat crossing the ocean to America it is hard to hide.  Can she stay away from Mikhail so he won’t kill her? Will the attraction  to Alec consume her?

I thought this book was great.  It was very creative to write about werewolves on the Titanic.  It made the story even more interesting because you know what is going to happen to the ship and you keep thinking will it end with them all dying.  I think that the story was well thought out and made sense. It also was suspenseful because knowing they are confined to a ship, the action is even greater because of the inability to hide.  I thought that the characters were great, Tess was a loveable girl that you wanted to have the best in life since she was treated badly by the head of the family she worked for.   Alec was a decent werewolf that just wanted to get away from people so he could hurt no more.  And then when the sinking begins the way the characters respond and the love that is shown is wonderful.  I think that this would be a good read for high school and up.

I borrowed this from the public library.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door By: Stephanie Perkins

Lola thinks she has is all figured out. She is dating a much older guy, which drives her dads nuts, and people do not know about her mother and the past that follows her.  She also has her own sense of style, never wear the same thing twice and has many wigs and accessories that match her moods. There is only one new catch, the Bells have moved back in next door. They are a family Lola dreads seeing again. So when Cricket Bell calls to her from the window near her bedroom she knows she is in for trouble.  Cricket was her first love, he knows about her past and her dads really like him.  Her new boyfriend Max is not the person her dads like.  While trying to avoid Cricket Lola is just drawn to him and they begin their friendship again. Then Lola’s mom shows up and he world starts to spin out of control.  Will the old flame linger or die? Will Max really be the person Lola wants him to be?

Another great book from Stephanie Perkins.  I really enjoyed this little romantic novel, that is perfect for the high school and up crowd.  Lola is a truly unique character that  is completely lovable and worth reading about.  I liked how the characters from Anna and the French Kiss were also included in this book.  A great read for the romantic! This would be a fun mini movie, well it at least was like that in my mind. 

I borrowed this book from the public library.

ISBN: 978-0-525-42328-7

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Hallo-Wiener

The Hallo-Wiener By: Dav Pilkey

Oscar  is always teased for his size. His mom makes it worse by calling him names like "My little Vienna sausage".  And then for Halloween his mom makes him the worst costume ever.  A Hot dog. He does not want to hurt his Mom's feelings so he wears the costume only to be teased and left behind while Trick or Treating.  But when a scary monster starts to chase the dogs, it is Oscar who notices what is really under the scary robe and saves the day!

I love this book!  The pictures are classic and tell the story perfectly.  The play on words in this book also helps to make this story a great one! My own children and my students at school always love to hear this story.  It is so funny!  This is a must have for your Halloween collection.

I purchased this from the Scholastic Book Order.
ISBN: 0-439-07946-2

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Moon Over Manifest

Moon Over Manifest By: Clare Vanderpool

Abilene is sent away to live with an old friend while he finds work for the summer.  She gets to Manifest, Kansas by jumping off the train. She feels alone and sad that her father has sent her away, but finds out that she might be able to learn all about his past! When she finds some letters stashed under the floor of her new room and she meets Miss Sadie. Miss Sadie is an old woman with many stories to tell, she starts by trying to tell Abilene her fortune.  But Abilene owes Miss Sadie some work for breaking her pot so every day she goes to help the woman, only to be told many stories about two boys from the past.  One of them ends up being her father and so Abilene is able to piece together her father’s past and try to make a future of her own.

A beautifully written historical fiction novel. This novel is at the 5th grade level and told through the eyes of the main character, while going into stories from the past told by Miss Sadie.  I loved how this story went back and forth from the past to the current.  It also used newspaper articles from the towns past to tell what was going on.  Set in 1936 and 1918 the story shows the true nature of the people of the time. I really loved the main character and all that she was going through to make her stronger.

I purchased this book in the Scholastic Book Order
ISBN: 978-0-385-73883-5

Friday, October 14, 2011

Scaredy-Cat Splat

Scaredy-Cat Splat  By: Rob Scotton

It's Halloween!!  Splat is going to be w witch, but his broom breaks. So after finding a spider, Splat decides to be a spider and off he goes to school to be scary, but he ends up being scared by the other cats!  All Splat wants to do is scare someone today, can he do it?

I love the Splat books, they are the most fun kids picture book right now for my family.  The cat Splat is such a adorable cat, he has a  friend, Seymour, who is a mouse that is also in every book.  The pictures are what make these books so wonderful to me.  They are so expressive and it makes the characters jump right out of the page.  I suggest you pick these books up, they are the best for anyone who loves picture books, my kids are little so they love them the most!

Check out Rob Scotton's Page, where you will find out about all his books.  We also LOVE Russell the Sheep.

I purchased this book at Target.
ISBN: 978-0-06-117760-6

Friday, October 7, 2011

Picture Perfect Its The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

In honor of October, this months Picture Books will all be about fall or Halloween.  I have quite a collection but I will pick my favoirte reads for my students and own kiddos!

It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown By: Charles M Schulz

It's Halloween and Charlie Brown's friend Linus is writing a letter to the Great Pumpkin.  Charlie Brown has no idea who this is so Linus tells him that on Halloween night the Great Pumpkin comes out of the patch with toys for children. No one believes Linus so they all go to the Halloween party dressed as ghosts, except Linus who falls asleep in the pumpkin patch.  Will the Great Pumpkin arrive?

I love this book, like all of Schulz's Charlie Brown books this one is just classic.  It has adventure and fun for all readers.  This book has beautifully colored pictures that stand out and take your breath away.  The story is just as fun to read over and over again.

I got this book from the Books Are Fun people that come to my school.
ISBN: 978-0-7624-3826-6

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lafcadio The Lion Who Shot Back

Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back  By: Shel Silverstein
                Lafcadio is a lion who does not understand what a hunter is the day they come to shot the lions. While the other lions run, Lafcadio decides to introduce himself to the hunter. They strike up a conversation that ends with Lafcadio eating the hunter and taking his gun.  Lafcadio teaches himself to shoot and kills many hunters and uses their bullets to practice. One day a man from the circus comes to take Lafcadio away. Lafcadio loves his new life and begins to act more human like than lion like.  At the end he decides to become a hunter and is aiming for his old pride. Will he figure out who he really is or kill his family?
                This book was brought to my attention through  my sons second grade teacher. I had never heard of it before. I liked the moral that it taught about being who you really are meant to be. And maybe trying to figure out who that is as you grow.  I thought it was a funny story especially because the lion loves marshmallows and even has a suit made out of them in the city.  Without spoiling it I did think the ending was kind of sad, because you don’t really know what happens.
                This is an ok read for second grade and up, you could read it to younger students but they probably would not understand the whole idea.
I bought this book on
ISBN: 978-0-06-025675-3

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle By: Dodie Smith

Cassandra and her family live in poverty in an old English castle.  She has begun writing a journal and this book follows her life as she is trying to make her writing skills better. She writes about the way her family is, and how she falls in love with her sisters boyfriend, who happens to be the landlord of the castle. We find her wanting her father, who is an author that is experiencing major writing block to snap out of it.  All of the stories of her life throughout the six months she is writing show her to be an ambitious and wonderful girl.

I loved this book for the characters in it. They were fun to read about and the story made you feel  like you were right there with them.  You wanted her father to snap out of his problem, you felt Cassandras pain as her and her sisters were so trying to make everything work even though they were poor.  An endearing story of a youth's life. Also knowing this book was first published in 1948 made this book a timeless classic to me as it was still a great read today that made sense in this world too.

There is also a movie that was made  in 2003 with the same title. I saw that too and it was pretty good, I always like the books better.

I borrowed this book from the public library.