31 Days of Amazing Kids' Books

31 Days: Halloween Fun from Megan Lloyd

I realized this morning, while rereading both of these books with the girls, that neither of them made it into my two Halloween posts earlier this month. Travesty! Let me remedy this situation immediately by suggesting that if you don’t know the illustrations of Megan Lloyd, check out one of these two titles and prepare to fall in love.

First, the older of the two books: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, written by Linda D. Williams.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

This is probably the only book I’ve recommended thus far that I’d label as slightly scary. The little old lady in question goes to the woods to look for herbs, and starts to see some mysterious things. Animated clothing – clomping pairs of shoes, a shaking shirt, and a boo-ing pumpkin head – starts to follow her. She thinks she’s escaped once she’s home, but then something knocks at the door. Fortunately, because she is not afraid of anything, the little old lady comes up with a satisfactory way to handle these noisy visitors. When I read this with Bethany, we talk extensively about how the story is imaginary, and she waits excitedly for the final pages where we see these spooky clothing items come together as a scarecrow.

While the story is just the right combination of exciting and slightly-spooky, the illustrations really make the book. There’s a charming, almost Old World feeling to them, but they’re still believably authentic. There is no gore, or other unnecessarily frightening details. The little old lady’s cabin is comforting and cozy, so the reader completely understands why she knows she is safe once she returns home.

I would recommend this story for all but the most sensitive of children. If you’re worried, try prereading it and see what you think!

Too Many Pumpkins

Using a similar setting and a similar main character,Too Many Pumpkins, by Linda White, is equally charming while not at all scary. The sweet older lady in this story, Rebecca Estelle, absolutely detests pumpkins as a result of being forced to eat them for an entire month as a child. When a pumpkin truck accidentally spills a pumpkin into her yard, Rebecca Estelle attempts to destroy the resulting sprouts, only to end up with a yard full of pumpkins in the fall. Unable to waste these vegetables she hates, Rebecca Estelle decides to share them with her neighbors. The pumpkin party that follows brings everyone together, and changes her mind about pumpkins.

Again, Lloyd’s illustrations really shine here. Frankly, I wish I could move into Rebecca Estelle’s old farmhouse. There is one spread of dozens of carved jack o’lanterns that really looks as though you’re looking at a field of candlelit pumpkins. The people and places are fairly timeless, but some details (a modern stove and refrigerator) anchor the story firmly in the present.

The underlying themes of generosity and stewardship are ideal for this time of year, and discussion about those things follows naturally with children who read the story.

{The links to the books discussed are affiliate links, and the commission received from those sales supports this site.}

For more book ideas we’ve shared in October, click on the picture below. Thanks for reading!

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