31 Days of Amazing Kids' Books

31 Days: Literary Junk Food

Just like you can’t eat kale three meals a day for a year, nor can you read Shakespeare to your kids all day every day. (Well, maybe you can. That’s great. I don’t.) (Also: I don’t like kale.)


Dav Pilkey knows his way around an entertaining kids’ book. I am not always his biggest fan, and his best-known works about a superhero who eschews clothing will never live in my house. This, on the other hand, is just silly enough to be fun, without going so far down the path to disgusting that it’s inappropriate. In Hallowiener, one sweet little dachshund falls victim to his mother’s helicopter parenting. In an attempt to keep the peace, he agrees to wear the mortifying hot dog costume she buys him for Halloween.

When the other dogs mock him, he’s sad, but true to classic children’s book form, our hero saves the day when some pesky cats try to scare the dogs on Halloween night. Somewhere in here, I think there’s a lesson about bullying, done in a lighthearted way. The story moves at a quick pace, and has plenty of action for reluctant readers. Your kids will love it, and it’s the kind of thing that won’t hurt them if they read it a few times every October.

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