The Bubble Gum Blob (15) (Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol) by author Andres Miedoso and illustrator Victor Rivas

Reading Age: 5 – 9

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 4

Publisher: Little Simon

Publication Date: April 19, 2022

A student named Marquis Chase sells candy at Kersville Elementary School. He introduces the school population to a new kind of gum. Unfortunately this gum comes to life. This early reader chapter book keeps the action rolling as Desmond Cole and his friend Andres Miedoso try to get rid of the Bubble Gum Blob. Illustrations are plentiful which makes this a quick and enjoyable read. Diverse people shown.

Somewhere in the Bayou by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey

Reading Age: 6 – 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 2

Publisher: Norton Young Readers

Publication Date: March 1, 2022

An opossum, rabbit, squirrel and mouse want to cross a swamp. They see a log that seems like a perfect bridge to get them across the water. Unfortunately a tail appears to be resting against one side of the log. Though a bit hesitant, one by one three of the animals try to walk across the log and each one fails. Finally, the mouse assists the tail and gets across the water. The ending is surprising, and can send a slight chill up the spine, but is also funny. Illustrations are large with expressive characters. Another all year read but can also be read around a Halloween affair for children.

On a Windy Night by author Nancy Raines Day and illustrator George Bates

Reading Age: 4 – 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams

Publication Date: October 10, 2010

A boy walks home alone through the woods after an evening of trick-or-treating. His stroll turns into a frenzied dash as his imagination runs wild. The whipping wind becomes a voice that shrieks for him to not look back. His mind sees skeletons, a head, a shadow and creatures formed by clouds, branches and leaves. Finally, he arrives home safe and sound or is he? Illustrations of gloomy scenes fit rhyming words of this picture book. If you are interested in escalating child size fright then a return to safety and humor, this is a book to read. Happy Halloween!

And J.J. Slept by author Loretta Garbutt and illustrator Erika Rodriguez Medina

Reading Age: 3 – 7 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 2

Publisher: Kids Can Press

Publication Date: May 3, 2022

An adoption agency delivers a new baby to a family of six. The baby, named J.J., adjusts to daily noises and interactions that run throughout the household i.e. barking, yelling, music. During these times J.J. sleeps. A smiling baby is seen while he is handled by a variety of family members. One weekend the four other children go away leaving a peaceful house. Unfortunately this new atmosphere is not one that J.J. enjoys and he cries until his siblings return. Illustrations show varied skin tones and family members that work well together.

The Witchling’s Wish by author Lu Fraser and illustrator Sarah Massini

Reading Age: 3 – 6 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 2

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Publication Date: July 5, 2022

Witchling lives alone. She wants a friend so she decides to cast a spell. She is missing one key ingredient to her potion. In searching for the needed item, she meets a girl that can help her accomplish her goal. This is a rhyming picture book that exudes kindness and friendship. Diverse characters shown. Illustrations are delightful. Another anytime read but definitely consider for readers and listeners around Halloween.

Spooky Snacks and Treats: Frightfully Fun Halloween Recipes for Kids by Zac Williams

Reading Age:: 6 and up

Grade Level: 1 – 4

Publisher: Gibbs Smith

Publication Date: July 5, 2022

Young Halloweeners will enjoy concocting these eye pleasing and delicious recipes to devour for Halloween. There are 42 recipes with photographs of each end product. Prior to the recipes there are sections about staying safe and another section called Mix It, Cook It, Chomp It which discusses measuring, adding ingredients and having fun. Depending upon childrens’ ages and abilities, parental assistance maybe needed. A measurement conversion chart is in the back of this cookbook. Recipes are for drinks, snacks, munchies and sweets. All will have a ghoulishiously good time eating and creating these edibles.

Boo Stew by author Donna L. Washington and illustrator Jeffrey Ebbeler

Reading Age: 4 – 8

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Peachtree

Publication Date: September 7, 2021

The author uses elements that readers can equate with a familiar story yet appreciate the inventiveness of the text that makes this an exciting and new experience. In a locale called Toadsuck Swamp, a girl named Curly Locks likes to concoct foods reminiscent of witches brews. No one in the neighborhood enjoys her cooking except the Scares. The adults cannot get rid of the havoc creating beings called Scares. Curly Locks devises a plan to bring order and peace to her town. Listeners will love icky recipes, repetitive words and the ability to chime in to repeat those words during a group or individual reading. Illustrations will intrigue eyes as they search the detailed scenes. Diversity included. Such a fun book to read all year but a must if searching for something new to read during the Halloween season.

Chaiwala! by author Priti Birla Maheshwari and illustrator Ashley Barron

Reading Age: 3 -7

Grade Level: 2 and up

Publisher: Owlkids

Publication Date: October 15, 2021

Have you ever had a cup of chai? This is a tea beverage from India. In this picture book, A girl travels with her mother via train. Between train connections there is just enough time to stop at the tea vendor called Chaiwala. The scents of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper swirl deliciously through the air. Viewers watch Chaiwala make the milky sweet tea. Mother and daughter savor their drinks. Yum! This book is beautifully illustrated in collage capturing a slice of life in Indian culture.