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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Scholastic Halloween Themed Books Review

I was honoured to receive 3 Halloween themed books from Scholastic to review....as were the kiddies. When we went to get the mail the other day we found a big brown box. Princess is always excited when we get mail, especially if there is something in it for her. And this time there were 3 books...she has had a love of books from the time she was able to get herself crawling to the book basket. She will sit for hours with books and "read". Lately she has been making up stories and telling me about the pictures she sees, and if it a book we read over and over she will ask questions about the story like "is this the monster?" or "what is the girl dressed as?" (Her inquisitive mind astonishes me everyday. Questions are a good thing right? In the right situation and not over and over and over again, but I love her inquests into the world around her.)
The books we received were:
Zen Ghost by John J. Muth

ISBN: 978-0-439-63430-4/ $19.99 hardcover/ For ages 3-8/ September 2010
This is a beautifully interpretation of the story of a bit of Japanese folklore. It is told by a visitor to the friendly Panda, Stillwater and  3 children on Halloween, as part of Stillwater's surprise for them. It is a beautiful tale that leaves the children wondering as well as the readers. The folklore is of that of Senjo and Her Soul Are Separated, which discusses how we can be one with family, and a different one with friends, but we are the same person.
My Review: This lovely illustrated book was a fun read for Princess and I because it left her asking a number of questions...which even had me thinking of answers. I was a nice folklore tale that told of love and family, being torn between them. A little old for a 3 year old to understand the the idea of duality in personalities but a wonderful none the less. Princess liked the fact that there was a panda in the story and the kids talk of their costumes. Well written and a great Halloween read.

Scary Science: 25 Creepy Experiments by Shar Levine & Leslie Johnstone, Illustrations by Ashley Spires
ISBN: 978-0-545-980303-2/ $6.99 paperback/ For ages 7-12/ August 2010
This book is a collection of haunting experiments that are creepy, ghastly and spooky. They are able to create Halloween inspired science, such as shrunken heads, alien barf, bubbling alien blood, spider webs, spooky writing and much much more. Geared to a middle-school age group the instructions are easy to follow and many of the ingredients can be found in your cupboards. It's eerie, it's spooky... and it's all science!
My Review: This book is chalked full of fun experiments, but they are a little old for the Princess and Monkey. We looked through it and decided I would try the "Ghost Lights" experiment. This is where you take a balloon (blown up) and a light tube (ie: florescent tube) not in a fixture; in a dark room (ie": closet) you rub the balloon in your hair as holding the tube (resting on the floor) in one had and the balloon in the other hand (rubbing your hair back and forth) and then as close to the tube as you move it along the tube without touching it...What happened next was the light tube began to glow as a result of the static electricity created from rubbing Princess' hair (fine hair so hello static). This was a blast and we did it over and over again...Princess was fascinated by it. It taught her a little about science and left her with lots and lots of wondrous questions. You really need to try this one if you are homeschooling...I will post pictures later of us experimenting.

 The Haunted House That Jack Built by Helaine Becker, Illustrations by David Perkins

ISBN: 978-0-545-98539-0/ $7.99 paperback/ For ages 3-8/ August 2010
This is a creative twist on the classic nursery rhyme, based around the Halloween season. This is very spooky and funny tale with Jack and his ghouly family and friends who have put together a haunted house for the occasion. The readers meet many different characters in the house's dark halls, such as a mummy, vampire, ghost and monsters along with others who peak interest from the readers young and old. 
My Review: This book was the biggest hit of all them for the Princess. She loved the characters and the story itself had building theme where it actually would add to the story. It kept her attention and she then would take the book and try to read it as I did to Monkey. It is a great little Halloween read and very entertaining. We loved it! A must read for Halloween. I will definitely get you into the spirit of Halloween!

Thanks to Scholastics for giving us the opportunity to learn, listen and imagine through these books!
Please check these books out as the Spooking Season fast approaches, they will sure bring out the curiosity and imagination in your young readers.

Disclaimer: I have not received any monetary compensation for reviewing this product of which I am provided for free; and the point of view expressed here is completely objective.

1 comment:

sucor said...

Thanks for your reviews of these Scholastic books! Thank you for including their description as well.