Halloween is the creepiest time of year. But for all the spooky witches and haunting hobgoblins poking their heads out of the grocery store freezer waiting to make your kids scream bloody murder, it's got one major thing going for parents.
It's time to help your kids face their fears.
The monsters under the bed, zombies in the closet, and evil witch their big sister convinced them was waiting to eat them if they got up to pee in the middle of the night are out there, wandering the streets. They can't hide.
So help them face it with a little light reading, and you could be talking about fight-free bedtimes for life:
What Was I Scared Of? by Dr. Seuss -- Nobody does silly like Seuss, and it's hard to find sillier than a pair of pants prancing around town in the dark. What used to be part of The Sneetches and Other Stories, it's been reproduced as a stand-alone glow in the dark book for tickling their funny bones -- and tempering their fears.
Night Lights by Susan Gal -- Put their fears of the dark to rest with a look at the world after nightfall, lit up by Gal's rich illustrations. Save this one for the end of storytime -- one word per page makes it a relaxing trip into sleep.
My Monster Mama Loves Me So by Laura Leuck -- Monsters aren't just hiding in the closet; they're all around you. And your little monster will get a kick out of thinking of Mom as a monstrous beast -- the best kind, of course.
Jim, a Cautionary Tale by Hilaire Belloc and Mini Grey -- Not for the faint of heart, this gruesome tale of what happens to a naughty boy who misbehaves should be accompanied by a serious mask for parents who will be trying to stifle the laughter and teach their kids a lesson all at the same time.
Hubnuckles by Emily Herman -- Every Halloween a creature appears at Lee's window, but suddenly she's grown too old to believe it's real. A holiday story of growing up in the vein of the Polar Express, Hubnuckles is an old favorite that's found a new audience thanks to a reprinting this year.
Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins & Other Nasties: A Practical Guide by Miss Edythe McFate (as told to Lesley M. M. Blume) -- Written for older kids, this book isn't to be ignored by parents of younger kids whose love of fairies heightened by Tinker Bell can be used to offset their fears of the other creatures skulking about the corners of their minds. From silly explanations of why human hair turns gray to an explanation of fairy photography rules, this book allows kids to indulge in perfectly happy magic.
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles Schulz -- The classic TV special is now in book form, so you don't have to compromise on TV in their room to share the old favorite at bedtime. Everything's there -- from Linus' blanket to Lucy and her football -- to make the story of a child's flight of fancy pull the whole family into the bedroom.
Images via Amazon