When I was a kid, Halloween rivaled Christmas as my all-time favorite holiday. The very idea that you could ring a doorbell and be given endless amounts of Snickers and Milky Ways just for wearing a fun get-up? It seemed too good to be true. Until, of course, we trekked over to Holly Tree Lane, a street that seemed to have a large barking dog behind every door. (I can’t tell you how many times I turned around to keep my eye on my dad’s lit cigar at the end of neighbor’s driveways, a beacon of safety, after waiting what seemed like forever to receive a chocolate bar or handful of pennies.) Sure, I can look back at those Halloweens past and chuckle at my Pavlovian response (door bell + baring dog = RUN). But even more important, they help me to relate to my own daughters’ paralyzing fear of spiders or at their super-sensitive hearing (“did you hear that?”). If you’ve got a resident ‘fraidy cat who seems to pick up on things that go bump in the night a little more than the next guy, then Halloween may not only be a day of fun and candy. What better way to diffuse their angst than with a little humor! Thanks to a delightful new book, Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween, kids will be able to see Halloween in a whole new light (even in the dark!). Conveniently disguised as a safety guide, this tongue-in-cheek book is a soup-to-nuts primer for making the most of the Halloween–cautiously and cleverly. To find out just what kind of goblin you are, it starts off with a special quiz where no answer is wrong, and goes on to tackle basic holiday hot topics, from decorations to costumes. Entertaining illustrations and witty asides are peppered throughout, helping to take the sting out of the scary. We don’t know what we love more: the different modes of candy transportation (from the amateur tote, to the professional truck), or the excuses not to visit a haunted house (homework, anyone?). So, whether you celebrate October 31st trick or treating, bobbing for apples or handing out candy from the safe confines of home, this is one read that will let you rest easy. Just stay away from the barking dogs, will you?
In a Nutshell: This one rodent who’s ready for Halloween. A delightful read for any kid who can’t get enough of October 31st…especially the scary stuff.