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BOO! A Few Tricks & Treats for Your Halloween Library

October is the month for goblins and ghosts and all things creepy, including a few spooky Halloween books for your haunted house.

I’m a tiny bit scared to admit this, but I’ve never been a huge fan of Halloween. Maybe it’s the introvert in me, maybe it’s the trauma from my childhood Halloween costumes, most of which I made myself, maybe it’s just all that black and orange, maybe I just don’t like to be spooked. Who knows! But Lily & Jasper love Halloween!!! They have forced me to engage, even when I just want to hide under the covers.

And, it turns out, we do have some spookily awesome books to share with you that fit deliciously into the trick or treat basket. Here are our 3 Favorite Spooky Halloween Books. We know there are more out there, but please don’t scare me anymore!


1. Creepy Carrots

Words by Aaron Reynolds, Illustrations by Peter Brown

This book has been one of our favorites for the last few years!

It’s a fun, silly adventure about a rabbit who’s afraid of carrots because they seem to be haunting him and following him everywhere! The rabbit’s name is Jasper which is an awesome characteristic about it for one particular kid in this house. And the creative, dark illustrations are by Peter Brown, who we adore!

Are the carrots really haunting Jasper Rabbit, or is he losing his mind? And what will he do to solve this frightening problem? Dive in to find out.

If you love this one, the amazing duo of Reynolds and Brown just came out with another adventure for Jasper Rabbit called, Creepy Pair of Underwear.



2. I Love You More Than the Smell of Swamp Gas

Words & Pictures by Kevan Atteberry

Okay, this book is AWESOME!! It’s hilarious, clever, spooky fun for all the little monsters in your life.

Are monsters allowed to be cute? Well these monsters certainly are. The pages in this book are full of super cute “scary” creatures. A parent monster and child monster creep through the forest meeting purple-horned skunks and bloodsucking ducks, creatures hidden and not, while the parent monster describes all the ways he loves the little one.

Come along through the swampy forest as they dance over toe biting stones, encounter mummified bass, and banter their love back and forth. And just try to resist a snuggle with those seriously adorable spiders!

It’s gross and sticky and stinky and so creative! Everything little kids love, including the safe, goodnight-tuck-into-bed at the end. And it’s our favorite Kevan Atteberry book ever!

“Do you love me as much


that covers our feet


“I treasure you more


squished through our toes

as we pull them unstuck.”


4. Serafina and the Black Cloak

by Robert Beatty

This creepy book shrouded in mysteries might give me nightmares! Consider yourself warned. Lily and I discovered this book at the same time, and when she said she was reading it at school, and that I “had to read it!” I wondered if it might fit into our Halloween Spook Fest, and IT DOES!!!

12-year-old Serafina lives a hidden life in the basement of Biltmore Estate with her father. No one knows of her existence and her father insists she keep it this way. Nocturnal by nature, not afraid of the dark or long hidden hallways in the underbelly of this mansion, Serafina prides herself on being the CRC (Chief Rat Catcher) for Biltmore. Yes, she catches rats, ewwwwweeee!!! Remember, I said, nightmares are possible.

Like all young heroes and heroines, Serafina finds herself no longer content with her life the way it is. She wonders where she came from, what happened to her mother, why her father doesn’t want anyone to know about her, and her greatest wish is to be seen. When a freaky, disgusting creature in a black cloak starts “disappearing” children from the estate, in an eerie, spooky, nightmarish way, Serafina embarks on a journey into the forbidden forest, full of demons, to save the children and ultimately unravel the mystery of her own life.

Lily says, “There’s lots of spooky, creepy detail in this book so you feel like you are there, and it’s especially creepy when the man in the black cloak is devouring children, because there’s this rattling sound,” Yep, creep factor 1000!

Looking for a strong, unique, and clever heroine for a middle grade reader in your Frankenstein clan, Serafina is the girl for you. And I love that we just discovered her, and that it’s a series so we can read more about her in Serafina and the Twisted Staff, and Serafina and the Splintered Heart.

Have a safe, spooky, haunted Halloween everyone!

All the World

All the World

by Liz Garton Scanlon, Illustrated by Marla Frazee

2009 Beach Lane Books


This is one of my all-time favorite picture books, for so many reasons. The poetic words and luminous illustrations combine to form a dreamlike, special world where all of us belong.

A family enjoys a day at the beach, farmers gather at the market, a crowd rushes into a café to escape the rain, people play music and share meals. So much simple goodness.

Liz Garton Scanlon’s words read like poetry and express the most beautiful sentiments.

“Nest, bird, feather, fly

All the world has got its sky.”


“Nana’s, papa’s cousins, kin

Piano, harp and violin

Babies passed from neck to knee

All the world is you and me”

Every page bursts with Marla Frazee’s gorgeous illustrations from the ocean cliffs, to the pouring rain, and each brilliant phase of the night sky.

My favorite scene is the illustration of the sun setting and the words, “All the world can hold quite still.” When the words and the illustrations meet in perfect harmony like this, it casts its spell on you and makes one want to read it in a hushed reverent tone. It’s magical.

“Hope and peace and love and trust. All the world is all of us.”

This book makes me happy. It renews my faith in a world where all are welcome and loved and connected, and where the seemingly hardest things, like peace, are still possible.

The Wild Robot

The Wild Robot

The Wild Robot

Written & Illustrated by Peter Brown

Published by Little, Brown and Company, April 2016

Oh my gosh, this is one of the best books we’ve read! Even, or maybe especially, in its simplicity.

Roz the robot gets tossed out of a ship in a crash landing and washes up on shore of a wild island. She knows only that she must survive.

Crazy weather, baby bears who attack her, uncontrollable tumbles down the mountainside, Roz encounters all of these and more. She even faces discrimination from the animals who treat her like a monster to be feared.


All Four Stars

All Four Stars by Tara DairmanAll Four Stars

by Tara Dairman

Published by G.P.Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin!

This book is the first in a wonderful, fun, delicious series about a young foodie named Gladys Gatsby. When we meet 11-year-old Gladys in All Four Stars, she has accidentally lit the kitchen curtains on fire while making crème brûlée in her family’s kitchen. Her parents, horrible cooks themselves, ban Gladys from cooking, and urge her to use her time to make friends as she begins 5th grade.

But Gladys loves to cook, and it’s not as easy to make friends as one might think, especially for shy, awkward Gladys.

In a case of mistaken identity, Gladys’ entry in the 5th grade essay contest gets sent to the food editor of the New York Standard newspaper, and Gladys gets hired as the newest restaurant critic, although the editor has no idea how old Gladys is.


2017-10-24T06:04:41+00:00 October 4th, 2017|Categories: Ages 9-12, Reviews, Series|Tags: , , , , , , |8 Comments

Wild for Books Launch !!

Wild for Books Launch photo

Hello and welcome to our new book review, book obsessed, book everything blog, Wild for Books!

We are Lily, Jasper, Greg, & Sara Ohlin, and we love books! We love reading them, talking about them, shopping for them, discovering them at the library, and we absolutely love sharing them.

Wild for Books is our new blog where we talk about books we adore. Old books & new books, the words, the illustrations, the emotions, anything & everything we love about them! And while, for now, we mostly talk about books for kids between the ages of 7-13, we also know the magic of books is that even adults can enjoy children’s literature, and that often times, books are best when shared.

On our Get Inspired page, we link to all kinds of fun, inspirational, book-related sites for kids and parents, including author sites we love, amazing illustrators, helpful information, and general book-oriented mojo. Hopefully this page will continue to expand, because the world is full of fabulous book mojo!

We are constantly growing and changing, so if you have something awesome to share with us, let us know!

Poke around the site to learn About Us, Get Inspired, check out some of Lily’s and Jasper’s art, and let us know what you think!

Our first review is COMING TOMORROW! 

Is your nose stuck in a book? Do you love to read? Do you love to be read to? Do you enjoy talking about your favorite books with others? Then come join us for what we hope are some fabulous book adventures!!