Three Not-So-Spooky Books for Kids

We all may have varying ideas on Halloween, but we can probably all agree that celebrating evil is not fun or something we want to do with our kids. My young children like the general idea of ghosts, monsters, etc. – but mostly as the silly versions we find on cartoons. And that’s OK. I’m not ready to go deep into these topics with them yet.

But for some lightly spooky fun, we head to picture books.

Here are a few that are a wee bit spooky and very funny.


Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems – Willems, author of such favorites like Elephant & Piggie and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, hits it out of the park with this silly Goldilocks remake. The very intrusive narrator tells us of three dinosaurs (Mama, Papa, and one visiting from Norway) who obviously did NOT leave their house set as a trap for capturing a little girl. Nope. No way. He pokes fun at Goldilocks’s naivete, but it all turns out OK in the end. And both the girl and the dinos learn valuable lessons.


Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer – Bernadette is mostly monsterly. But she also likes to pick flowers, bake, and sing. When she goes to school, she doesn’t quite fit in with the other monsters. The way she does is slightly gross for grown-ups … but kids will love it. And little Monster Bernadette is just so cute you can’t help but love her.


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School by Davide Cali – A student gives a long list of excuses as to why he is late for school – including being mistaken for a banana by a giant ape, being attacked by ninjas, and encountering giants ants and a time machine. These normally scary apparitions are instead hilarious when stacked one on top of another.

And because I can’t help myself, here are some more general fall picture books that I love:

Do you have any favorite children’s books for fall?

Pumpkin Deliciousness for Fall

pumpkin recipes

Need a new pumpkin recipe for the season, to make with your kids or for a fall festival? Here are some of my personal favorites and a few I haven’t tried … yet.

What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?

Celebrating Fall Fun

I love fall and all that it brings — cooler weather, changing leaves, pumpkins, apple cider, and so much more. While your family may or may not officially be celebrating Halloween, there are lots of fun ways you can celebrate fall!

lion.jpgYesterday evening, we took Jack (almost 16 months old) to a fall festival at our church. He got to wear his Halloween costume (a lion) and play in a big bouncy play yard with lots of plastic balls. He had a great time! We are not going trick-or-treating with Jack this year, simply because it would be so much work and he can’t eat (and doesn’t need) the candy! (And neither do we for that matter!) We hope to go to a pumpkin farm on Saturday morning with a group of friends from church and then spend the evening handing out candy, watching movies, and enjoying some good fall food!

How does your family celebarate fall? Tell us about your favorite fall activities!

Tips to Make the Most of Student Smiles

Fall is here and usually that means time for school pictures! School picture day may last only a few minutes for most individual students, but the outcome can haunt them for a lifetime. Bad haircuts, clothing, or poses can become the stuff of family legend. However, it doesn’t have to end that way., an authority on taking classic student portraits, is sharing some advice this year with parents, students, and teachers to hopefully best prepare them for this rite of passage.

  1. Mark your calendar! You do not want to forget the date of your student’s pictures.
  2. A well-groomed child is the best start for a perfect photo.
  3. Do not try out any new haircuts, styles, or colors within two weeks before photos.
  4. Avoid wearing stripes or loud prints on clothing. Solid colors are a sure bet.
  5. Avoid clothes with printed slogans. They often get cropped out of the photo.
  6. A good night’s sleep keeps under-eye circles at bay.
  7. Select small accessories that don’t detract from the focus on your student.
  8. A spot of eye drop solution can help reduce eye redness.
  9. Avoid excessive sun exposure for a few days prior to picture day.
  10. Good posture will ensure kids look alert and at their best.
  11. Tell students to relax and let their own smile and personality come through!

Do you have any school picture stories? Share your funny stories with us and other ParentLife readers by leaving a comment.