Thursday, August 6, 2020
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Bookworm: Spooktacular Stories

by guest blogger, Sarah Sawler

Back to school is officially come and gone, the leaves will soon be changing colours and apple-picking season is almost upon us. There’s so much for kids to do in the fall in Nova Scotia—it’s almost hard to choose. Whether you’ve just spent an afternoon at the Mahone Bay Scarecrow Festival or you’ve passed an evening doing the Halifax Ghost Walk, there’s nothing like ending the day curled up on the couch with a good, scary story. Better yet—one that won’t cause nightmares.  Check out this month’s recommendations for some creatively spooky tales.

Dracula: A Counting Primer by Jennifer Adams, Illustrator Alison Oliver

Recommended for 6 months – 3 years


Introduce your little one to the classic Dracula story with this adorable board book. This “counting primer” is populated by wolves, heroes and rats and features castles, diaries and letters. Young babies will enjoy the splashes of red that punctuate the stark black, grey and purple colour scheme and toddlers will have fun counting the two friends (Mina and Lucy), the five heroes (Van Helsing included) and the eight rats (pictured with suitcases in the London underground). Charmingly illustrated and sure to entertain the adult reading it as much as the child listening, this simple counting book is a crowd-pleaser.

Boo! by Robert Munsch, Illustrator: Michael Martchenko

Recommended for ages 3-6

It’s wonderful to be able to share a favourite childhood author with your kids. Master storyteller Robert Munsch has stood the test of time. Parents who spent their childhood bedtimes listening to The Paperbag Princess and Mortimer now have the opportunity to share his more recent books with their children. Boo! is the story of a boy whose painted face is so scary that his father falls down, the neighbours drop their candy, a policeman speeds away from him and… he even scares a teenager. In perfect form, Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko take kids on a hilarious adventure packed with hysterical parents, enterprising children and of course, lots of sound effects. Your kids will never look at planning their Halloween costumes the same way again.

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds, Illustrator: Peter Brown

Recommended for ages 4-7


Meet Jasper Rabbit. He’s just a regular bunny who happened to stumble upon a carrot patch with particularly delicious carrots. He begins making frequent stops to snack—after Little League, on the way home to school and on his way home at night. All is well, until he begins to see carrots everywhere he looks. And not just regular carrots—creepy carrots. He sees them in the shed, in his bedroom and peeking out of storm drains. Finally, Jasper decides to take action and builds a fence, complete with a moat and alligators, around the carrot patch. But whose plan was this really… Jasper’s or the creepy carrots?

Not only will this month’s recommendations get your kids in the Halloween spirit, they’ll also give your kids a serious case of the giggles.


Sarah Sawler lives in St Margarets Bay, N.S., with her partner and her two boys. A love of reading has inspired her career in magazine and web writing, as well as her new website and blog