Books To Get You in the Mood for Halloween

It's that time of year!  Time for Silver Shoes & Rabbit Holes to celebrate all things spooky, all things pumpkin, all things autumn, all things ghostly, all things October - we love Halloween!  I have a stack of books lined up for you this year, along with a few other things.  Today, our Kansas weather is rainy and dreary, and tonight, my daughters and I will deck the house in Halloweeny splendor.

I thought I'd give you a (highly pinnable) sneak peek at some of the books I'm sharing this month. Most of these are new to 2014, and are written for older middle-grade readers or teens. One is a graphic novel. These are not the only books I have on the horizon - there are picture books and vintage treats, too - and I still have library bags full of non-Halloween titles.  I'm a little crazy, but you already knew that, I hope!

Pictured Above, Top Row:  The Elevator Ghost by Glen Huser. Groundwood Books, 2014;  The Doll Graveyard by Lois Ruby. Scholastic, 2014; The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier. Amulet Books, 2014.  Middle Row:  The Cabinet of Curiosities by Stefan Bachman, Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand, and Emma Trevayne. Greenwillow Books, 2014; Ghost Doll and Jasper by Fiona McDonald. Sky Pony Press, 2012. Bottom Row: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013; Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday. EgmontUSA, 2014; Teen Spirit by Francesca Lia Block. HarperTeen, 2014. 

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Oh So Tiny Bunny & Oh So Brave Dragon

Today is the first day of OCTOBER, the start of my favorite time of year.  (That would be October through the beginning of January, folks.)  Normally, I would be starting my month-long Halloween celebration, but we won't get to put our decorations up until tomorrow (no dance classes after school = TIME), so I decided to wait one more day before turning things ghoulie.  Besides, I have two darling books to share with you and I don't want to wait until November!

Are you or your little ones Miss Spider fans?  The books by David Kirk are so beautiful, and when my girls were very small, they loved to watch Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends on Noggin Nick Jr. (I'm just kidding.  It changed from Noggin to Nick Jr. a year before we got rid of cable, but in my mind, it will always be Noggin - Moose and Zee Forever!)  We haven't watched it in so long, that when Mr. B found a clip on the internet the other day, Big Sis started tearing up, sad because she said it reminded her of when she and her sister were little.  She's 9, folks.  I'm raising a first-rate sentimentalist.

Anyway, we checked out two new books by David Kirk, this week.  The first, Oh So Tiny Bunny, came out last year.

Oh So Tiny Bunny by David Kirk. Feiwel and Friends, 2013.

Oh So Tiny is very little, but he has very big dreams.

Dreams about being big.  Dreams about big food.

However, in his dreams, he becomes so big that he becomes very lonely.  Just as the loneliness is about to consume him, he wakes to the gentle nuzzle of another bunny.  So sweet!

Oh So Brave Dragon came out this year.  (Did you see Oh So Brave's cameo in the bunny book?)

Oh So Brave Dragon by David Kirk.  Feiwel and Friends, 2014.

Oh So Brave may be small, but he is super-brave!  He is a gloriously ferocious little guy.

Until he hears a big roar.  We know it is his own roar, but he is certain it must belong to a monster.

He roars again to frighten the monster, but once again, he scares himself, never believing the roar could be his own.  He rushes about, asking all the other forest creatures if they heard the monster, too.

Finally, he gathers all the other forest creatures up, promising to protect them.  Maybe if they all roar together, they will frighten the monster once and for all.

It's been nearly three years since my last bookstore storytime, and these would have been wonderful read-alouds for my little customers.  We could have roared together!  These days, I read occasionally in our elementary classrooms, and sometimes, Little Sis has me read books and do crafts at her birthday parties.  She misses our old Saturday mornings, even though she was pretty little back then. My sentimental babies...

Of course, while we may lament Mom's lack of employment, there is nothing stopping us from having an old-fashioned storytime at home!  Complete with printable crafts!  I visited David Kirk's Treehouse and clicked on "Playroom."  There, you can find lots of printable goodies, coloring pages and puppets and stuff.

As the storytime lady at the bookstore, I loved it when publishers and authors provided printables. (Because sometimes, I just wasn't creative enough to come up with a suitable craft on my own...)  These were especially cute, too.  Little Sis colored Oh So Tiny, then colored his pajamas.  We cut them out, and dressed him!  Big Sis made a dragon puppet.  She plans to work on the little finger puppet critters next.  There are teacher materials on the website, too.

Stay tuned for Halloweeny and Autumn goodness, starting tomorrow!  I can't promise to blog five days a week, but I do have lots to share.

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Museum Day at the Kansas Aviation Museum

Yeah, that book post I said might happen?  It didn't.  We had a busy weekend instead.  Saturday, here in the States, was Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day Live, and for the first time, I was in a position to take the girls to a participating museum on Museum Day!  The girls and I chose the Kansas Aviation Museum, because we had never been there.  It's located on the southeast side of Wichita, adjacent to the air force base.  The fabulous art deco building was an airport terminal, then part of the air force base, then finally became a museum in 1991.  Wichita is nicknamed "The Air Capital of the World," because of our history as a leader in aircraft manufacturing.  (You can read more about that here, if you like.)  My father and grandmother work or have worked at several of those plants, and my dad used to fly small Cessnas for fun when I was a kid and teen.  Yet I had never visited this beautiful old building.  With Little Sis's Amelia and airplane fascination, it seemed like a good place to use our two free passes!

Amelia came along for the ride.  She spent most of the time hanging out in my camera bag.

There were some older, smaller planes inside the museum itself, such as this beautiful 1927 Laird Swallow, built right here in town.

The girls were far more curious about the huge stuffed Mickey Mouse in this plane.

On the second floor terrace, looking out at the planes.

Besides aircraft manufacturing, airport, airline, and military memorabilia, there is also a whole section for kiddos, where they can climb inside cockpits, play flight simulation games, color, etc.

I admit, I'm more interested in buildings than aircraft, so my favorite part of the visit was marveling at the old terminal itself.

The control tower was added in 1941.  This was my other favorite part of the visit.  The view is very nice.

A cool view of the old Stearman Aircraft hangar on the grounds of the air force base.  You can see some great vintage photos of both the hangar and the old airport terminal itself at

That's downtown Wichita.  We weren't particularly close to downtown.  Great views up there.

There were more planes to see outside.  You can read more about the aircraft on display on the museum's website.

My camera battery ran out of juice before I could take any photos of the front of the building.  I managed some decent shots with my cruddy phone.

So U.S. readers, did anyone else hit up a museum for Museum Day?

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