Check It Out: Plenty of tricks in these literary treats

Beware, the spooky season is upon us!

Children often love to scare themselves silly, and this is the perfect time of the year for that fun. The hours of sunshine are fewer, the dark nights beginning much earlier. Bedtime book requests are made up of spooky tales, and there is something for all ages and scare levels — from

picture books for toddlers to chapter books for school-age children.

Here are just a few of the spooky books haunting the shelves of your Newport Beach Public Library:

"The Graves Family" by Patricia Polacco: When the spooky Graves family moves to town and tries to fit in with the "normal" residents of Union City, everyone is in for a few surprises. This picture book provides an interesting approach to the issue of moving to a new place by a very well-loved and prolific author.

"The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything" by Linda Williams: A little old lady who is not afraid of anything must deal with a pumpkin head, a tall black hat and other spooky objects that follow her through the dark woods trying to scare her. A classic story used when the issue of fear and finding courage within is a topic for family discussion.

"Four on the Shore" by Edward Marshall: Hoping to scare away Spider's little brother, Lolly Spider and Sam each tell a spooky story — but then the little brother, Willie, has a story of his own to tell. This is such a lighthearted and endearing take on what happens when siblings try to spook the little one. (They often get scared themselves.)

"The Spooky Tire" by Jon Scieszka: On a dark and stormy night, Melvin the truck rolls into a spooky junkyard to find a replacement for his flat tire. This book is in the popular Trucktown series, by a well-known children's literature author who has a unique style.

"Lunch Walks Among Us" by Jim Benton: Franny K. Stein is a mad scientist who prefers all things spooky and creepy, but when she has trouble making friends at her new school, she experiments with fitting in — which works until a monster erupts from the trash can. This is the first book in the series "Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist." The importance of strengthening a child's unique identity is craftily woven among all the laughs in this popular book.

"Miss Mary Is Scary!" by Dan Gutman: When a British student-teacher arrives, A.J. and his friends wonder if her all-black clothing and love of blood sausage mark her as a vampire, while Mr. Granite simply hopes her musician boyfriend will stay away long enough for a math lesson. This is book No. 10 in the wildly popular series "My Weird School Daze."

To kick off this spooky season, the NBPL Foundation will be hosting a special event featuring cartoonist Mark Tatulli at 2 p.m. Oct. 6. Tatulli will introduce his new children's book, "Desmond Pucket Makes Monster Magic," and show children how he creates his cartoon characters.

Also, make sure to join the fun at the library's October craft programs, held at the following NBPL locations: Central Library at 4 p.m. Oct. 17; Balboa Branch Library at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 24; Mariners Branch Library at 4 p.m. Oct. 29; Corona del Mar Branch Library at 3 p.m. Oct. 30. All programs are free.

Please visit our website for more information, or stop by Booth 55 at the Orange County Children's Book Festival at Orange Coast College this Sunday, and find out all about the services and programs Newport Beach Public Library offers.

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World