Check It Out: Picking stuff off of the 'spooky shelves'

Beware: The spooky season is upon us!

Children often love to scare themselves silly and this is the time of the year for such fun. The hours of sunshine are shorter, and the dark nights begin much earlier. Bedtime book requests are made up of spooky tales and there is something for all ages and scare levels. There are picture books for toddlers all the way up to chapter books for school-age children.

Here are just a few of the spooky books found haunting the shelves at 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 children's 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 a family wants to discuss.

"Four on the Shore" by Edward Marshall: Hoping to scare away Spider's little brother, Willy, Lolly Spider, and Sam each tell a spooky story — but then Willy has a story of his own to tell. This one is a light hearted and endearing take on trying to spook little siblings away and in the process the child scares themselves worse.

"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 series, Trucktown, by a very well known children's literature author with 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 a 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 a wildly popular series, "My Weird School Daze."

Make sure to join us for our special program, Spooky Scavenger Haunt on Thursday, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach. Are there ghouls in the library? Led by teens from our Young Adult Advisory Council, teams of third- through fifth-graders scour the library for hidden clues. The first team to finish wins a prize. Spooky-themed crafts and snacks, and a costume contest, round out this fun evening. This program is free for children in third through fifth grade online registration is required via our kids' website at http://www.newportkids.org.

Sneak a peek into the supernatural world just by visiting the Newport Beach Public Library!

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 http://www.newportbeachlibrary.org. 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.

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