Thursday, October 29, 2020

'Gustavo, the Shy Ghost," Tells a Sweet Story of Bravery and Friendship and is the Perfect Picture Book for a Halloween Bedtime Read (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views are mine and mine alone.

Buy it now in hardcover from Amazon for only $15.29

I wanted to share a cute picture book that little ones will love having read to them this Halloween.  What I loved and stood out from this picture book, that I haven't seen in other picture books is that the author and illustrator does a great job in incorporating Mexican cultural references including Dia de Muerto and beautifully decorated skulls that peek out to your throughout the pages of this book.  Even though my girls are older and reading chapter books, they will still sit and let me read books to them.  I love these snuggle time opportunities, and when we stumble upon a cute book that has a positive theme like this one about friendship, as it gives up more time to talk about the book and it's messages.

This picture book is the debut novel of Mexican-born author and illustrator, Drago, but I hope it isn't her last book, as this picture book was really well written and fun to read with my girls. We really enjoyed the simple yet entertaining story and the colorful and playful folk-art style illustrations.   

If you are looking for a cute picture book to share at bedtime this Halloween and beyond, I highly recommend this picture book.

More about this book:

"Gustavo is good at doing all sorts of ghostly things: walking through walls, making objects fly, and glowing in the dark. And he loves almost nothing more than playing beautiful music on his violin. But Gustavo is shy, and some things are harder for him to do, like getting in a line to buy eye scream or making friends with other monsters. 

Whenever he tries getting close to them, he realizes they just can’t see him. Now that the Day of the Dead is fast approaching, what can he do to make them notice him and to share with them something he loves? With fancifully detailed artwork and visual humor, debut picture-book creator Flavia Z. Drago’s vivid illustrations tell a sweet and gently offbeat story of loneliness, bravery, and friendship that is sure to be a treat for little ghouls and goblins everywhere."

Gustavo, the Shy Ghost

by Flavia Z. Drago

Also available in Spanish

Candlewick Press

Hardcover ISBN: 9781536211146

Ages 3-7

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views are mine and mine alone.

Read more »

"Ghostology A True Revelation of Spirits, Ghouls, and Hauntings" Will Inspire Some Truly Spooky Stories to Tell Around the Campfire this Halloween (Review)

 Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Do your kids love telling spooky stories around a campfire or when Halloween rolls around?  My girls get obsessed with all things spooky and scary this time of year, and will watch all the ghostly and spooky movies they can find on television, as well as take out books about hauntings and that from the library.  So, when I saw this new release from "Ghostology  A True Revelation of Spirits, Ghouls, and Hauntings," I knew two girls who would love helping me review...and, I was right....they LOVED it!  

As you can see of the image of the book I shared above, there is  a ruby red jewel that is added into the cover of the book, and stands out when you grab the book to read. My girls said it reminded them of a spooky witch's spell book, or something you would stumble upon in a haunted house. They really liked this embellishment feature. But, the real fun was waiting for them inside the weathered pages of this hardcover book, which the author shares some mysterious hauntings and ghost apparitions that will truly scare your pants off -- well not exactly, but it will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up on end -- or, so it did mine, when I sat down to read through the pages of this ghostly and spirited book with my girls the other day.

With Halloween fast approaching, why not consider picking up this book and reading it with your family with the lights off, or turned down low.  You and your family will have fun learning how to investigate ghostly hauntings wherever they may turn up.

More about this book:


"Have you been hearing strange footsteps and knocks, whispers and rattling chains? Perhaps the early-twentieth-century author of this newly discovered tome has some secrets to share. Within the book’s weathered pages you’ll hear of a headless French pirate in search of his missing noggin, a vanishing pair of young trickster twins, a ghostly woman who screams for attention, and other communications from the “fun side.” 

Readers who wish to plumb the mysteries of the paranormal will find some hands-on challenges to lift their spirits, along with tips on a range of spectral subjects, such as what to pack in a ghostologist’s field kit, how to distinguish the types of ghosts, the best ways to hunt them, and spotting the unfortunate fakes and frauds. 

Too bad the late author never got to see her guide find its way into the world! But wait—what are those strange and scratchy asides that appear in odd places throughout the book?"


A True Revelation of Spirits, Ghouls, and Hauntings

by  Dugald A. Steer and Lucinda Curtle

illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert, Garry Walton and Doug Sirois

Candlewick Press

Ages 10 and up

Hardcover ISBN: 9781536209150

 Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Read more »

The "Where's Waldo? Spooky Spotlight Search" with Glow-in-the-Dark Magnifier Will Add to the Fun of At-Home Family Halloween Celebrations (Review)

 Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

I shared in an earlier post the other day that our Halloween has been cancelled this year due to COVID.  But, that doesn't mean we will not be celebrating Halloween. Instead of our customary trick or treating in the neighborhood, we are going to celebrate Halloween at home with fun and games, kicking off with a fun candy scavenger hunt right when the girls roll out of bed in the AM.  Then, I have a spooky pancake breakfast planned where the girls will be decorating their own monster and pumpkin shaped pancakes.  After that, I have fun coloring sheets, a few crafts, and then some fun books I will be sitting down and enjoying with the girls.  One book I am really looking forward to sharing with them is the "Where's Waldo? Spooky Spotlight Search," which comes with a neat glow-in-the-dark slider to reveal the picture.  

More About this book:

"Somewhere in the darkness, Waldo is venturing across a swamp toward a looming castle, sneaking down to the dungeon and through a creepy gallery to . . . Hey! We didn’t see that twist coming! In Waldo's second adventure featuring this innovative, all-paper design, readers can slide a spotlight searcher under a series of totally dark scenes, illuminating small sections and stealthily moving the light to seek out Waldo and his friends. 

Everyone’s favorite vagabond is in costume as himself in this Halloween-worthy challenge for eagle-eyed fans."


Where’s Waldo?

Spooky Spotlight Search

by Martin Handford

Candlewick Press

Hardcover ISBN: 9781536211580

Ages 5-9


I was sent a copy of this book a couple of weeks ago from the folks at Candlewick Press, and have been trying my best to keep it from the girls, as I wanted this to fun a activity we do on Halloween, that is new to the girls.  My girls LOVE "Where's Waldo" books, and have been enjoying these search and find books since they were little.  They especially loved the themed books that have been released. And, I know that after they see this book up close, it will be a new favorite of theirs.  While it is a Halloween themed book, this book can still be enjoyed year round with Where's Waldo fans.   I know, as my girls continually pull these books from their bookshelves to do when they are bored and want something fun to do.

The other day after the girls went to bed, I sat down and do a little hunting with the book, and have to say, I really enjoyed it.  I grew up loving "Where's Waldo" books, and over the years, the newer versions of these search and find books get even better, with amazing full color illustrations to fun new additions and features like the glow-in-the-dark slider you find this particular book. 

I didn't want to do all the pages in this book, but have to say it was really hard to stop after the first few hunts, as they were really fun and challenging. I know that my girls are going to have a blast sitting with me to try and find Waldo and some other spooky things hidden in the pages of this fun new terror-i-fic Where's Waldo book. 

If your family loves Where's Waldo books and you don't already have this book, I highly recommend you pick it up and share it with your family this upcoming Halloween, and for years to come. These books never get old, and are great to put out around the holidays for kids and adults to pick up and flip through the pages to hunt for Waldo in his striped red and white hat and matching sweater.  You can learn more about this fun Halloween-themed Where's Waldo book and other available Where's Waldo book by visiting

 Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.
Read more »