I do not enjoy gimmicky holiday-versions of best-selling books, like Harry Potter's Magical Christmas Morning or Diary of a Wimpy Easter Bunny Kid (I am making both of these titles up, but if they exist, I would like some royalties).
Lest you think my heart is made of Grinch-y stone, though, let me assure you that I do love a well-written holiday book. When I was growing up, my mom would pull out The Widow's Broom every Halloween season. It's not a Halloween book, necessarily, but it does include witches and brooms and it has the slightly creepy feel that most Chris Van Allsburg books have. I loved that book, particularly because it only made its appearance once a year. There's something so fun about a book that isn't part of your daily rotation.
I love the idea of having a small set of holiday books too and, in her typical excellent Grancie fashion, my mom sent me the first book to launch my Halloween collection. I'd mentioned this book to her a few weeks earlier in passing and when it showed up on my doorstep earlier this week, I was thrilled.
The book is Ghosts in the House! and it is the cutest book I've seen in a long while. It came in when I was working on the Notable Book Projects at the University of Texas a couple of years ago and we all delighted in it. It's just so ridiculously sweet.
The illustrations are very retro and the story itself is delightful - a little witch moves into a haunted house, catches the ghosts, washes them and hangs them out to dry and then uses them around her house as curtains, tablecloths, and finally, a bedspread. You will die of the cuteness.
I've read it to Ella half a dozen times already and she stares at the pictures, especially the ghosts (they are done in a kind of tissue-paper/transparent kind of medium and they just look so fun).
I love this book because it's not scary or gross (I hate those kinds of Halloween books. . . ). And mainly, I love it because it charms me. And who doesn't like to be charmed?