Sometimes, the stories behind books are as fascinating — or even more so — than the books themselves, as is the case for Finding Winnie, when two stranger-than-fiction real-life sequences of events — an army veterinarian buying a baby bear off a trapper at a train station, and a little boy’s unusual friendship with a certain grown bear at the London Zoo — collide to result in the creation of one of the most beloved literary characters ever written: Winnie the Pooh.
This isn’t strictly a Halloween book, but I love its slightly creepy feel — kinda like one of those old black-and-white horror movie reels.
There’s something instantly comforting, likeable and, well, cute about a white, puffy protagonist — see: Big Hero 6‘s Baymax; even the somewhat freaky Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters looks cuddly when merchandised as a soft toy, which my sister used to have — and few will be able to resist the little marshmallowy guy on the cover, the eponymous Beekle.
One of the marks of a classic book is that it seems to be as fresh and relevant today as the day it was published — even if it’s a few decades old. Naturally, it also helps if the subject matter is timeless.
First published in 1963, The Snowy Day is a true classic that tells the story of a little boy, Peter, who wakes up one morning to see a snow-covered landscape outside his window.
I don’t think there are many kids out there who are NOT fascinated by all manners of creatures. Hence, this book, which highlights how some animals use the same body part — nose, tail, eyes, ears, feet — in different ways, will be a hit with budding little zoologists who have an insatiable appetite for little nuggets of animal trivia.
Hondo and Fabian is about a pair of house pets living under the same roof. They get along amicably, but as one is a cat (Fabian) and the other is a dog (Hondo), they tend to do their own thing during much of the day, only reuniting at night. With short, simple sentences, this book thus describes one such day, with Hondo being taken to the beach to frolic in the waves with another dog, while Fabian stays at home to “play” (very reluctantly) with a baby/toddler.