Give Me Back My Bones & Pick a Pumpkin

Two new picture books from Candlewick Press are the perfect addition to your kids’ Halloween season story time.

Give Me Back My Bones! by Kim Norman and illustrated by Bob Kolar is a fun and witty rhyming book about a pirate skeleton trying to piece himself back together after being swept apart under the ocean. The book does an excellent job of teaching the actual, scientific names of bones in a way that’s approachable and accessible for young readers. (Have you ever heard a 4-year-old say “mandible”? It’s adorable.)

The illustrations are so charming, and the bonus pirate skeleton poster found on the inside jacket cover is an excellent bonus.

Cast a spyglass ’round here
while breakers curl and pound here.
There’s treasure to be found here —
I feel it in my bones!

A stormy night at sea has uncovered some long-buried secrets and surprises. Is that the mast of a shipwreck? A faded pirate hat? And what’s that hiding in the sand? A mandible and a clavicle, phalanges and femurs, a tibia and a fibula — could there be a set of bones scattered across the ocean floor? And who might they belong to? A jaunty rhyme takes readers on an underwater scavenger hunt as a comical skeleton tries to put itself back together piece by piece. Make no bones about it: this rollicking read-aloud will have young ones learning anatomy without even realizing it.

Pick a Pumpkin by Patricia Tott and illustrated by Jarvis is a gorgeous book that celebrates the seasonal tradition of visiting the pumpkin patch and carving pumpkins. This book covers some of my favorite Halloween activities and traditions, and it’s a great way to share the idea of those activities with kids and get them excited about their own forays to the pumpkin patch.

Pick a pumpkin from the patch. Tall and lean or short and fat. Vivid orange, ghostly white, or speckled green, might be just right.

Pairing a wonderfully rhythmic read-aloud text with expressive retro illustrations, author Patricia Toht and illustrator Jarvis capture all the excitement and familial feeling of a favorite holiday tradition. Readers will be happy to follow along with each step, from picking out the perfect specimen at the pumpkin patch (be sure to stop for cider and toffee apples) to carting it home, scooping out the insides, carving a scary face, and finally lighting a candle inside — savoring the familiar ritual of transforming an ordinary pumpkin into a one-of-a-kind glowing jack-o’-lantern.

Both books are available now!


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