Books for October

This month we’ve read a LOT of books. Our October book list contains quite a few autumn and Halloween related books, though not as many as I wish. Still collecting books for this season. Next year we’ll have the perfect stash of book for this season. Here comes what we’ve read this month:

With E. (5 years)

Funnybones by Janet and Allen Ahlberg


The first book of the Funnybones series. E. LOVED it, just like I did. Two skeletons and their dog live in a cellar and come out to play during the night. The name of the game: scare someone. E. liked it so much that I bought her two other books of the series. What’s more she read the Funnybones books by herself as well.
Funnybones: Dinosaur Dreams

Little Skeleton and Big Skeleton are dreaming about dinos. Dangerous dinos. Luckily Dog Skeleton is dreaming too and saves them. Really funny. Just as good as the other two in this series we’ve read. E. asked to read this one too many many times.

Funnybones: Ghost train

Another great book for Halloween. The Skeletons get on a ghost train at midnight and meet a lot of scary things of which they are not frightened at all. But there is one thing that scares the hell out of them. So funny! Read it a million times.

Little Miss Sunshine and the wicked witch by Roger Hargreaves


Little Miss Sunshine needs to stop the wicked witch who casts a spell on other Misses and Mrs. But Miss Sunshine finds a way to break the spell. An average book. Nothing too exciting.
Caterpillar Butterfly by Vivian French


I loved this book just as much as E. The story is about a little girl who witnesses the metamorphoses of caterpillars into butterflies. I especially enjoyed the beautiful illustrations as they are unique and engaging. The real reason why this book was a hit is our own Caterpillar. (Read more about it on the link I’ll add later)

Gilbert the hero by Jane Clarke


Well, a book about fish is always a winner in our home. Gilbert needs to take care of his little brother at the playground but he wants to go skating with his friend and leaves little bro on the swing. Do you think he could save his brother from the killer whale? 😉

Ribbit! Ribbit! by Anne Marie Herron

large-ribbit ribbit

I gave this book to E. to read while she was waiting for me in the afternoon after snack. it took her 10 minutes to read. The story is about an annoying little boy who pretends to be a frog and says ribbit ribbit in every situation. But there’s a little girl who knows how to stop it. I also made activities for her that she did after reading it. That took her five minutes. I needed that 15 minutes to clean up the mess in the kitchen.

Zack’s Alligator by Shirley Mozelle


Surprisingly we borrowed this book from the library. Yes, in English. E. enjoyed this book a lot because we have a close friend who is named in the same way as the Alligator in this book. Not to mention the fact that the toy alligator comes alive when she gets some water and gets involved in some adventures with Zack.

With L. (22 months)

Touch and Feel Halloween (DK)


Real enjoyment for little hands. You can touch a velvety black cat or a bumpy pumpkin. L. really loved this book even after Halloween.
Cuddle by Beth Shoshan


A sweet little boy keeps cuddling his toy animals and imagines what if they were real. Not only L. liked it (who, by the way, adores cuddling) but E. enjoyed it when I read it to them. there are plenty of conditional sentences in this book which helps to focus (subconsciously) on this complex structure.
Sleepy head by Karma Wilson


A tiny little creature doesn’t want to go to bed and find out all kinds of things just to play for more time. Strange illustrations, real-life story, though nothing special. Whose kid hasn’t asked for another glass of water after bed time?
Guess Who’s Hiding? By Ana Martin-Laranaga


A peek-a-boo book with rhyming words. Sometimes E. read it out for L.
The Big Match by Julia Donaldson


Originally, I bought a few books of this Songbird series, but Little L. enjoys them more that E. This is about a football match played by the Foxes and the Ducks. One of the foxes should learn about fair play. L. likes ball games so this was a hit with her.
Chocolate Mouse For Greedy Goose by Julia Donaldson


A classic. If you have a picky eater this book can ease some tension at lunch time. The well-know rhymes from Julia Donaldson and vivid illustrations from Nick Sharratt (He is one of my favourite children book illustrators)
Busy Garage by Melanie Joyce (Ladybird series)


This was too much for L. And I guess it was boring for E. (I bought it as it a part of a series and E. loved Busy shop when she was about 2.) We read it only twice which is quite unusual in our home. We re-read book until my eyes fall out and my mouth dries out. Another disappointment was that the last page was missing so i had to make up the ending. I’d bought it used but it had never happened before.
Berry and Dolly At kindergarten by Erika Bartos


Erika Bartos is a famous Hungarian children book writer. Her books and poetry are very popular with children (nursery and kindergarten aged kids). Her drawings are very unique, the stories are simple and depict the life of families with children. Some parents find them annoying, but I’m okay with it. These two stories are especially good. L. enjoys going to E.’s kindergarten and the other story is about a big scary spider who turns out to be kind after all. Both stories take place in the autumn. I’m happy that some of Erika’s books are available in English. Berry and Dolly has a youtube channel as well where you can find some stories in English.


Cotton bud skeleton reloaded

The cotton bud skeleton was also an old craft we did with 2-and-a-half-year-old E. She needed a lot of help at that time, but now, when we created it again she did everything all by herself.

She did the cutting of the cotton bud sticks, did the gluing and she even cut the big blue construction paper half perfectly straight (without a helping line).

Everything started with the huge skeleton puzzle we put together. We added white bottle tops as joints.


And then came the cotton bud skeletons. We left L. out of this project as she still likes to put tiny things in her mouth.

So here is how we made the dancing skeletons. Of course, we revised the different bones in our body. Make sure you notice the doble bones in the lower arm, and the lower leg. e. was very accurate to make it right as on the skeleton pyjamas they’re just single bones, which is WRONG.


And here are our skeletons. The dancing bones.


Shape witch reloaded

As I was going through the old Halloween blog posts I found the shape witch activity which was so much fun even when E. was only 2 and a half years old. I told her all about it and she got really excited. She wanted to make the shape witch again.

So be it. I though we could involve little L. as well since she’s almost 2 and she loves shapes.

With 2 kids craft projects are challenging indeed hence I prepared the activity by the time our new nanny, N. came to us for a session with E.


I pre-cut the shapes and presented them on a tray. I left some for E. to cut if she wished and she did, of course. She loves cutting.


Both kids enjoyed the witch building from shapes.

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L. was fascinated by the glue so after having finished with the witch we stayed a little longer to glue on some shapes randomly. We were practising both shapes and colours, not to mention how well this pushing motion helps to strengthen hand muscles.


And here are the final results:

Little L.’s creation
E.’s witch is on the left, N.’s witch is on the right


5 little pumpkins

We have tons of Halloween activities , decorations and tiny figures to play with but I wanted to make something new to the girls. As E. loves the rhyme/song 5 little pumpkins I decided to make something in connection with it.:


What you need:

  • 9 popsicle sticks
  • 5 felt pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns
  • glue
  • marker
  • self-adhesive Velcro (or small wooden clothes pegs – this would have been too difficult for little L. to handle so I went for the Velcro to fix the pumpkins on the popsicle sticks)


How to make it:

  1. I put 5 popsicle sticks next to each other vertically
  2. I glued 2 popsicle sticks on them horizontally
  3. I repeated step 2 on the other side then let it dry for an hour
  4. I put the Velcro on the back of the pumpkins and on the top of the 5 popsicle stick (it’s better to put the rough part of the Velcro on the sticks and the soft ones on the pumpkins)
  5. I drew Jack-o-lantern faces on the pumpkins
  6. (optional) I wrote the title of the poem on the gate
E.’s favourite doggie dressed as a pumpkin

The fun could begin. Both girls enjoyed playing with it. E. was chanting the rhyme. L. was taking the pumpkins off and putting them back on, plus she counted them from 1 to 5.




While L. was sitting on the potty and we were playing with the pumpkins on the gate L. was trying to say the poem with me 🙂 A few word she got right like: late,  care, fun, run, lights, pumpkin

E. replaced the pumpkins with some felt bats.


There’s more fun to come with the pumpkins on the gate… I’m sure.



Autumn tree with a dropper

Thanks to our Helen Doron teacher we have 2 really easy-to-use droppers we put in use as soon as we got them.

I took out some cotton pads, coloured some water with food colouring in little cups and the dropping could start.

To be honest, I tried the droppers with Little L. while E. was in kindergarten so the initial excitement fades a little away when E. starts working o the colouring project.

On a tray I put 2 pieces of kitchen roll in front of her, plus the autumn colours: brown, orange, yellow, red and green. (Mind you, not at once. She got 3 colours at a time and I changed one colour from time to time)

And she was mesmerised:



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We went to pick E. up from the kindergarten and when we arrived home this had been waiting for them:


E. got really excited and L. was also happy to see the droppers again.


E. noticed that all the colours are connected to autumn. She chose the colour combinations very accurately and used the dropper very gently.


Not like Little L.

She was pushing, stirring, squeezing the dropper. She had lots of fun too.


After having finished with 2 sets of cotton pads, we let them dry. Then on another day we took them out and painted a tree for them. E. stuck up all the “leaves”.



We still had some more painted cotton pads.

– But Mommy I don’t want to make another tree.

– Make a bush, then.

Her eyes started to glow with excitement. I got her a new sheet and she did make a bush.

During the making of the autumn tree and bush Little L. were playing with our new nanny. Yes, yes, we’ve got a new native nanny. But I’ll write about her in another post.