October 17, 2023

The Halloween Stories Collection Vol. 2 from Scholastic Storybook Treasures

A few times a year, I eagerly await the arrival of a new Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVD collection.  We love their ability to transform our favorite books into animated shorts, and the new Halloween Stories Collection: Volume 2 is no exception.

This collection contains 3 DVDs, all appropriate for this spookiest of seasons, but not too scary for kids.  The three titles in this read-along DVD collection are:

The Day of the Dead...And More Halloween Tales, which also includes the animated stories The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything; Kitten's First Full Moon; and Fletcher and the Falling Leaves.   My eldest son has been very curious about The Day of the Dead after watching this animation, and it has led to some further exploration of the topic.  I like the colorful collage-like animations in the story.  And the The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything has also become a favorite; its pacing creates a nice anticipation of a spooky pumpkin man who follow the lady home.  I found that its ending was nicely tied up, and teaches children to turn fear into something positive.  This DVD is also available as a single title for $14.95 SRP.

Dem Bones...And More Sing-Along Stories includes Dem Bones along with these animated stories: Dinosaur Bones; Hush Little Baby; The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night; and The Erie Canal.  Dem Bones is on another Scholastic DVD we have, so it's a familiar favorite.  The catchy tune and explanation of the bones in the body is fascinating to children and adults alike.

Teeny-Tiny And The Witch-Woman...And More Spooky Stories also includes the animated stories The Boy with Two Shadows; Los Gatos Black on Halloween; What's Under My Bed? and King of the Cats.  We had never heard of any of these stories, but the title story, a Turkish tale is suspenseful and a little creepy in its quiet music, voices and slow pacing (oh, and its "fence of bones"!).  My son was glued to the TV though when watching it, it was so captivating.
The Boy with Two Shadows was a little quieter for my youngest, and reminded me of Margaret Mahy's other book, The Witch in the Cherry Tree (which is part of the original Halloween Stories Collection, another favorite of ours.

I personally like Los Gatos Black on Halloween, which weaves between English and Spanish to tell a rhyming tale of cats and jack-o-lanterns on Halloween.  The illustrations in the story are magical, along with the music, which is tinged with Spanish guitar.

The Halloween Stories Collection is one that I'm glad to have around this time of the year, especially that we don't have cable television and can't take advantage of the Halloween specials on this month.  As the parent of a child who is fascinated by Halloween and its accompanying costumes, tales and decorations, this DVD set is a welcome addition to our collection.  You can download this coloring page too, for your children to enjoy.
Disclosure: I received a sample copy of The Halloween Stories Collection.  All opinions are my own.

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