A magical ride of ghoulish poetry, Los Gatos Black on Halloween (Henry Holt, 2006) will delight young linguists everywhere. Author Marisa Montes tells a tale of the scariest of Halloween’s creatures with easily-understood prose. But what makes the story especially fun is Montes’s clever weaving of Spanish vocabulary into the English story. Clear context clues allow readers to understand what the words mean, making the poem more than a story and much like a guessing game of words.  A multicultural phantasm fit for niños everywhere. Ages 4 to 8; $16.95.

This Halloween, author and Caldecott Award-winning illustrator Eric Rohmann offers a heartwarming story for anyone who has ever loved a pet. Rohmann presents a tale of friendship between doting owner Sam and his devoted pup Ella. A tad unnerving at times (this is not a book for anyone afraid of skeletons), Bone Dog (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, 2011) offers readers the solace of knowing that friends are forever any day of the year. Ages 4 to 8; $16.99.

Erin Bernard is a contributing writer to New Jersey Family. She lives in New Jersey.