I think I’m due for another Halloween booklist. This is such a great time of year for picture books, it’s definitely worth rounding up a few more since last year.

Zen Ghosts by Jon J. Muth (2010).

As far as I’m concerned, Stillwater the panda can do no wrong. Jon J. Moth’s Zen Shorts (2005) and Zen Ties (2008) are some of the most soothing, gentle, genius children’s books of the last five years. And now he’s written a Halloween story that sidesteps a lot of the gimmicks holiday stories fall into with a Stillwater ghost tale that is far more thoughtful than books for this age group tend to get.

After the trick or treating is finished, a mysterious storyteller arrives (is it Stillwater?) to tell Michael, Karl, and Addie a ghost story that we don’t realize is a ghost story until the last breath. And it succeeds in being beautiful and touching rather than scary, I think. A love story about a woman in 2 places at once. I think it’s every bit as strong a book as the first two Stillwater adventures, and I was surprised by how much the story of Senjo moved me. A standout, and not just in Halloween stories.

Read more on Halloween Books Vol. II…