Tag Archives: gothic

1000 Books Before Kindergarten: My Goth Remix

7 Apr

Recently I attended a convention, and attended a panel about Goth parents.  The thing it made me realize is that though parents may not all look the same on the outside or have exactly the same parenting style, one thing we all have in common is wanting the best for our children and hoping they have happy and fulfilling lives.  To me one of the ways we can set them on that journey is by encouraging a love of learning and reading. I had written previously about the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Campaign with some of my son’s top picks.  Now here are 10 of our Gothy Picture Book Favorites featuring baby bats, cute vampires, a ghost boy, a skeleton girl and spooky adventures for you to share which are available at BCCLS libraries.  Stop by the Children’s Desk to learn more about the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Campaign and how you can take part.

1.  The Sleepless Little Vampire, by Richard Egielski


I picked up this book on a babymoon trip to Sleepy Hollow when I was pregnant with my son.  Poor vampire thinks he can’t sleep at night because of a variety of other spooky creatures.

2. Jampires, by Sarah McIntyre and David O’Connell

When the jam goes missing from Sam’s donuts he learns that some vampires have a taste for fruity fillings. The Jampires take Sam on a magical adventure to their homeland. This book is a silly sweet treat.

3. Dracula: A Counting Primer, by Jennifer Adams (Author), Alison Oliver (Illustrator)

This simple board book is a fun way to introduce your little one to the ultimate gothic novel and counting. My son also enjoyed Alice in Wonderland, another in the BabyLit series by Adams and Oliver which provides an introduction to colors.

4. Stellaluna, by Janell Cannon


Perhaps the best known of our picks, Stellaluna, titled after a fruit bat fostered by a family of birds, is a story of differences and acceptance that will resonate with children and their parents. You can also borrow the animated movie adaptation on DVD.

5. Nightsong, by Ari Berk (Author), Loren Long (Illustrator)

Chiro (named for the Latin name for bats) learns to be self-sufficient and explore the world on his own in this charming and beautifully illustrated picture book. A nice tale for a child who may be nervous about the first day of school or other new experiences.

6. Bats at the Library, by Brian Lies


My son loves coming to visit the library with me. Of course if kids enjoy libraries, how can the bats resist?  This beautifully illustrated picture book recounts an evening when the bats sneak in to explore the library.  If your child enjoys this book, Lies also has written further adventure about the bats at the beach, ballgame, and in the band.  Spanish speakers can borrow a Spanish language translation by Carlos Mayor of Bats at the Library here at the Hoboken Public Library.

7. Frangoline and the Midnight Dream, by Clemency Pearce (Author), Rebecca Elliott (Illustrator)

This first book by Clemency Pearce features a little girl who is well behaved by day but goes on a naughty spooky adventure at night.

8. Skelly the Skeleton Girl, by Jimmy Pickering

Fans of Tim Burton should enjoy Skelly the Skeleton Girl, a whimsical take on the creatures that go bump in the night, which features a helpful little skeleton girl looking for the owner of a lost bone.  If your child enjoys this book they may also want to check out Pickering’s second Skelly book, Skelly and Femur.

9. Leo: A Ghost Story, by Mac Barnett (Author), Christian Robinson (Illustrator)

Leo is a ghost looking for a place to belong after the new family who moves in to his house mistakes his acts of kindness for a haunting. A gentle story of friendship.

10. The Wolves in the Walls, by Neil Gaiman (Author), Dave McKean (Illustrator)

Of course I couldn’t resist including a book by my favorite author Neil Gaiman on this list. I have a signed copy my best friend got for me which has a little wolf doodle from Gaiman.  The Wolves in the Walls was inspired by his daughter’s nightmare about wolves living in the walls.  It shows that sometimes our worst fears don’t mean that everything has to be all over. This story will be enjoyable for fans of Coraline, but this picture book is a bit more suspenseful than the others I have mentioned so I have another year or two before I plan to share it with my son; reading to your kids shouldn’t stop at Kindergarten!

Remember even when children start reading on their own, reading to them is a great way to reinforce a love of the written word and to provide wonderful bonding experience with the child/ren in your care.

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

My Musical Journey: What I’m Streaming From Around the World

24 Feb

In January the library added streaming to our offerings from Freegal for our Hoboken resident card holders.  Now not only can you download five songs per week from Freegal, you can also stream 3 hours of music per day.  This includes lots of popular music like Adele’s latest album 25.  Recently I’ve been enjoying the retro charms of Elle King’s “Ex’s and Oh’s” and remembering David Bowie with songs like “The Man Who Sold the World” and songs from his last album Blackstar. Below is a short world tour of a few additional bands/singers I’ve added to my streaming playlist that you may not have encountered before.



Image credit: Freegal

BabyMetal is a quirky Japanese group which falls under the kawaii metal category.  They fuse jpop (Japanese pop music) with death metal.  Three teenage girls provide fun pop tunes merged with growling backing vocals and heavy metal guitar riffs.  It might seem like it shouldn’t work, but it does and their catchy tunes will get stuck in your head.  Stream “HeadBangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!”, “Gimme Chocolate!!”, and “Doki Doki Morning”.  They will be touring the US in May including a date across the river in NYC.



I’ve been a fan of Finland’s Tarja Turunen since she was the lead singer in Nightwish.  Her recent solo work allows her powerful voice to soar. Sample “Feel Immortal” and “Falling Awake”.  Plus you can checkout Nightwish’s symphonic metal “Wishmaster” and “Nemo”.



Ayria‘s from our Northern neighbor, Canada.  Their industrial dance music will have you wanting to get up and move.  I’m streaming “Post Apocalyptic Girl”, “It’s Been Fun”, and my favorite “Horrible Dream”.



The Italian band Ataraxia has been one of my favorites for a while with their merging of modern tech with early acoustic instruments.  Wailing vocals sung in multiple languages add to their distinctive sound.  Sample “Scarlet Leaves”, “Li Frere Li Mestre Du Temple”, and “Quintaluna”.

Emilie Autumn


America’s own Emilie Autumn has a huge cult fan base.  Her persona merges Lady Gaga with Courtney Love.  I find myself listening to “Swallow”, “Marry Me”, “Misery Loves Company”, and other tracks from her album Opheliac again and again.

Die Laughing


Die Laughing is a melodic Goth band from the UK.  Their songs “Safe Little World” and “Firedance” make me nostalgic for the goth club nights of my early twenties.

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

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