A bag of tricks and treats aims to amplify Halloween high jinks. Kevin Henkes brings his on-target toddler sensibility to the board book original Julius's Candy Corn, featuring the mouse character familiar to fans of Julius, the Baby of the World and Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. Awaiting the start of a Halloween party, Julius admires the cupcakes his mother made, each topped by a candy corn. Of course Julius can't eat the cupcakes before the party, but he can "count" the candy corns and, for some reason, as he counts "another candy corn" and another, they all disappear. (HarperFestival, $6.99 24p ages 2-up ISBN 0-06-053789-2; Aug.)

Some creepy fun arrives in Five Little Monsters by Jessica Nickelson, illus. by Matt Novak, an undersize board book featuring glow-in-the-dark googly eyes (which shift when the pages turn) on each spread. Five ghouls prepare to have some late-night laughs, until the wind blows out the lights and they all flee. (S&S/Little Simon, $5.99 12p ages 1-4 ISBN 0-689-85829-9; Sept.)

Five Ugly Monsters by Tedd Arnold counts down in a board-book variation of the classic rhyme that traditionally features monkeys: "Five ugly monsters/ jumping on the bed./ One fell off and/ bumped its head./ Called for the doctor and the doctor said,/ "No more monsters/ jumping on the bed!" The goofy, bug-eyed ghouls are more silly than scary and the doctor here is a sleep-deprived father, so his son must banish the monsters himself. (Scholastic/Cartwheel, $6.99 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-439-52465-2; Sept.)

Two more board books, Bus to Booville and You Can't Scare Me!, both by Wendy Wax, photos by Jon Holderer, tell their tales in rhyming texts and stagy photos. In the first, a yellow school bus with a license plate that reads "Eek!" collects children dressed as skeletons, ghosts and witches, terrifying the driver until they reassure him they're heading to a Halloween party. In the second title, Sophie stays calm as various costumed kids try to frighten her while she's putting on a witch disguise—until she looks in the mirror and scares herself. (Grosset & Dunlap, $4.99 each 12p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-448-43189-0; -43190-4; Aug.)

And new to board book format is Lauren Thompson's Mouse's First Halloween, illus. by Buket Erdogan. To the refrain of "Eeek!"/ Mouse squeaked," Mouse finds reasonable explanations for the scary sounds he hears. (S&S/Little Simon, $7.99 34p ages 2-6 ISBN 0-689-85584-2; Sept.)

Familiar faces grace other Halloween books, too, as in Hello Kitty, Hello Halloween! by Thea Feldman, illus. by Amanda Mouseler. In this jacketed hardcover, Hello Kitty needs a costume, and her friends all offer their ideas. A punch-out Hello Kitty paper doll and costumes let children help her try them out. (Abrams, $12.95 24p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-8109-4594-0; Oct.)

Denys Cazet's moovelous bovine duo make hay on Halloween in the I Can Read book Minnie and Moo: The Night of the Living Bed. The fun begins when Minnie dreams that a giant mouse has eaten the last bit of chocolate left in the world, and continues as she, Moo and their barnyard friends master the ins and outs of trick-or-treating. (HarperCollins, $15.99 48p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-06-000503-3; Aug.)

Sam the puppy learns about the holiday in the Kids Can Read installment Sam's First Halloween by Mary Labatt, illus. by Marisol Sarrazin. Here the shaggy dog figures out a costume for herself and earns a piece of candy. (Kids Can, $14.95 32p ages 5-6 ISBN 1-55337-355-3; $3.95 paper -356-1; Oct.)

Previously met in Jeoffry's Christmas, the eponymous farm cat returns in Jeoffry's Halloween, by Mary Bryant Bailey, illus. by Elizabeth Sayles. Formal verse follows the feline as he pads through a pumpkin patch with his hound friend ("Ghostly winds beat in the mist/ and surround us with a hiss"), then helps a goblin and a witch—children in disguise—find their way through the hazy rose-tinted woods of dreamlike pastels. (FSG, $16 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-374-33677-6; Sept.)

David A. Carter adds to his popular paper-over-board pop-up series with Halloween Bugs: A Trick-or-Treat Pop-up. Readers lift flaps to trick-or-treat at a series of doors, from dusty and rusty to magical, all of which conceal inventively engineered "insects." The finale features a pop-up graveyard with headstones bidding farewell to the likes of "Mosquito Joe who tried to nibble my big toe." (S&S/Little Simon, $10.95 14p ages 3-7 ISBN 0-689-85916-3; Sept.)

A bowl full of fright is stirred up in the paper-engineered Food Fright: A Mouthwatering Novelty Book by Karen Rostoker-Grubwer, illus. by Sheila Aldridge. Rhyming text tells of 10 hungry monsters cooking up a meal, beginning with "One cyclops stirs the eyeball stew. Two bats simmer slime fondue." Interactive embellishments include googly eyes, spin wheels, pull tabs and flaps to lift. (PSS!, $11.99 12p ages 3-5 ISBN 0-8431-0456-2; Aug.)

Based on a Disney theme park attraction (and tying in to a fall 2003 feature film), the interactive package Disney's Build Your Own Haunted Mansion by Jasmine Jones, illus. by Phil Wilson, allows children to put together a spooky house. A plastic wrench, nuts and bolts are included for assembly of the cardboard walls, which punch-out characters can then populate. Disney, $17.99 14p all ages ISBN 0-7868-3473-0; Oct.)

Gatefolds and flaps conceal goblins and ghouls in Who Said Boo? by Anne Miranda and Ross Collins, about a plucky girl's attempt to find the titular boo-sayer. (Hyperion, $12.99 24p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-7868-0811-X; Aug.)

Die-cut half-page flaps let readers help Leroy the dog unmask various trick-or-treaters in Boo!: A Halloween Peek-a-Boo Book by Lark Carrier. On this spooky night, Leroy finds a ghost, a witch and a skeleton, among others. Ho! Ho! Ho! A Christmas Peek-a-Boo Book, also by Carrier, shares the same format and protagonist. (Scholastic/ Cartwheel, $5.95 each 28p ages 3-5 ISBN 0-439-38222-X; Sept.; -38224-6; Oct.)

Die-cuts jazz up the covers of two board books and give them unique shapes as well, as in the house-shaped The House that Jack Haunted! by Pamela Conn Beall and Susan Hagen Nipp, illus. by Charles Reasoner, which presents a Halloween spin on the poem "The House that Jack Built." Three pairs of eyes peer out of die-cut holes on the cover of Who's There on Halloween?, by the same team; within, rhyming riddles feature smiling skeletons, bats and witches. (PSS!, $4.99 each 18p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-8431-0276-4; -0510-0; Aug.)

An insert with more than 30 prismatic stickers gussies up It Must Be Halloween by Dandi Daley Mackall, illus. by Barry Gott, in which it's not just children dressing as monsters but monsters dressing as children. (S&S/Little Simon, $4.99 paper 16p ages 3-7 ISBN 0-689-85024-7; Sept.)

Twenty sparkly pom-pom stickers allow readers to help the characters compete in The Great Halloween Costume Contest by Lauren Turnowski, illus. by Mindy M. Pierce. (Grosset & Dunlap, $4.99 paper 24p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-448-43115-7; Aug.)

Mickey, Pooh, the Toy Story gang and other stars appear in Disney's Scary Storybook Collection . The 15 entries are a mix of adapted and new tales. (Disney, $15.99 320p ages 5-10 ISBN 0-7868-3379-3; Aug.)

Creative kids can treat themselves with Homemade Halloween: Creative Crafts for Ghosts and Ghouls. The stylish-looking paperback includes recipes for festive food such as cobweb cupcakes, as well as directions for making decorations ("stained-glass spooks," a bat mobile, etc.). Packaged inside the front cover are Halloween stencils, stickers and colored paper. (Chronicle, $9.95 32p ages 5-up ISBN 0-8118-4016-6; Oct.)