Poetry Friday: Halloween books, “Flashlight Night,” and a Halloween haiku!

All images @ 2017 Astra Young Readers, all rights reserved

I never planned on it being a Halloween book…but whaddaya know??

When Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills & Kane, 2017) debuted on Sept. 19, 2017 (National Talk Like a Pirate Day, no less!), little did I know how popular a Halloween book it would become!

(And no, I’m NOT talking about Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s foray into children’s publishing earlier this year, which she unfortunately titled “Flashlight Night”…sigh.

For the last few years, children’s lit bloggers and reviewers have been sharing lists of their favorite Halloween books – and I’m both shocked and humbled to see my little book showing up beside works by such esteemed notables as Neil Gaiman, Dr. Seuss, Aaron Reynolds, my good friends Charles Ghigna and Patricia Toht, among others.

So, if you’re looking for some Halloween or autumn-themed books for your little ones, here are a few suggestions:

Thank you so much to all these individuals and groups for sharing their love of reading with the world…and for including Flashlight Night!

And since we’re only a little over a week away from Halloween, I thought I’d re-share this little poem I wrote several years ago:

Looking for more poetry? Then be sure to visit Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup for today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup!



I’m now a part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

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I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.


Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click any of the covers below to order!

rriving Nov. 30, 2021! Pre-order now!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)


Thank you to everyone for your support!




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27 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Halloween books, “Flashlight Night,” and a Halloween haiku!

  1. Janet F.

    Flashlight Night is a fabulous books and deserves to be on even more lists and read by all! Congratulations. Your story and then the art are both fantastic and kid-appealing. I have witnessed it with my own eyes (mainly pre-Covid days) sharing books when I visit classrooms. I love the intricacy of the art and the spooky feel of going on the walk….kind of scaring yourself which can be a lot of fun. Also that tree photo is great and your poem fits with it beautifully.
    Happy for you and well-deserved, Matt.


    1. Thank you so much, Janet – you know how much I appreciate your kind words and support! It’s funny how you can do a Google search of “flashlight night” and all these corn maze events from all over the country show up. There are flashlight nights everywhere!


  2. WOW congratulations on being part of such an esteemed list. That is awesome! I hope you take time to celebrate. I will check out Flashlight Night. I also love how you have the “signed copies” section of this post. That was really helpful for me to see in this moment. Perfect content for where my mind is at.

    Great work!


  3. Denise Krebs

    Matt, congratulations on being included on all those lists of Halloween books! What a joy to see your book making its way in the world after a few short years. Thanks for bringing it to our attention too. I love the two-page spread you share. The meter makes me want to read the whole book aloud.


  4. lindabaie

    YOUR Flashlight Night should be on that list, a favorite of the girls & now they have it so guess I’ll need to borrow so I can read it again! Congrats on making the list. I love Halloween books, am reading a few spooky Bradbury stories just for fun! And I love your moon poem, Matt. That hunter’s moon is throwing shadows around tonight for sure. Happy Haunting!


  5. Matt, congratulations on another accolade. Flashlight Night is a fabulous children’s book that my granddaughter has taken to bed with you several times. I guess she pretends that she is reading it in the dark. Of course, I am delighted she loves the book as much as I do. And to think that this book would become a Halloween favorite. Who Knew? I also love your Halloween image poem. It has all the makings of scary read aloud.


  6. The moon is so fascinating! I love the spooky feeling in your poem about moon shadows, and I’ve always been a fan of Flashlight Night. So glad it is on many lists so it gets widely shared. Wonderful!


  7. Awesome and evocative photo + poem. Perfect for this time of year. Thanks for the list of Halloween reads, and hooray for Flashlight Night continuing to delight audiences!


  8. Congrats on Flashlight Night being a suggested Halloween read and on all your accumulating poetry success. Your moon poem is delightfully spooky and the accompanying photo is perfect!


  9. Pingback: Poetry Friday: Looking forward to being together again with “School People” – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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