Tuesday, October 1, 2019

John's Journal: 3 Halloween Books

Guest Post: John is a K-5 Media Specialist, history buff, author, and my oh-so-sweet husband. He'll post book reviews/finds here every so often.

When the calendar turned from September to October, the focus for kids like me was centered on the festivities that would take place four weeks ahead – Halloween! Costumes, candy, and decorations: the countdown was on!

Next to Christmas, the array of Halloween books are plentiful. There are some classic go-to titles and of course, Halloween wouldn't be the same without an annual viewing of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. With that in mind, why not visit an old ghoulish Halloween favorite and add two newer titles and the Halloween read-aloud season just might be better than getting a large size candy bar in the trick or treat bag!

Annie Was Warned by Jarrett Krosoczka – A terrific and fun read aloud. Annie is smart and brave and isn’t scared of anything – why? Because she was born on Halloween! She is told of a spooky old mansion across town and warned not to go there on Halloween by family members who “dare” her not to go (knowing that she certainly will). I won’t give the ending away, but it always gets a scream – then lots of laughs from younger students. The text is sparse, but effective, and the illustrations - rich contrasting colors (lots of purples, deep blues, and bright yellows and whites) and a fold-out page to conclude the story add to the fun.  A true Halloween book.  One of my "musts" each year.

Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown .  Although not an official Halloween book, it is one of my all-time favorite read alouds – a perfectly paced and wonderfully illustrated book details the plight of Jasper Rabbit who loved to eat the carrots from a local field so much – (for breakfast, lunch, dinner – and even a snack) that one day … the carrots started following him… - or is it in his imagination? This book is a great read aloud for all ages – and even adults who might truly appreciate Peter Brown’s artwork which is framed like an old TV screen and uses muted black and white tones along sharp traces of bright orange to reflect connections to noir 50’s sci-fi films and of course, the Twilight Zone.  Although a modern classic already, I'm still constantly surprised on how many kids and teachers still haven't read it!  Of course, the sequel, A Creepy Pair of Underwear, is just as fun and perfect for the holiday, too.

Who can resist a Creepy Underwear illustration?

Snack Attack by Terry Border: I’ve found calendar artist Terry Border’s books dealing with common childrens’ foods – Peanut Butter and Cupcake, Milk Goes to School,  very clever and fun to read. Students love the sculptures/artwork that do indeed look real enough to eat. My students ask for them constantly. When this new Halloween edition was released, I had to get a copy and am looking forward to making it a part of my Halloween lessons. I quickly found out that this one is very fun as well. With a nod to Creepy Carrots. we find that a “monster kid” loves to eat a great deal of after-school snacks – that is until the snacks decide to do something about it – well, it doesn’t go quite as expected. Students will really love both the play on words and the super-cool sculptures that are just spooky enough to be fun.  Not a "true"
Halloween book but one that fits in perfectly.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Let's chat!