Friday, October 16, 2009

Halloween Reads

Today, I'm featuring new-release Halloween-themed books! Halloween is just around the corner, and these books would make great reads for a bedtime story or any story time!

Winters, Kay.
Whooo's That?
September 2009.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Source: Review copy provided courtesy of publisher

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

Guess whooo’s hiding behind the pumpkin in this interactive lift-the-flap book that’s part hide-and-seek, part peekaboo—and all Halloween! Ten jack-o’-lantern flaps lift to reveal a host of Halloween creatures, including a mischevious cat, bebopping skeletons, a friendly Frankenstein, and a group of children in costume. Are you ready to trick-or-treat, too? Then lift one more flap for a sweet surprise!

This book is perfect for you little ones (between the ages of 4-6) and for beginning readers, as the rhyming text and illustrations provide plenty of context clues for those using that particular reading strategy! The "lift-the-flap" concept easily allows listeners to become actively involved during story time. The book could also be used appropriately in a Kindergarten or 1st grade classroom if you couple the book with the worksheet that I created (which can be downloaded below)! It definitely has found a home on my "Halloween" bookshelf and hopefully will be enjoyed by your family as well!

Reading Activities/Lesson Plans:
Walker, Sally M.
Druscilla's Halloween.
August 2009.
Carolrhoda Books.
Source: Review copy provided by Lerner Publishing

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

Did witches always ride brooms? No! In fact, long, long ago, witches crept about on tiptoe. On Halloween, they would scare children and cast spells . . . but always from the ground. No witch ever thought of flying - no witch until Druscilla. Druscilla was an old witch with the loudest, creakiest knees anyone had ever heard. But she was determined not to let anything spoil her element of surprise. One Halloween, after many failed attempts at sneaking up on unsuspecting villagers, Druscilla made a discovery that changed the course of witch history.

This is a great read-aloud for older children (ages 6-10). I think children younger than this age would feel a bit lost at the story, but I could be wrong! It's definitely a book I'd use to get started with a writing piece - writing your own spell to do something special! I think third and fourth grade children would really get into writing and then illustrating a spell of their own. The spells provided give them lots of examples of spells to refer to in their own writing:
Swiftly silently gallop I say,
Carry me quickly to town today.

Swiftly, silently wheelbarrow roll,
Soon my spells will take their toll.

Eye of toad, tail of bat,
A fine, flat place to seat my cat.
Handle thin, handle long,
Perfect to hang my pumpkin on.
Blood of worms, wings of bees,
A quiet flight for noisy knees.
Up and down, around the room
Get up and fly, you beautiful broom.
If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to