Commentary: Spark imagination with good Halloween book
This same type of pleasure can be encountered every day by immersing oneself in a good book. Engaging their imaginations, children visit other places, other times and can, briefly, become a different character when they are engrossed in a story.
Halloween is a time for black cats, costumes and pumpkins. It is also a great time to curl up with a Halloween-themed book. Whether your child is an infant, a toddler or a primary student, there are several titles that can be found that are not too scary and can be enjoyed before or after an exciting evening of trick-or-treating.
Clifford the Big Red Dog; Pete the Cat; Nate the Great; Arthur; Max and Ruby; Duck and Goose; Amelia Bedelia; the Berenstain Bears; Fancy Nancy and many other familiar characters offer Halloween-themed adventures for young ones.
A book such as “Monster Needs a Costume” by Paul Czajak might help your youngster work through the process of choosing a costume. Non-readers will engage in “Who’s There, Little Hoo?” by Brenda Ponnay or “My First Halloween” by Tomie dePaola.
Besides having a Halloween theme, some books also have other attributes that make them good for your younger learners.
A touch-and-feel book such as “Spooky” by Roger Priddy, or a lift-the-flap book such as “Where is Baby’s Pumpkin” by Karen Katz, might be just the thing. The “13 Nights of Halloween” by Guy Vasilovich will remind you of the “12 Days of Christmas” so your child can sing the text.
“Too Many Monsters: A Halloween Counting Book” by Robert Neubecker and “10 Trick-or-Treaters” by Janet Schulman provide an opportunity to apply skills they are learning. “How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?” by Margaret McNamara focuses on a simple science lesson in Mr. Tiffin’s class using skip counting and estimation.
Children in primary classes would enjoy the poetry in “Its Halloween” by Jack Prelutsky or “Halloween ABC” by Eve Merriam. “Celebrate Halloween with Pumpkins, Costumes, and Candy,” a nonfiction book appropriate for children in grades 1 to 4, is part of the “Holidays Around the World” by Deborah Heiligman. This book uses photographs as it details some of the history of the holiday and the background for certain traditions, as well as a look at food and games associated with Halloween.
Perhaps you want to immerse your child in a story, to help them escape to another time or place, but you want to stay away from Halloween-themed books.
You could choose a title from the Magic Tree House series, which has been well-loved for 20 years. In each book, siblings Jack and Annie are transported in fantasy adventures to various places and historical eras.
These books are soft, suspenseful fiction but provide enough details about the time and place that children learn something as they are entertained. Nonfiction books called “Fact Trackers” are available for 35 of the 55 titles in this series. These “Fact Trackers” supply more in-depth information about the subjects presented.
Books for Collier Kids will provide five books from this series to 1,800 grade 2 children in Title I schools across Collier County over the course of this school year. Additionally, classroom teachers will receive a copy of the appropriate “Fact Tracker.”
Just in time for this season, the book to be distributed in October is “The Knight at Dawn” and the book for November is “Mummies in the Morning.”
For more information on the importance of reading and Books for Collier Kids, go to www.BooksforCollierKids.org.
– Naples Daily News, October 19, 2016