Mandi’s Reads: Halloween for Little Monsters

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I was going to start this blog with something banal (Sidenote: Did you know there are people out there who pronounce “banal” so it rhymes with “anal” and they have no idea how ridiculous they sound?) like “I love fall!” But everyone loves fall. And if you don’t love fall, just go ahead and click that little X in the upper right-hand corner of your screen, because I’m afraid that you and I can never be soul mates. I apologize. I thought we were meant to be, but I have thought a great many things in my years on this planet, and I have been wrong about most of them.

So we all can agree that fall is the best blah blah blah it’s magical uh huh uh huh uh huh we are all wishing we were at Hogwarts this year yada yada yada maybe Hogwarts is a grad school because I haven’t received my acceptance letter yet. Autumn is the happiest time of year leading up to the best holiday: Halloween. This year I am dressing up as Kenny Rogers for Halloween, and my dear friend is going as Dolly Parton. I am flying to see her because if I don’t have a Dolly next to me, everyone is going to think I’m Michael McDonald, and if that happens, I will have to burn Halloween to the ground. I hit the Halloween spirit extra early this year. I started planning my costume over Labor Day weekend, and on October 1 I did a Halloween story time for 125 kindergarteners. That’s right: 125 kindergarteners. I know, I know—I am incredibly brave. Take a moment to think of me with awe.

The kindergarteners were great, of course. They laughed during the funny books and made ghost noises during the scary books. At one point, they were laughing uproariously, and I thought I was being extra funny, but it just turned out five boys in the back were making farting noises. When I gave those boys a look (even though I always appreciate a good fart noise, this was not the occasion), one quickly told me that I looked pretty, so all was redeemed. I also had this exchange:

Me: What’s something spooky you like to do for Halloween?

Kindergartener 1: Sneak up behind someone and…

Kindergartener 2: KILL THEM!!!

I was definitely creeped out after that, so I appreciate that five-year-old girl giving me my Halloween frights early. If you need to entertain some little monsters in your life, here is a Halloween story time that will be fun and spooky for you and them.

Go Away, Big Green MonsterI mentioned in my last kiddo blog that Go Away Big Green Monster is a great kids read. I read it at the beginning of Halloween story time, and all the kids laughed at every page, and shouted at me to read it again right away. I felt like a BAMF when I was able to pull out the sequel and say, “Who wants to read about a little green Nighty Night Little Green Monstermonster instead?” So, we read Nighty Night Little Green Monster and this time they said “Awww, how cute!” at every page. This book is similar in plot to Big Green Monster, but instead of shooing away a scary monster, you’re tucking in an adorable “owl-faced” (kindergartener description) little monster.

After finishing the baby monster book, I told them that they all had to take naps, which was met with shocked looks, and then I started laughing because I am nothing if not cruel, and teasing kindergarteners is the best. Alas, instead of napping, we all read another In the Dark Dark Woodbook. This was In the Dark, Dark Woods. We pretended we were sitting around a campfire in the middle of some spooky woods next to a haunted house. You could hear a pin drop in that library. This story is deceptively simple: “In the dark, dark woods there was…*turn page* a dark, dark house. In the dark, dark house there was *turn page* a dark, dark room” and so on. There is a ghostly surprise on the last page, and if you want to scare the poop out of those kindergarteners, read the book in the creepiest voice you can, and shout on the last page. Parents will thank you for doing what prune juice cannot.

One WitchThe next book we read was One Witch by Laura Leuck. I made the decision to read it in my most Vincent Price of voices, but you can use whatever voice you like. This is a counting and rhyming book, so it builds a lot of early literacy skills while being a whole lotta fun. A witch is looking for icky ooky sloppy gloppy ingredients to fill her cauldron. She visits different friends: vampires, skeletons, and cats. They give her ingredients like blood juice, finger bones and rattlesnakes. The kids loved how gross this book was. Some of the braver ones said that they wanted to drink the witch’s brew, but most agreed that it sounded disgusting.

I did read one final book, but it wasn’t that good and the kids weren’t too into it, so I can’t recommend it in good conscience. Oh, and as always, these books…

Read Well With: If You’re a Monster and You Know It and those Halloween sprinkled sugar cookies grocery stores sell

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