Saturday, October 12, 2019

5 Favorite Halloween Read Alouds

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Favorite Halloween Read Alouds | Apples to Applique

I am a self-professed children's literature snob. There are few things I love more than a good children's book--one that is rich in text and story line, beautiful in illustration, and just begs to be read again and again. So, when I find a good read aloud that meets the quality and multiple-reads criteria, which is also loved by my children or my students, I have to add it to my collection!

Just as I love wonderful children's literature, there are few things that irk me more than a poorly written or illustrated book for kids. To be honest, most "insert popular children's character here" books fall into this category for me. They serve their purpose, and if they will get kids reading, then great! When I'm looking for good read alouds, however, you won't find me gravitating towards "Popular Children's Character's Halloween". I want books that can stand on their own merit, and not get by with a subpar story line just because it features a well-loved character.

Okay, now I'm going to step down off my soapbox and tell you about my five favorite read alouds for Halloween! These books have been tried and tested both with my own kids and my kids at school. Some are more popular, some are a little more obscure, but all are sure to be enjoyed by both you and your kiddos.

Here they are, in no particular order of favoritism.

1. Pumpkin Jack

This book has gorgeous illustrations, and tells an endearing story about a boy and his jack-o'-lantern. The story does a wonderful job of incorporating information about the life cycle of a pumpkin naturally into the story line without it feeling forced. You could easily extend this book into a science lesson about life cycles.

2. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

This book is so much fun to read aloud! With repetitive text that includes some onomatopoeia, kids can get in on the telling of this story! The little old lady comes across some various items in the woods that each make their own sounds, and I love to do certain actions with each of the sounds as they occur in the story. My students always ask to read this one again and again!
I also have a FREEBIE and a sequencing activity that can be paired with this book!

3. Bone Soup

This fun retelling of the classic story "Stone Soup" is a hit with kids, who delight in the gross things added to the soup. What's not to love about a soup made with creepy things like eyeballs? This book lends itself well to skills like retelling and sequencing. It also makes a perfect "first, next, then, last" writing prompt: "What would you put in your bone soup? How would you make it?"

4. Room on the Broom

This book is probably the most popular on this list, thanks to the movie version. I almost left it off the list since I'm sure most people have heard of it, but I just couldn't; it is popular for good reason. The rhyming text just rolls along as the witch meets several new friends who end up saving her from a dragon.

5. Big Pumpkin

This endearing book tells the story of a witch who needs help picking her giant pumpkin, and meets some new friends along the way. One unlikely source of help ends up having the problem-solving skills needed to make sure the pumpkin is made into pumpkin pie in time for Halloween. The rollicking text has just enough repetition to allow kids to be a part of the story telling. The moral of working together and everyone having an important role to play add in a nice social-emotional component.

What Halloween books would you add to this list? Drop me a comment and let me know!

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