Tag Archives: Halloween

Scaredy-Cat, Splat by Rob Scotton and Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas

Schema: Pumpkins, Halloween

Text-to-Self connections: pumpkin is in our schema

Point of View: In Pumpkin Trouble, Duck, Mouse, and Pig view the Pumpkin Monster from their own points of view never realizing that they are talking about the same “monster” who is duck with a pumpkin stuck on his head.

Text-to-Text Connections: both books feature pumpkins and animals who get their head stuck inside their Jack-o-lanterns.

Substitute Creacher by Chris Gail

Schema: Halloween, monsters

Text-to-Text Connections: Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard

Mental Images: This is a wonderful text to use to practice making a mental image.  The students can imagine the description of each student, then the teacher/librarian can show them the illustration in the book. The substitute “creacher” tells his students about the students he has met during his years of substituting. The story is told in rhyme and is accompanied by large colorful illustrations.

Peepers by Eve Bunting and illustrated by James Ransome

Schema: fall colors

Author’s POV: third person

Text-to-Self connections: brothers, helping parents with work

Metaphor and similes: bus crawling as slowly as a caterpillar, leaves  compared to boats, bus sleeping through the winter like a bear after tourist season is over, tree limbs like brooms sweeping the clouds away

Cause and Effect: Because the seasons change, the effect is that the tourist season ends.

Drawing Conclusions: Can you draw the conclusion that the boys have changed the way they view the “peepers” at the end of the season as they view the sky? Yes, they are embarrassed that they are in awe of the stars and the sky the way the tourist are in awe of the beautiful fall colors.

Math: The boys are standing by the water and the illustration is showing their reflection in the water.


The Hungry Ghost of Rue Orleans by Mary Quattlebaum

Schema: Ghosts, New Orleans, beignets

 The story is set in New Orleans and is about a family who opens a restaurant that is haunted.  Fred, the ghost is a little timid and all of his attempts to scare people off only make the place more interesting to them.  The main character, Marie, a child of the new owner, figures out a way to make him stay and be happy. They make a messy room for him where he feels at home, and they make a dessert, Powdered Ghosts Puffs, in his honor. The illustrations support the text and will be enjoyed by children especially on Halloween.

Cause and Effect: Because Fred couldn’t have a messy place to stay, the effect was that he was planning to leave.

Because Fred made the food fly around, the effect was that the people in the restaurant liked the atmosphere even more.

Drawing Conclusions: How did Marie draw the conclusion that Fred would stay if they made him his own space?


The Amazing Bone by William Steig

Schema: foxes, sheep, not following directions, forgetting where you leave books

Text-to-Text Connections: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig has similar illustrations of the animals.  The Teeny Tiny Woman also has a talking bone in the story.

Personification: The bone takes on human characteristics and feelings.

Compare and Contrast with Chris Van Allsburg’s The Widow’s Broom.  How are the bone and the broom alike?

How did the bone help Pearl and her family?

How did the broom help the widow?

Characterization: List the fox’s characteristics.  Hungry when he describes Pearl, cruel when he talks about eating the bone,

Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott

Schema: getting a haircut, monsters, Halloween images

Text-to-Self  Connections: getting haircut, fall illustrations

Sequencing: order the events in this circle story of:

leaving home

getting to shop

changing the pictures on the wall

cutting the different monster’s hair

cleaning up

going back home

Point of View:  The fly pages show the humans and their POV toward hair care at the beginning, and at the end, the illustrations feature the monsters POV.

Ghost Eye Tree by Bill Martin, Jr. and Night in the Barn by Faye Gibbons

Schema: full moon, walking outside at night

Text-to-Self Connection: mind runs free, letting our imaginations run wild

Text-to-Text Connection: Both books are about kids who are outside at night with a full moon.

Compare and Contrast:

Similarities:  In both books the kids are out after dark, and in both, they are a little afraid of the dark, the full moon, and the night sounds.   Both books feature the oooo sound of an owl or the wind.  Both books refer to the  moon as an eye.

Differences: Ghost Eye is about a boy and his big sister.  Night in the Barn is about brothers and a cousin, all  boys and a dog.  In Ghost Eye the mother sends the kids on the errand.  In Night in the Barn, the boys think up the challenge themselves.

Author’s purpose: to create a connection with a scared feeling when in the dark at night and showing how the imagination can run away with itself.

Mental Images: The image of the “mind running free” in Ghost Eye, imagining scary things in Night in the Barn when the dog comes in at the end,  imagining the bare tree, the full moon, the owl’s eyes, the cat’s eyes

Inference: What makes you infer that the big sister loves her little brother more than she lets on  in The Ghost-Eye Tree?

Sequencing: Both stories can be sequenced with the events leading up to feeling safe again at the end.

Heckedy Peg by Audrey Wood

Schema: stranger danger

Sequencing: Days of the week are the names of the children. Sequence four events that move the story forward.

Cause and Effect: Because the children let a stranger in, they were turned into food.

Drawing Conclusions: The mother asks each child what they would like from the store.  When a witch turns the children into food, the mother must draw a conclusion as to which child is which food in order to get her children back.

Classifying: Make a classification chart placing each child in a separate section or column. Write what they wanted from the store under their name. Add underneath each child what each child was turned into by the witch.  Ask students if they can conclude how the mother knew which food was which child by looking at this information.  The clue is that each child wanted an item that went with serving the food they were turned into.

Text-to-text connection: The Three Billy Goats Gruff has a troll that is thrown into the river and never heard from again.

Text-to-Self Connection: Parents tell children to not let a stranger in and to not “touch” fire when they are home alone.

Frankie Stein by Lola M. Schaefer

frankieSchema: Frankenstein, Halloween, having a new baby in the family

Point of View: The story is told from a monster family’s point of view.  From the parents’ point of view, Frankie is the scariest of all of the family.

Voice: The voice of the book is that of  the monster parents until the end.  Then we can hear the voice of Frankie when he decides to accept himself for what he is.

Compare and contrast: Compare what monsters think is good with what people think is good.  Frankie’s appearance is frightening to them and they try their best to change it.  Frankie’s hugging and kissing them could be compared to them jumping out and saying “gotcha!”  Compare the Stein family’s  home decor and toys to what regular people like.

Compare a real family tree (Tree Map) with the family tree that Frankie’s parents show him.

Inference: We can infer that it was a bad beginning when Frankie was born on a sunny day.

Characterization: Frankie was not scary, had golden hair, white teeth, clear skin, and he bounces when he walks like a zombie.  His groan is squeaky.

Synonyms: What is another word that means the same thing as: resemblance, inspiration, and indeed?

Predicting:  What do you predict Frankie’s own kind of scary will be?

Text-to-text connections: Franny K. Stein series, Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich

Goodnight Goon: a Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex

Schema: text-to-text connections with Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Parody: copying  someone’s style in a humorous way, making a spoof of something

Goodnight Goon is a parody of Goodnight Moon.

Compare and Contrast:

Similarities: same story pattern, same room design, same color of P.J.’s, both have snacks in their rooms, both have rocking chairs, both have red headboards, both have fireplaces, both tell everything goodnight, both rhyme.

Differences: In Moon the voice is peaceful and quiet,  the objects are plain, normal sorts of things like the furniture, fireplace, the mother is knitting, the main character is a little sweet bunny

in Goon the voice is loud with lots of action, the headboard has a devil on it, the mother figure is sticking pins in a voo-doo doll, the fireplace has bars on it to house a monster octopus, the main character is a werewolf

Text-to-Text Connections: Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld

Each construction rig does its work and then says “goodnight,” making a strong connection to Goodnight Moon by Brown.