Saturday, October 22, 2011

Two Great Read-Alouds for Halloween

Recently, I've had the pleasure to read aloud two wonderful books for various classrooms.  They are perfect for the season, one being great for younger readers and the other being appropriate for older grade levels.

Where's My Mummy is a popular book by Carolyn Crimi, and students who heard this book loved it.  A young mummy in search of his mother stumbles upon some creepy creatures and spooky scenes in this book.  He encounters a vampire and other dark characters in this fun tale.  Students had fun predicting what type of scary creature would be presented after hearing the clues.  The alliteration is fun to read, and Crimi does a great job with imagery and coming up with ways to describe sounds:  a mummy "tromped, tromped, tromped."  A skeleton's jumbled bones create a "clank clink clank/woo boo woo/ clank clink CLOO."  A slimey swamp monster sounds like "glug glug glip, glug glug glop, glug glug GLOO."  As you can see, the exciting language is fun to read and fun for students to hear.  It's quite enjoyable.

Lucy Dove by Janice Del Negro is a great book I read to a fifth-grade class.  I was impressed by the vivid, descriptive language of this adapted folktale.  The suspense heightens with each page of this story about a courageous seamstress challenged to spend time in a graveyard.  As if the task weren't daunting enough, this particular graveyard is occupied by a hideous creature who antagonizes the seamstress.  There is even a big chase scene at the end!  The entire class enjoyed this story, and it gave us a chance to talk about folktakes.  This one is very interesting because the hero is not only female, but one who is aged and gray-haired.  How's that for breaking with conformity!

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