Sunday, October 15, 2006

Dress Up

Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature has an excellent post about Halloween and kids dressed up as Indians for Trick or Treating. In addition to her thoughtful comments this line leaped out at me:

If the book you select for a Halloween read-aloud in storytime has characters that dress up as Indians, turn that illustration into a teachable moment with your students.

In the elementary schools in this area Halloween is a forbidden word and a non-event. There are no read alouds of Halloween books in schools here. In past years, books featuring scarecrows, bats and spider have even been questioned by some parents because they might be inferring the H-word.

We can share books about fall and the changing color of the leaves and anything seasonal that can be linked to the curriculum.

A few years ago, the district had to issue an apology to parents who were horrified to discover that the dairy had printed a picture of a haunted house on the milk cartons that were served at lunch time.

Even so it seems that decorating the home for H-night is almost approaching the frenzy usually reserved for that other holiday that occurs on December 25. Witches, bats, skeletons, gravestones, monsters and ghosts (even inflatable Tiggers holding Jack-o-Lanterns) have popped up overnight in my neighborhood.

Target is offering their own version of a Naughty Librarian costume this year.

Kids arriving at my door will NOT be greeted in this fashion although they already know that in order to receive a treat they must declare the title of their favorite book and receive a book mark along with the mini-Snickers or M&Ms. One boy just shouts out the title of his book as soon as I answer the door, forgoing the ritual:
(door opens)
"AMAZING SHARKS--uh--Trick or Treat!"

There is a group of girls that come by every year for the Orlando Bloom bookmarks.


web said...

Sheesh, could anything be easier than doing your own Naughty Librarian? It's up there with "ghost" and "gypsy"!

Me, I wanna be Ms. Frizzle.

I love your trick or treat demands! I'm tempted to institute it here.

MotherReader said...

Man, your school is intense! And I thought ours was bad. I've usually gone in and read to my kids classes around Halloween and have read Halloween books, but I avoid books with witches. That's the bugaboo here. I also tend to avoid books that feature class or school parties, being as that is completely unknown topic. Then I leave out the ones with spooky monsters or mummies. Which leaves me generally with Hallow-wiener (which fortunately I like) and some other safe choice.

Oh, and when did this crazy Halloween decorating start? There are now aisles at Target devoted to it.

Anonymous said...

yLove the costume :) Oh, and "Amazing Sharks". It's a standout in those early reader, non fiction crowds.

Happy Halloween!

Camille said...

I confess I adore Halloween books so my library shelves were chock full of them and I made sure I bought new ones every year. I just never used them for read alouds. Of course they will ALL be CHECKED OUT this time of year.

Anonymous said...

I about died when I saw that Target constest advertised elswhere.
We are low key about Hallowe'en in our neck of the woods but thankfully is it not forbidden. I would miss reading The Hallo-weiner by Pilkey.
Love the favorite book and bookmark idea with candy for home.