As we get closer to Halloween, my three-year-old is getting more and more excited. Not a day goes by when he doesn’t ask if we are going Trick-or-Treating tonight. Every night, I tell him how many days are left until the anticipated evening when he gets to dress up as Batman and collect candy.
I love holiday children’s books but have a challenging time finding Halloween books that aren’t filled with scary images. I was thrilled to find a few friendly Halloween books this year.
This week’s language lesson features the new to print book Trick or Treat by Leo Landry, which I had the opportunity to review from the publishing company.
Trick or Treat is an adorable Halloween tale that children ages 2 to 5 years will enjoy. The main character of the story is a friendly ghost, Oliver, who plans a Halloween Party. In the first few pages, the ghost prepares for the party by delivering the invitations. On his way home, one of them slips out of his bag and lands on the door step of two little boys.
Once Halloween night arrives, trick-or-treaters begin making their way around the neighborhood, while Oliver’s guests arrive. The guests of his party include the skeletons Skully and Jake (the Spooky Bones Band), smiling black cats, and witches (who don’t have green faces).
When two unexpected guests (the boys who mistakenly received the invitation) knock on the door exclaiming “Trick or Treat!”, none of the guests know what to do. They whisper among each other deciding if they should spook the boys until they run away. Oliver finally decides to invite them in and the trick-or-treaters have a blast at the party.
I loved the simplicity of this story. The pencil and watercolor illustrations are not scary. It’s refreshing to see pictures of ghosts with smiles on their faces and skeletons that I would want to hug. This is truly a great little story about Halloween fun and new friendship.
Language Lesson with Trick or Treat by Leo Landry
This book introduces children to a lot of new vocabulary and language concepts. Before we get into the language concepts, here’s what you can except from your child in terms of language development, during the preschool years.
Combining Words Stage (around ages 2-4) Around age two (sometimes later), a language explosion will occur and your child will learn new words daily. By age three, your child will use simple sentences. By age four your child can ask and answer a wide variety of questions.
Vocabulary Concepts in the book Trick or Treat
Don’t stress over reading all the words in a story, especially if your child is having a hard time focusing. Instead, target teaching your child five new words while you look through the book. Be careful not to just target nouns (people, places or things). Try varying the types of words you are teaching.
Nouns: sack, calendar, mailbox, broom, cauldron, witch, ghost, cave, invitation, guest
Adjectives: empty (the house), spooky, cool (the cave), happy, friendly, black (cat), dust
Verbs: float, dance, celebrate, knock, welcome
Interactive Reading Using the book Trick or Treat
* As children begin to put sentences together, they love to predict the lines in a book. In the book Trick or Treat, when the guests arrive Oliver greets them with a “Boo!”. Pause before the “boo” to allow your child to fill in the word.
* The book teaches about the sequencing of events around a party.
* Talk to your child about all the different food you might eat at a party.
* Ask your child what each member of your family might dress up as when attending a Halloween party.
* Older preschoolers can begin to look at a problem in a different way. Ask them what they might do if an unexpected guest came to their party.
* As you probably know, children love reading the same books over and over again. After reading a book a few times, children usually can predict the next word in a sentence. Pause at the end of a sentence to encourage your child to “read” the word.
* Avoid asking one word questions such as “What’s this?”. Instead use I statements, such as “I wonder how Oliver felt when the cow and jack-o’lantern came to his house.”
* Children become excited about learning new words when you make story time fun. Use different voices for various characters and ask your child to help you.
To celebrate this week’s theme of Trick or Treating I’m giving away a copy of the book Trick or Treat and a hand knit pumpkin hat (winner selects size).
The pumpkin hat is hand knit from merino yarn, which is the soft wool around. It’s the perfect hat for fall activities and can be worn well past Halloween. As soon as a winner is selected I will contact you to determine the size, and begin knitting the hat right away. Turn around time for this prize is approximately 1 week.