Friday, 24 October 2014

Looking for something fresh for Halloween? Two newly published picture books with freebie and resource links

Are you sick of the "We've read that before" line every year when there is a celebration?  

Two newly published picture books will help you to put a new spin on Halloween in the classroom this year - both published just recently in 2014.  One is "Monster Chef" by Nick Bland and the other is "Little Boo" by Stephen Wunderli.
They are both terrific for a not-so-scary Halloween theme, or for teachers who have students who do not celebrate Halloween, as they are along the same theme, but "Little Boo" especially is great for this as it is about a little pumpkin seed that is not scary, until he grows into a pumpkin and becomes a jack-o'-lantern.  The name Jack-o'-lantern comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack and Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, with the carving of pumpkins being a regular part of Halloween festivities.

Both of these newly published picture books are fabulous and very cute, with two different characters who are anxious because they are not scary.

I have blogged about Monster Chef before and you can read those blog posts here and here and pick up resource links along the way.

Little Boo is my latest find and I just love it. You could integrate it with a study of the life cycle of pumpkin in science.  What's exciting is that McMillan has provided a free downloadable activity kit for Little Boo that includes a maze and pumpkin carving templates.  Download that freebie here or view a walk-through of the book and review here.  Another review is available here.  This book is so cute! Depending on what you intend to do with it, it could be used in grades 2 to 5.

I have made resources to support both Monster Chef and Little Boo that you will find in my TPT store, but my exciting news is that although I had already discounted them for Halloween (and only made both of them in the past week, so they will be a fresh approach for you), I have discounted them even further as I have put the two together as a bundle, for serious savings :)  You can find out more here.

Bundled, the two resources consist of 57 pages!  All resources involve higher order thinking and are not "busy work" - however they are just print and go, and include graphic organisers/organizers, QR code comprehension questions, a rhyming word matching game, vocabulary work, connections and character traits. 

They also support my very favourite 4H reading strategy that I have blogged about before many times (please check the archives if you are interested in learning more about this).  The 4H reading strategy is an innovation on Question-Answer-Relationships (QAR) but so much easier for the kids to understand.  

Read more about what is in each of the individual resources (i.e. Monster Chef and Little Boo) via my TPT store here or here.

Another resource that has been hugely popular this year for a not-so-scary Halloween focus is "Creepy Carrots". You can read my blog post about that here (with a freebie) or read about my resource to support this picture book here.  

So, to avoid the "same old, same old" or "we've done this before" dread of every teacher, check out these new picture books and check out my blog posts about them (links above) where I share heaps of links to save you time in your Halloween preparation for school this year :)

Thanks for your support everyone!


  1. Kylie,
    Great these books!


  2. I love these titles too Anne and it's great to have something fresh that you know the kids haven't seen before :) I also love them as they aren't too scary and have potential for integration across the curriculum (I forgot to say that in my blog)...for example, Monster Chef can lead into procedures (recipes) and Little Boo can lead into a study of pumpkin life cycles. Thanks so much for leaving a comment :) I love your work too and I am checking out your store right now :) Kylie