Monday, October 29, 2012

Storytime - Halloween

Last Saturday was the last market of the season for Fenton Street Market (aside from the special holiday markets). We wanted it to be extra special, so Megan and I brainstormed and came up with the idea to have trick or treating at the market along with a Halloween story time. We had a beautiful day that was, quite literally, the calm before the storm (the storm being Hurricane Sandy). With this Halloween being up in the air, quite a few kids took advantage of the 75+ vendors at the market with treats. It seemed like most of the vendors got a kick out of it.

I really love Halloween and monsters, so this story time was a fun one for me. My son loves all the books I read and we've been reading them at bedtime in preparation for Halloween. The other kids got a kick out of the gross, spooky and silly books, too.  

The first book I read was Halloween Night by Marjorie Dennis Murray.  This one is about a house full of monsters preparing for a Halloween party, but the "guests" of the party are too terrified to stay. Lots of gross and creepy things in here, with beautiful illustrations. The kids thought this book was very funny.  
Next up was In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting. This one is about a girl and her dad who visit a haunted house...but only one of them enjoys being scared. This is a quick read, with lots of spooky illustrations.  
Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler and S.D. Schindle was the next book I read. This one is my favorite of the group - the illustrations are hysterical! The book is about a skeleton who tries conventional means to get rid of his hiccups (drinking upside down, eating a spoonful of sugar), none of which are successful because, well, he's a skeleton after all. The kids loved this.
The last book I read was Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting. This one is a little stranger than the others (although all the "monsters" prove to be kids in costume at the end). One of the costumes is a devil, which all the kids asked about and I had no interest in attempting to explain (I just said a devil is a monster).
My friend Kim took a bunch of pictures during the story time, which was great! 
Here's my boy getting ready to hear the stories...

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For a craft, we made reflective Halloween necklaces. These were a bit more complex than I expected, since they require a great deal of gluing rather small pieces. All the kids made them, some with more success than others.
After story time, we went trick or treating and came home with tons of yummy treats! Fingers crossed the Hurricane Sandy doesn't cancel Halloween for us this year!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Storytime - Owls

The theme of storytime this week at Novel Places Bookstore was owls. There are TONS of kid's books about owls, so it was easy to find some fun ones to read at storytime. My 4 year old informed me a week or so ago that owls are "creepy because they're always going off with witches" so I made sure to read books about non-creepy owls. 

I started off by asking the kids what they could tell me about owls. They said "they live in trees", "they say whooooo", "they sleep in the daytime" and "they eat snakes." Nothing about witches, thankfully!
The first book I read was Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan. The illustrations in this book are ridiculously cute! The book is about the various things a young owl sees on his nighttime adventures - lots of other cute animals are featured in the book. The kids really liked this one, and pointing out things in the illustrations (like a bear sleeping with a fish in his paw). 
The next book I read is a favorite in our house, Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood.  This book is about a little owl who stays awake during the daytime one day and sees lots of beautiful new colors that he normally misses at night. Great for teaching colors and just in general, its a good book about seeing the beauty in things we take for granted.
Next up was Owl Babies by Martin Waddell. All the kids already knew this one - its pretty popular. The book is about baby owls who wake to find their mother "missing" but soon find she just went to get them some yummy snacks.  I think this one is especially popular with working moms, since it reinforces the idea that mom always comes back. The illustrations are adorable.
At this point, we took a break and made our craft, owl masks from Oriental Trading Company. This was a good craft - it was easy enough that all the kids could do it themselves and the masks were fun to wear.
The last book I read was Owls by Gail Gibbon. This book has tons of factual information about owls, but, having read it to my son several times before, I knew I would need to skip some sections and paraphrase others. By far, the favorite parts of the book were those detailing owls eating habits (slurping up a snake) and digestive abilities. This storytime was all boys and they love to hear the gory details. 

Saturday here in Maryland was very cold, but we were all cozy at the bookstore learning about owls!