Don't be a Halloweenie!

I've said in the past that one of my favorite parts of my job is doing a "Family Reading Night" at the local elementary school. Tonight was the first one of the year and had a Halloween theme. About 60 people attended the dinner portion (hot dogs and chips! yummy!) and the parents and kids split up for the remainder. The parents were treated to a presentation on elementary students and reading, while I entertained the kids (and the elementary and high school librarians) with the following stories:

1) Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberly
I did this story at last year's Halloween Family Reading Night as a felt board story, but this year I decided to tell it using the world's most awesome monster puppet. I just had to tell the kids we were pretending that puppet was green and not purple. It helped that they knew the story and they really seemed to love watching me velcro on the various pieces of the monster and it made the most satisfying riiiiiippppppppppiiiiingggg noise during the "GO AWAY *insert body part here*!" parts.

2) Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
I love Mo Willems so much and every group of kids I have ever tried this book with (of all ages) always loves it too. You have to say the part where Sam explains why he is really crying all in one breath and you have to be whining and sobbing the whole time or you are just ripping off your audience.

3) Inside a House that is Haunted by Alyssa Capucilli and illustrated by Tedd Arnold
I tried a little audience participation with this one. It was a not entirely successful effort but it was hilarious to watch. I made a bunch of signs representing the different creatures that are added in this cumulative chain-reaction story. As each creature in the text gets added, the kid holding that sign would hold it up and each page a new creature was added (monster's hand, spider, ghost, cat, etc.). Well, in theory that was how it was supposed to work, but some of the kids were too young, and others weren't paying attention, but it was awesome anyway.

4) Beware of the Frog by William Bee
I dressed up as the old lady (Mrs. Collywobbles) from this story (hat, shawl, etc.) and used a frog puppet to play the titular frog. It's definitely the wordiest of the books on this list, but the props definitely helped keep the kids' attention until the (surprise!) ending.

So, there you have it. Obviously for next year, I will have to get more puppets, because I only used two in a 30-minute program. That is like... only one for every other story. That is like...completely unacceptable. Buy me some puppets!