Well, tomorrow is Halloween. This is a big deal at our house. We love dressing up and getting candy. Talk about a holiday tailor-made for toddlers and preschoolers. I always have a hard time during holidays not buying up all the holiday books I come across. There are some really cute ones out there. I make sure to buy one new one each year, and then I try to reign in my exuberance….
After the holiday is over, I try to put all the books for that holiday up in the holiday box. So, we only get to read these books for a few weeks every year. Doing this helps us get in the holiday spirit. Also, it makes the boys feel like they just got a whole bunch of new books all at once. Very exciting. Lots of reading going on…
Today I want to highlight one of our favorite Halloween books, Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler.
The book is written in rhyme and is very well done. I don’t know how many of you have tried to write a good story using a rhyme scheme, but it is immensely difficult. Donaldson nailed it. Room on the Broom has won 6 children’s book awards, was made into a film in 2012 (featuring Simon Pegg and many other stars), and has a delightful website. (There is also this cute version on YouTube.)
This book is not meant to scare, but there is a dragon that tries to eat the witch, and the animals scare him away by pretending to be a monster. My boys love it! Ben says it is his favorite Halloween book (he is 4). The rhyme is fun and Ben likes being able to finish some of the lines for me when I read.
The reading level for this book comes in just past third grade. Although, Scholastic says the interest level is 3rd to 5th grade, I would say you could read it to toddlers pretty easily. My boys don’t tend to get too worried about monsters under their beds or scary things, and we don’t watch scary TV shows, movies, or read scary books with them. This book is just a fun Halloween book, and it is a great choice to address language skills. Reading books that rhyme and have rhythm is a great way to bolster language acquisition and reading interest in our little ones.
If you are looking for a Halloween book to add to the children’s library in your home this year, give Room on the Broom a look.