Happy Friday! I hope you're having a wonderful morning/afternoon/evening. :)
I love that every Friday an author, an illustrator, or an educator finishes my sentences. Today's special guest is author Charlotte Gunnufson. We discussed Halloween, dancing, reading, and writing. I wrote the words in orange, and she wrote the words in black. Thank you, Charlotte!
Halloween Hustle is perfect for anyone who loves to laugh, dance, or get in the Halloween groove!—especially kids ages 3 and up. The book is written in rhyme with a hip-hop feel so it’s best when read aloud. Kids catch the beat and start reading along with the refrain, “Doing the Halloween Hustle!”
Kevan J. Atteberry’s illustrations infuse the story with heart and hilarity! Kevan gives Skeleton a full-fledged personality with facial expressions ranging from cool confidence to “Oh, no!” and from sheepishness to celebration. And Skeleton’s dancing poses! If you look up “adorkable” in the dictionary, I’m bet there’s a picture of Skeleton strutting his stuff. Kevan created a whole cast of friendly characters. Witch, Mummy, Drac, Frank and others seem like they just might be a young reader’s best buddies—and funniest friends. Entertaining antics appear on every page!
My son’s “Signature Skeleton” really did inspire Halloween Hustle! It’s an art project he made way back in second grade. (I save as much of my kids’ artwork as I possibly can!) I pulled it out of a bin of Halloween decorations and thought I’d write a poem about a dancing skeleton. Skeleton discovered he was dancing his way to a Halloween party. A friendly Frankenstein showed up and they hopped—and be-bopped!—on the bus. The poem stretched into a story.
The official Halloween Hustle dance video is designed to get kids up and moving—and grooving!— with dancers Alexis Jo, Ellen, and Maya. The energetic, easy-to-follow choreography is set to an original, ear-catching tune. Listen with caution! Lots of people—kids, parents, librarians—have told me they find themselves singing the song at school, at work, in the library…
Reading is like a super healthy, delicious snack: really good for you and really enjoyable, too. In one way, reading is completely functional: you need to be able to read to make your way in the world. In another way, reading just makes your life better: whether a book is making you laugh or making you cry, it’s adding meaning to your life. There aren’t many super healthy, delicious snacks out there. Be sure to gobble up a good book as often as you can!
Picture books are irreplaceable and indispensable. They’re a child’s admission ticket into the world of good books and great literature. Besides that, when parents, grandparents, older siblings, and caregivers read to a child, they’re forging a bond with that child and communicating this vital message: You are so important to me that I’m going devote time to you (just 5 or 10 minutes!). Books are so important that we’re going to spend our time reading. Maybe we’ll be giggling. Maybe we’ll be gnawing our nails because our favorite character is in a bit of a fix. For certain, we’ll be spending our minutes together relishing a book.
When I was a kid, I got completely immersed in the books my parents read. Their illustrations were huge landscapes to me. When I visit my parents, I’m surprised by how small the books actually are. Some of my clearest and fondest school memories are of teachers and librarians reading aloud: Danny and the Dinosaur, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Where the Red Fern Grows and many more. I’m so grateful to everyone who read to me and led me to a lifelong love of reading and story-making.
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about all the fun, free, kid-friendly stuff on my website: cool coloring pages from Kevan J.Atteberry and Halloween-themed word searches, crossword puzzles, mazes, and crafts. Visitors can download the Halloween Hustle song (My sister-in-law made it my brother’s ringtone!) and send Halloween e-postcards to friends. (They’re free and spam-free! I don’t capture email addresses.) On the Contact & Events page, anyone can send for a free bookmark and check out my list of events. I’m making dozens of stops in the Midwest all the way up to Halloween. You’re invited to a Halloween Hustle dance party!
I am giving away one copy of Halloween Hustle.
Rules for the Giveaway
1. It will run from 9/27 to 11:59 P.M. on 9/29.
2. You must be at least 13.
3. Please pay it forward.