An Interview with Author Susan Hood

I am thrilled and honored to share my interview with author and editor Susan Hood. She is the author of more than two hundred books for children. Her latest picture book, Just Say Boo!, is a perfect addition to your list entitled “I will share these wonderful picture books with my kindergarteners and first graders on Halloween.” It is spooky, enjoyable to read aloud, and asks thought-provoking questions.

Mr. Schu: If you were a jack-o’-lantern hanging out on top of my library’s circulation desk, what would you hope to overhear kindergartners and first graders saying about Just Say Boo!?

Susan Hood: “Read it AGAIN!”

Mr. Schu:  Every sentence in Just Say Boo! is crisp and fun to read aloud.  I think it is the perfect picture book for teaching word choice and sensory details.

What advice would you give to a second grader who wished his writing had more sensory details?  

Susan Hood: Most of us find it easiest to describe what we see. So close your eyes and imagine a place. Now ask yourself:


What smells good and what smells sweet? What’s stinky-poo like dirty feet?

What smells fresh and what smells new? What makes you want to yell P.U.?


What tastes sour, salty, yummy? What’s too yucky for your tummy?

What’s got a kick, a spice, a zip? What makes you want to smack your lips?


What’s rumbling, mumbling, twanging, banging, ringing, singing, drumming, humming, whooshing, shushing, crying, sighing, chirping, burping, crunching, munching, fizzing, whizzing, groaning, moaning, howling, growling, clicking, ticking, roaring, snoring?


What’s itching, twitching, tapping, zapping, hugging, tugging, licking, sticking, rubbing, scrubbing, warming, swarming, tickling, prickling, chilling, thrilling, soothing, smoothing, pushing, smooshing, kissing … missing?

And hey, what’s that climbing up the back of your neck?

Mr. Schu:  When you think back on all of your Halloween costumes (from your childhood and adulthood), which one is the most memorable or creative?

Susan Hood: When I was little, I wanted to be a ballerina. Badly. I studied dance and got toe shoes at an early age. My mom had a talent with a needle and thread, so she fashioned a spectacular tutu with a pink satin top and a swirl of tulle, all dotted with tiny roses. We saved it up in the attic for more than 25 years. Then when my own six-year-old told me what she wanted to be for Halloween, I knew what I could do. I made her a furry little mouse costume. She pulled it on, put my tutu on top, et voila! Angelina Ballerina!

Mr. Schu: If a class of excited first graders asked you to read them three spooky and “boo-tastic” picture books, what would you read?

Susan Hood: I can never pick three of anything!

Oldies, but Goodies

Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman

Go Away, Big Green Monster! By Ed Emberley   (For younger kids, but I love it so!)

The Hallo-Wiener by Dav Pilky

Where’s My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi

New Faves

Trick or Treat by Leo Landry

The Monsters' Monster by Patrick McDonnell

And for the sheer joy of dressing up:

Ribbit by Bender & Bender

Mr. Schu:Please finish these sentences:

Reading is like a magic mirror. Look in a book and reflect on yourself.

Halloween reminds me that you can be anything you choose to be!

 I am giving away one copy of Just Say Boo!

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 10/21 to 11:59 P.M. on 10/23.

2. You must be at least 13.

3. Please pay it forward. :) 

Borrow Just Say Boo! from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops


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