Tricks and Treats

img184I don’t get really excited about Halloween. It’s just another day to me. Sometimes I have to dress up in silly costumes, but that’s not much different from any other day. I’m always having to dress up for something. Halloween is about getting treats. That’s a good thing! But I get treats every day too. I always know just the right trick to get some kind of treat from somebody.

IMG_1491Halloween is also about ghosts and witches and goblins. I don’t have any use for those, except in books. And we have some books full of ghosts and witches and goblins. We’ve been reading a lot of those lately!!! Some of them have been really good! Some have been sort of good. And some have been kind of neh.

IMG_3865These are some of my favorites that we have come across. I’ll tell you a little about them.


Sheep Trick or Treat by Nancy Shaw and illustrated by Margot Apple. Published in 1999 by Scholastic. The Sheep in a Jeep get spooky. They make spooky costumes and go trick or treating in the barn. Then have to deal with wolves on the way home. I really like these Sheep in a Jeep. No jeep this time, but lots of fun. The kids loved this one.

img445Haunted Party by Iza Trapani. Published in 2009 by Charlesbridge. A rhyming, counting party full of fun antics with ghosts and skeletons and goblins and witches and all the spookiness that Halloween calls for. This book is full of some crazy, silly characters. A great read-aloud!!

img439By the Light of the Halloween Moon by Caroline Stutson and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. Published in 1994 by Puffin Books. This is a fun,fun rhyming tale that builds on itself like The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. And the book is ALL about the illustrations! Lots of spooky characters trying to get those toes and each other. Another fun read-aloud!!! Fabulous!


Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. This is the team that brought us The Gruffalo and quite a few other wonderful books. A joyful tale full of rhythm and rhyme. It’s about making friends and being a good friend and helping each other. This book is full of smiling faces. I love this book!!!!

This is the fun part of Halloween! Reading fun, spooky silly books while eating treats! Fantastic!!

And here’s a little Halloween ditty from one of my favorite musical groups, Trout Fishing in America

I wish you lots and lots of treats!!!


Copy of img311

ABCs Part 2

Remember the ABC binge we went on last week? Well, this is Part 2 — more Alphabet Books!!!


Where to begin?!


Alphabatics is by Suse MacDonald and was published by Bradbury Press in 1986. It’s an interesting kind of puzzle book. Each page has a letter that is transformed in 4 pictures from it’s letterness to a picture – like the “j” on the cover. The “j” becomes a jack in the box!  It’s pretty clever.


A Nonsense Alphabet by Edward Lear was originally published in 1952 by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. The book contains reproductions of drawings that Mr Lear did in 1880 and gave to a boy who kept them in his possession for many years, only coming to light it 1951. Then they were acquired by the Victoria & Albert Museum. The book is printed on water color paper in black and white so that children can color them! Isn’t that cool?! The text is hand written in cursive and a little hard to read, but the verses are all printed at the end of the book. “A” was a lovely apple which was very red and round, It tumbled off an apple tree and fell upon the ground.”


Arf! Beg! Catch! Dogs From A to Z is by Henry Horenstein. It was published by Scholastic in 1999. It’s a happy, photographic look at dogs. Each page is a letter and a picture and word to correspond to that letter. “A” is for Arf! “B” is for Beg. “C” is for Catch. A simple, cute book.


Appaloosa Zebra, A Horse Lover’s Alphabet is by Jessie Haas with pictures by Margot Apple. It was published by Greenwillow Books in 2002. A little girl dreams about having a horse farm when she is older. And imagines all the different kinds of horses she will have – from Appaloosas to Zebras. It’s a cute book with fun illustrations. If you like horses, this is a book for you!!


Eye Spy, A Book of Alphabet Puzzles is by Linda Bourke. Published by Chronicle Books in 1991. This is a very clever word puzzle book! Each page has 4 pictures that create a kind of riddle using either homophones or homonyms. Like the cover picture that shows 3 animal “eyes” and then an “eye” from a fishing fly. And that fly is a clue to the next pages riddle. So that the book becomes a continuous chain! So very clever and thought full! I love this book. I think it is my favorite of this bunch. The discussions that the pictures could lead into I think could be very imaginative!

We still have more to come from our Alphabet Binge. But I’ll save the rest for another day. I’ll let you ponder on these for now. Go and check them out!! And then let me know some more of your favorites!!

For more on Edward Lear you might check out Project Gutenberg. They have a lot of his nonsense stuff.
And here is a Joyful Ted talk from Al Seckel about how our eyes can sometimes fool us.
And a website full of homonym fun.

Counting Sheep

sheep 2I’ve gone to the sheep today. We don’t have sheep here at the 7 Acre Wood. We have goats. I don’t know a lot about sheep. They look like goats to me. But I hear that they are very different. I hear that goats are smarter than sheep. I don’t really know.

But we read a couple of pretty cute books about sheep that I would like to share.

IMG_1060Hide and Sheep was written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by Bill Mayer. It was published by Margaret K. McElderry Books in 2011. It is a counting book. I like counting books. On the back of the book it says “They’re baa baa BAAD!”  And these are bad sheep.  It’s time for Farmer McFitt to shear the sheep and knit clothes. But the sheep have disappeared! They’re on the run and I guess that Farmer McFitt is in hot pursuit. It is not entirely clear. In the 1st page spread 10 frisky lambs have run away to the zoo. And on the next page spread 9 sheep have joined the circus. So I guess that Farmer McFitt caught one. It is not entirely clear. But on each page spread there is a new scenario with one less sheep. Until the end where they have all been sheared and their clothes knit and it’s time to stop counting sheep and go to bed!

IMG_1062Sheep in a Jeep is a book that has been around for a long time and is a favorite at school. It was written by Nancy Shaw and illustrated by Margot Apple. It was published by Houghton Mifflin Company in 1986. Ms Shaw has created quite a series of books with her sheep. I’ve not read all of them but I would bet that they are all great books. These sheep are nothing but well-meaning, fun-loving trouble. They go for a ride in a jeep, but aren’t very good drivers. They can’t get it to go, so they push it down a hill where it gets stuck in a giant mud hole. Some pigs help them push it out, then they forget to steer and crash into a tree. The sheep are quite silly and fun. But the text is the thing. Lots of rhyme and alliteration. Sheep shouting and shrugging and weeping. Jeeps in a heap. It’s great!

Both of these books show sheep in a not so intelligent light. And they sound just like my silly goats at home. Just trouble. Both books are worth checking out. I think I like the Sheep in a Jeep the best. I was not really happy with the illustrations in Hide and Sheep. The cover is really cute and I had high expectations, but the pictures on the inside were kind of weird. Kind of blurry or something. I don’t know, but they were not really pleasant to look at.

I hope you’ve had a trouble free day! Stay away from sheep! Trouble!

And for your amazement — some extreme sheep herding!