If you work with or love books, then I highly recommend that you take part in All Hallows Read this year. Giving out scary books seems like a sweet alternative to candy (bad pun intended). I wasn’t in the position to have our library celebrate this new tradition last year, but by golly this year I am.
Our library (like practically every library out there) has very limited funds, and so giving out books to all the children who stop by on Halloween is out of our financial reach. We have a handful of books – mainly for junior-level readers, but only a couple of books for the younger crowd. Therefore I decided to do something about that.
I took the famous campfire story The Golden Arm (also a favorite of Mark Twain’s), and put my own librarian-spin on it. I think it’s still spooky enough for preschoolers, but silly enough for slightly older kids. I also swapped out the usually very dark ending with a rather blunt lesson at the end.
This also marks the biggest collaboration that Bruce and I have had a chance to do together. It was pure joy. I put together the story and sized it, and Bruce had a blast illustrating it. It was a great deal of fun watching him bring my simple story to life. I only had one critique when he had a very scary ghost librarian. He easily made an adjustment and kept her spooky (but no longer nightmare fuel for our youngest patrons). Oh! And when he asked what the librarian’s name was, I decided to use the name that we used in this display.
We decided to keep it black and white both for cost in printing as well as making it a mini coloring book as well. So it’s two-books-in-one in which kids get a fun story, but then also get to add their own artistic flourishes to it! Yay!
Now, without further ado – here’s the story:
If you’d like to make your own booklets, then here’s the simple how-to and the jpegs that you can use to insert into Word (I found that converting to a pdf smooshed the images just enough to make the book pages uneven). Be sure to insert it into your Word document as large as it can go without cutting off anything. Here’s set one, and here’s set two. You’ll also want the cover page. Yes, the images look all out-of-place, but they work when you print on both (short) sides and assemble them.
Supplies? 9″X12″ construction paper (in fun Halloween colors), a paper cutter, a long stapler (shorten the construction paper if you only have a regular stapler available), and quick-drying glue. That’s all!
Print out the story as well as a set of the cover pages. Cut both the story and construction paper into fourths, and then cut out one of the cover images.
Then fold all of the story pages and the construction paper. At this point I go ahead and glue on the cover page.
Then put all of the pages in order. You basically nest the open pages (so you’d tuck the upper-right page that you see in the photo into the first upper-left hand page, and then tuck the third page into that, and the final page last). Once you’ve put a couple of books together then you’ll get the hang of how to fold them. Then put two staples through the back.
And boom! It’s your very own affordable book to give out for All Hallows Read. I’ll be sure to add an update after the 31st to let you all know how it went. And please, let me know if you have any questions. Or if you make and hand out our book, then I’d love to know how it was received!