Trick or Treat?

Stopping by my local library, I found a new book.  I always notice the picture books on display behind the circulation desk.  I’ve learned that the librarians display their favorite books (well, at least the most current favorite :)).  Trick or Treat by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson was on display.  I’ve never seen this book, although the copyright is 2002.  that’s what I love about books – they are treasures no matter if brand new or old

I teach children to take notice of an author’s fingerprints.  Each of us have our favorite authors.  We begin to notice his or hers style.  Recognizing Bill Martin Jr.’s name, I knew some poetic rhyme or rhythm would be used in his book, Trick or Treat?

I wasn’t disappointed.  A young boy is ready to go trick-or-treating through his apartment building.  After some safety reminders, he heads off with his mom.  The text takes you on a numerical journey up ten floors and back down.  bill uses a predictable structure for each scene. 

At each apartment, the boy is given a treat.  Reaching the tenth floor, Magic Merlin delivers a ‘trick’ to the young boy and makes everything “WackBards” (backwards).  Descending on each floor, the first letters of each treat title is changed creating a trick.  For example, Tangerine Drops change to Dangerine Tops.  I had to use the illustrations to create some understanding of the new vocabulary words. 

Savorings for reading and in writing for Trick or Treat?:

  • Alliteration – each character has the same sound for his/her first and last names
  • Safety Tips – the mother reminds her son about the safety tips for trick-or-treating
  • Climax – excellent for teaching a the climax of the story; could use a mountain graph
  • Possessive – daddy’s hug
  • Predictable structure – each person the boy goes to greet says the same thing
  • Math – numerical order:  second, third, fourth
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