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Boogie Knights

Last updated Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Author: Lisa Wheeler
Illustrator: and Mark Siegel
Date of Publication: 2008
ISBN: 0689876394
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2010

Synopsis: It's midnight and all the mischievous spirits that haunt the castle are in a partying mood: "Wizards wiggle!/ Ghostlings giggle!/ Demons do their thing!" As the party progresses, seven knights (whose names include Sir Loin and Sir Prize) find themselves unable to resist the siren call to get jiggy. Wheeler and Siegel (who previously collaborated on Seadogs) have created a entire population of lively characters, from "go-go goblins" to mummies and serpents that mambo and samba. In a pictorial subplot, two reader surrogates-a little prince who nervously spies on the action and a winsome ghost princess who emerges from a painting-find each other and become dance partners. Siegel's artistic versatility is equally impressive and fun: his drawings range from doodled portraits that seem ripped from a sketchpad to handsome chiaroscuro vignettes that slyly spoof the gothic aesthetic. A freewheeling rhyme scheme and judicious use of color amp up the party atmosphere, though the text and visual elements don't always come together cohesively and can compete to be a focal point. Still, this romp is a cut abovestandard Halloween fare.

Note to readers:
•  Vocabulary Selection
•  HAUNTED: inhabited or frequented by ghosts
•  BANSHEE: (in Irish folklore) a spirit in the form of wailing woman who appears to or is heard by members of a family as a sign that one of them is about to die
•  DISCOTHEQUE: a nightclub for dancing to live or recorded music and often featuring sophisticated sound systems, elaborate lighting, and other effects.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Read the inside flap of the front cover. What do you think the story is all about?
•  What do we see at the top center on the front cover of the book?
•  Have you ever seen a castle?
•  Have you ever been in a castle?
•  Do you get scared at night?
•  Do you believe in ghosts?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do you like to dance?
•  What kind of dances do you know?

Craft ideas:
•  MONSTER BALL - draw a picture of your living room and design your own Monster Ball. Show the room how you would like to life and do their favorite dance.

Special activities:
•  Have the kids do the dances that each knight is doing.
•  Have all the kids stand in a line sleeping like the knights in the story. Then have each one come to life and do their favorite dance.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!