The 13 Nights of Halloween

Last updated Friday, October 11, 2013

Author: Guy Vasilovich
Illustrator: Guy Vasilovich
Date of Publication: 2011
ISBN: 0061804452
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2013

Synopsis: From HarperCollins Publishers:
On the first night of Halloween, what does your mummy give you? A bright, shiny Skeleton Key, of course! In fact, for each of the thirteen nights leading up to the big night, your mummy is ready with gifts that include everything from singing skulls to demons dancing to icky eyeballs. The spookier and slimier, the better! Sing along with this picture book as you start the creepy countdown to Halloween – the scariest—and silliest—night of the year.

Note to readers:
•  This book is best read to the tune of "The 12 Days of Christmas".
•  Some of the characters, such as corpse, are best described by the cartoon pictures (instead of a detailed definitions).

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever heard the song, "The 12 Days of Christmas"?
•  If there are 12 days of Christmas, why would there be 13 nights of Halloween? (13 is supposed to be an unlucky number & night-time is spookier for Halloween)

•  These definitions are very basic, so you won't have to go into gory details about the meaning of some of these words.
•  mummy - a dead body wrapped in cloth
•  skeleton key - a key that is made to open many different locks
•  corpses - a dead body
•  caroling - singing songs to other people, especially at Christmas time
•  goblins - an ugly and sometimes evil creature that likes to cause trouble
•  mutants - hideously ugly, repulsive, horrid, or generally ghastly persons or beings
•  werewolves - persons believed to have been transformed into a wolves
•  demon - a person considered extremely wicked or evil

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Who is the mummy? (her mommy)
•  What is the skeleton key for? (it looks like she opens a barn & all the characters have a party)
•  Which night of Halloween in this story is your favorite? Which is the spookiest?
•  What's the difference between a baseball bat & the baseball bats in the story?

Craft ideas:
•  Write your own song for 13 Nights of Halloween and a draw a character for each night. Volunteers can draw 12 or 13 sections on paper for the kids to fill in with pictures, such as pumpkins/jack-o-lanterns, witches, ghosts, spiders, bats, icky eyeballs.
•  Make a skeleton with Q-tips (see sample).

Special activities:
•  Go back through the book & sing "The 13 Nights of Halloween" all together. Then sing the "The 12 Days of Christmas".

*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!