One Dark Night

Posted by on Oct 19, 2011 in Body Smart, Early Learning, Holiday, Michigan Author, Readers' Theater, Vocabulary | 0 comments

It’s October, and you want to read a not-too-scary book to get in the Halloween mood. But what if Halloween isn’t something you celebrate? At our public library, we have many patrons who don’t want a story with witches and ghosts. So, what can we read to get us shivery and snuggly? One Dark Night written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Ivan Bates.

Mouse and Mole live “in a wee little house, in a wee little hole” but one dark night, they venture out into the woods. Meanwhile, “in a big giant lair, near a big giant glen” a big giant bear is growling – and hungry. As the two wee animals travel in the dark, the giant hungry bear gets hungrier. What will happen when Bear finds wee Mouse and Mole? “You’re late!” he grumbles, and the three go back to Bear’s lair for a big giant feast.

I like the juxtaposition of the wee little creatures and the big giant bear, as well as the happy surprise twist on a story that gives us just enough suspense.  After you talk with the students about what they thought would happen and what actually happened, divide the class in two groups to act out the story as you reread it. Let the Mouse and Mole kids stand against one wall and tiptoe from it when you read their scenes. Let the Bear kids stand against the opposite wall and take big giant steps forward during their scenes. Kids can even say the lines of the characters after you in wee or giant voices. The two groups will meet in the middle of the room for the Bear kids to announce “You’re late!” and they can all come back to your gathering spot together. And if there happens to be a wee little treat waiting there for them, even better!

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