To the Little Readers (read this part out loud to them): Have you ever felt…different? Have you ever been the one who wasn’t like everyone else? Or have you ever noticed another boy or girl who wasn’t like everyone else? I’m going to tell you a secret: everyone is different, in some way! No people are exactly alike – everyone is unique in some way! Sometimes the uniqueness is something no one would be able to tell without getting to know you – like if you liked eating your hot dogs on hamburger buns, and your hamburgers on hot dog buns! And other times, the way you’re different is something that anyone can see…that’s the case in this month’s book, The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano. What do you think is different about Spookley? (pause) That’s right! Spookley is SQUARE! How are most pumpkins shaped? (pause) Yes, pumpkins are usually round. Everyone could see how Spookley was different, he was square. Spookley wished that he was round like the other pumpkins, but you know what? It turns out that being square allows Spookley to help all the other pumpkins in a way no round pumpkin never could! Spookley’s difference gives him a unique strength. Do you want to know what it is that Spookley does to help? You’ll have to read to find out!
To the Parents (why I recommend this book): Joe Troiano’s The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin is a modern classic amongst children’s literature. Spookley’s adventure in the patch is a multidimensional story that shows the value in being unique and the importance in being kind to others. It’s great that you can discuss more than one moral with your kids from one book, because it’s easier to discuss lessons from stories they’re already familiar with. You can talk about this month’s moral, the strength in your uniqueness, and then when you read it again, you can talk about being kind to others. And I’m sure you’ll find there are other lessons you can pull out of the story and illustrations too. The rhyme pattern makes it fun to read out loud, and I love that it’s a Halloween story that’s not scary so everyone can enjoy it – even the littlest readers. My audiences love this book! LOVE this book! Be sure to check out The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin, you’ll see why!