About the Holiday
October may have just begun, but kids are already thinking of the thrills and chills of Halloween. Witches and jack-o-lanterns, ghosts and skeletons take center stage all month long with fun Halloween-themed books like this one. So get shivering and giggling with the kids and skeleton in today’s book!
Thanks go to Page Street Kids for sharing a copy of If You Ever Meet a Skeleton for review consideration. All opinions on the book are my own.
Review by Dorothy Levine
If You Ever Meet a Skeleton
Written by Rebecca Evans | Illustrated by Katrin Dreiling
Have you ever met a skeleton? No? Phew. Well, if you ever do, there’s no need to be spooked! If You Ever Meet a Skeleton teaches that creepy crawly bones that emerge on Halloween are not as scary as you may think.
On Halloween night, a skeleton claws its way out of the earth, and the trick-or-treating children are frightened. They run away as the bones follow, stumbling over hills and fallen candy. When the skeleton catches up, the kids realize that it may not be as fearsome as they first thought. When they all try to play, the kids find out skeletons have no guts, no muscles, no brains: Because they have no muscle, they can’t win races, and with no brain to count with they play hide-and-seek. “Skeletons have no guts, so they can’t be brave like you. They’re scared of nighttime shadows and owls that say ‘whoooo’”— just like these kids, or maybe me, or you!
Skeletons have no nose to smell the stinky boots of kids. But most of all, “Skeletons have no friends,” and “they’d like to find a few: some kids with stinky feet and little brothers too.” When a child loses his shoe the skeleton returns it to him, and the group of friends invite the skeleton up to their treehouse fort.
They find that “Skeletons like to smile at stories in the dark…” and “they’ll trick-or-treat with you then share their chocolate bar just like buddies do.” And when one friend’s mother brings drinks out to the fort, they love to hear her “SHRIEK!” They dance and play and draw a trio of other skeletons hoping to join their joyous, Halloween romp.
While skeletons seem spooky to the kids at first, Rebecca Evan’s lyrical rhyming prose about skeletons’ parts helps readers to realize they’re not so scary after all. The story contains an underlying message encouraging readers to not be scared of making friends that may seem different at first glance. The story of friendship is simple, sweet and a delight to read. It’s a perfect bedtime story for anyone who may be frightened of (or excited by) spooky Halloween creatures. Treat yourself by getting into the Halloween spirit with this quirky read!
Katrin Dreiling is well known for her spooky, yet adorable drawings. She says, “the spooky is a fascinating genre to work with because you need to create a certain atmosphere in a spooky illustration. Also, it is very challenging to achieve a balance so that the finished work is neither too scary nor too bland.” Her multi-medium illustrations in If You Ever Meet a Skeleton accomplish this exactly. The skeletons and children mirror each other with the same cute and spooked expressions. With spreads that are fully black and white, adding to the late-night Halloween scene, pops of red, gold and green draw attention to the diverse cast of children and glorious candy details of the story.
A creative tale of friendship and festivities on Halloween night, If You Ever Meet a Skeleton combines spooky and sweet framed by the tradition of trick-or-treating. The story can also provide a fun way to introduce anatomy to young readers throughout the year.
Ages 4 – 8
Page Street Kids, 2021 | ISBN 978-1645672159
Discover more about Rebecca Evans, her books, and her art on her website.
To learn more about Katrin Dreiling, her books, and her art, visit her website.
Get Ready for Halloween Activity
Create Your Own Q-tip Skeleton Friend
You can make a skeleton just in time for Halloween with this easy craft by A Little Artsy A Little Craftsy. Will your skeleton be dancing, walking, scaring—or maybe trick-or-treating? You can find the directions for this craft as well as other fun crafts and delicious recipes on A Little Artsy A Little Craftsy.
You Will Need
- 1 piece of black or other dark colored construction paper
- 1 piece of white paper or white foam sheet
What to Do
To Make the Bones
- Draw and cut out a skull from the white paper or foam sheet
- Cut eyes, a nose, and a mouth in the skull
- Cut 2 Q-tips in half for the legs
- Cut 2 Q-tips shorter than the leg parts for the arms
- Use 4 Q-tips to create the ribs (the top two sets will be slightly shorter than the bottom two)
- Cut 1 short piece from the end of one Q-tip to make the neck
- Cut 2 short pieces from the ends of one Q-tip to make the feet
- Use the stick part of one Q-tip to make the spine
- Use the stick part of one Q-tip to cut small pieces for the fingers
To Assemble the Skeleton
- Decide how you will pose your skeleton
- To make elbow, knee, and ankle joints, glue the “bones” to the construction paper tip-to-tip, end-to-end, or tip-to-end by following the example in the picture.
- Follow the picture to place the ribs, neck, and fingers
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