Here’s a simple, sweet Halloween story, Queen of Halloween by Mary Engelbreit, that can be used for the younger set to prepare them for that exciting but potentially scary night of trick or treating. Parents of children with special needs can select this book as a social story about a night out on the dark streets filled with costumed kids and adults might be like.
This simple but poignant story is of a fairy venturing out on Halloween night with her friend, the pirate at her side. Lots of relevant lessons like “Don’t be scared, it’s just pretend,” “grownups come along trick or treating” and “try to be brave” are illustrated through the story. The Engelbreit’s vintage inspired drawings give a warmth to a first outing among goblins and ghosts.
Use this book as a social story about a first Halloween experience. Walk you child through what happens and prepare them for the fun and fears of Halloween. Review what friends are going to dress up as and talk through the routine of ringing neighbors’ doorbells and saying “Trick or treat” as well as “thank you.” Talk about feelings. Why is Ann Estelle, the Queen, scared? What should she do? When do you get scared?
Predict the story’s outcomes. Pause at appropriate places and enjoy predicting with your child. You model a prediction first and make this an enjoyable activity. “I think Ann Estelle is going to go back to her dad and not stay at the dark house’s door. What do you think? Always praise any predictions. “Great prediction, let’s see what happens.” There is no right answer, the important thing is to be thinking ahead and proposing new endings to situations. This helps kids eventually create options in their own stories that they write.
An additional perk to this book is that you get an Ann Estelle paper doll at the end of the book so your child can re-enact the story or make up new adventures for her character.
If you are a fan of Mary Engelbreit, look for her latest book coming out mid-October called Mary Englelbreit’s Nursery Tales.