Saturday, October 10, 2009

Face Off! Brooms Are for Flying by Michael Rex

Everyone ready? Follow me!

A group of kids, costumed and masked to head out for trick-or-treating, follow their leader, a cute little girl in full witch regalia, who choreographs them all in a peppy Halloween dance:

"Legs are for marching!" she calls to a greenish alien and a eye-patched pirate.

"Feet are for stomping!" she sings as a fully-fitted out Frankenstein stomps his monster boots.

"Eyes are for peeking!" she croons to a clown, and "Arms are for reaching!" she raps for a well-wrapped mummy.

In turn the masked bats flap, the skeleton shakes his bones, the caped vampire creeps, the wolfman wags his werewolf tail, and the girl pantomimes a moaning mouth for a mournful ghost to imitate.

Getting down to the main course of the evening, the little witch trills "Tummies are for treating!" as the pirate and alien sample their first treats of the evening.

But what's a Halloween without a trick?

"Masks are for ... TRICKING!"

And as the pirate, alien, clown, mummy, bats, wolfman, skeleton, vampire, and ghost snatch off their masks, the little girl does too, revealing underneath her cherubic mask--a warty little green WITCH who is up and away with a gleeful wave and shout...


And with that final trick, the little witch is off to join her mother on their broomstick ride through the darkening sky, her work here done!

Michael Rex's bright new paperback edition of Brooms Are for Flying is just in time for the upcoming trick or treat time season. With its brief text, colorfully costumed children set off against a bright white background, and its well-timed twist at the end of the text, this one is just right for the preschool group, providing opportunities for creative movement and group participation and a nice not-too-scary surprise ending which few readers will predict.

And for an oldie but goodie which carries off the surprising switcheroo in the opposite direction, pair Michael Rex's tricky treat with Lorna Balian's classic Humbug Witch for a terrific preschool story time.

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