Black and Bittern Was Night

Black and Bittern Was Night

Book - 2013
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It's a band of animated skeletons versus daring children in this rhyming Halloween picture book tale, told in delightful nonsense language. Here the children are ?tyke-tots? and the adults ?tall-bigs,? while the skeletons are called ?SKUL-A-MUG-MUGS.' As the story begins, the SKUL-A-MUG-MUGS descend on a small, quiet town on Halloween night.

?They ring-ruckled round,

enclupping the town,

with quake-quiver-up

and scree-scrackle down.'

The SKUL-A-MUG-MUGS have a plan to keep the children from trick-or-treating.

?We'll brain-frizz tall-bigs.

Halloween they'll deep nix.

They'll shup-clup inside

nasty Noras and Nicks!?

But the children decide to take matters into their own hands.

?Thrickle! and thrackle!



we'll splook you away!?

What ensues is a fun, spirited fight to the finish, as naturally the children outwit and out-frighten the old SKUL-A-MUG-MUGS so the trick-or-treating can commence once again! In this one-of-a-kind book, award-winning author and children's poet Robert Heidbreder has imagined an empowering story about a chaotic world where the adults are terrified and the children take over to save the day --- and the candy, of course. The silly and spooky madness is delightfully illustrated with irresistible artwork by award-winning John Martz. This is sure to be a hands-down favorite as a read-aloud --- for all ages --- during the Halloween season or anytime fun wordplay is called for. It makes a fabulous language arts introduction to rhyming poetry that will surely inspire children to create their own made-up words and stories. Separately, it can also work for social studies discussions about cultural celebrations such as Halloween that focus on images and tales of the dead.
Publisher: Toronto : Kids Can Press ; Shenzhen, China : manufactured through Asia Pacific Offset, 2013
ISBN: 9781554533022
Branch Call Number: jP Heidbreder
Characteristics: [28] pages : colored illustrations ; 28 cm
Additional Contributors: Martz, John 1978-


From Library Staff

Halloween has arrived, but so have spooky skul-a-mug-mugs who frighten the grown-ups into calling off trick-or-treating. It's up to the kids to take back the night! Told in nonsense verse, this scare-fest will have you yak-yawling with fun!

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Oct 06, 2016

I check this book out every Halloween season. I love the play with language! It's challenge to read aloud, but that's one of the things about it I enjoy, and my kids love the illustrations!

May 20, 2016

My son wasn’t sure what to make of this book at first. He loved the art and all the little details of the big crowd scenes. Army of skeletons versus kids in costume, what’s not to love?

But WHAT was Mom saying as she read it out loud? For example: “Windows were shuttered, tight-pulled all drape folds. Brain-frizzed tall-big ones latch-click-locked doorholds.” It’s like some wild Halloween variant of English. I found it absolutely delightful. He caught on and treated it kind of like a code to decipher after I read it to him the first time.

This book might not be for everyone (those who claim the words make "no sense" may need to pay more attention), but if you and your kid enjoy creative language, check it out!

Apr 22, 2015

Interesting book. My nephew (5yrs) loved that I was tongue tied and had so much trouble getting through the nonsense words.

GSPLjodie Mar 27, 2015

I love that the words themselves make no sense, but when read aloud to a rhythm, the story conveys meaning.
Worth the read if only to expose your children to something different.


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