Friday, October 14, 2011

The Spooky Scavenger Hunt (Dinosaur Train) - Giveaway & Book Review - Glowing Nocturnal Eyes Craft

Bare trees, brisk evenings, the rustle of the dry corn stalks -- signs of fall are everywhere. This also means Halloween is just around the corner. Spooky decorations and pumpkins galore have started to adorn the front of homes in our neighborhood. What about spooky picture book reads? Now is a good time to scatter a few around the house. Here's one for Dinosaur Train fans...

The Spooky Scavenger Hunt (Dinosaur Train). Grosset & Dunlap /Penguin Young Readers (August 2011); ISBN 978044845604; 32 pages
(Review copy provided by The Jim Henson Company)

With a full moon shining above, only the brave dinos climb aboard the night train. Buddy, Mr. Pteranodon and Tiny ready themselves for a spooky scavenger hunt adventure lead by the conductor, a Troodon dinosaur. The dinosaurs quickly learn that the conductor has night vision and his eyes "glow," a rather spooky sight. The group of dinosaurs uses their sense of smell, hearing, and vision to find various things during their nighttime scavenger hunt. The dark evening walk isn't too spooky until something unexpected (but not really all that scary) pops out along the way.

I tend to bypass commercialized books because they often fail to measure up to my standards. While the writing in this one isn't stellar, I must admit The Spooky Scavenger Hunt does provide a nice springboard for talking about many scientific topics such as the senses and eyeshine or tapetum lucidum (the reason some animal's eyes glow/reflect light at night). According to scientists, Troodons most likely had nocturnal vision. Also, for those looking for spooky but not scary books without a Halloween slant, this one fits the bill. It doesn't specifically mention Halloween, candy, costumes or anything else associated with the holiday. Too bad the publishers didn't print actual glow-in-the dark eyes on the pages. While my kids generally liked the story, I think it would have been an even bigger spooky hit with glow-in-the dark Troodon eyes!

While I'm not positive, I believe this story is based on an older Dinosaur Train episode called "Night Train." See a snippet below:

Next week, the Jim Henson Company is gearing up for Halloween with two new 2011 PBS kids Halloween episodes:

Dinosaur Train Halloween Episode - "Haunted Roundhouse/Big Pond Pumpkin Patch" - premieres 10/20 on PBS Kids (check local listings, repeats the following days: 10/24, 10/28, 10/30, 10/31)

Sid the Science Kid Halloween Episode - "Spooky Science" - premieres 10/17 on PBS Kids (check local listings, repeats the following days: 10/25, 10/28, 10/30, 10/31)

My son was a dinosaur for Halloween last year so I'm sure he'd love to dress up like one of the Dinosaur Train characters. If you're still looking for costume ideas this year, take a look at PBS Kids for directions on how to make your own Dinosaur Train Buddy costume or Sid the Science Kid Halloween Costume. Dinosaur Train themed costumes are also available for purchase from California Costume.

◉ ◉ ◉ ◉ Spooky Glowing Nocturnal Eyes Craft ◉ ◉ ◉ ◉

Since the book didn't have actual "glowing" nocturnal eyes we decided to make some of our own! The kids used some glow-in-the dark fabric paint and painted sets of eyes onto dark blue paper. After the eyes dried, we went into a dark room with the pictures. Several pairs of spooky eyes looked right at us! :)

For the record, glow-in-the-dark paint is awesome, and my kids adore using it in their various craft projects. If you don't own any, I highly recommend purchasing some, especially with Halloween approaching. (We used Tulip 3D Glow-in-the-dark Natural Fashion Paint for this project.)

Shibley Smiles
A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Add your kids craft post to the Kid's Get Crafty linky at Red Ted Art's Blog. Writing a post about play? Join the It's Playtime party! Find more great book tie-ins at JDaniel4's Mom Read, Explore, Learn link-up. Browse more book posts at Little Sprout Books' Feed Me Books Friday.

Add a spooky, but not too scary read to your children's book collection! The Jim Henson Company has kindly offered to give away a copy of The Spooky Scavenger Hunt Dinosaur Train book.

For a chance to win, leave a comment relative to this post or answer the following question: What's your favorite Halloween (or spooky) book or movie?
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Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

I have to get myself some of that glow-in-the-dark stuff :) Favorite Halloween movie? Hmm... It has to be Ghostbusters.

Michelle said...

I completely forgot about glow in the dark paint. Emily will love using it. She loves the glowsticks and glow in the dark stars. Thank you so much for sharing and linking up to stART!

For an Entry: My favorite Halloween Movie would have to It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Michelle @ A Mommy's Adventures

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Thank you for linking to Read.Explore.Learn.

I hadn't thought about using glow in the dark paint for Halloween projects. Your project looks awesome.

Getting Your Read On said...

Favorite Halloween movie has to be It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! It's a tradition to watch it. I used to watch it every year with my dad when I was little.

Glow in the dark paint is awesome! I'm going to have to pick some of that up. Fun idea.

brandonaimee at Gmail DOT com

Getting Your Read On said...

for an extra entry:
I"m following you. Thanks for the chance to win.

brandonaimee at GMail DOT com

MaryAnne said...

My kids love the Dinosaur Train episode that goes along with this book!

They also love pumpkin books; the one they are reading at the moment is "Five Little Pumpkins", which is not very scary.

Anne said...

Thanks for linking at Feed Me Books Friday! My son is wary about spooky and not into scary AT ALL, so our selection is pretty tame. I think my favorite is And Then Comes Halloween, because it's more about the season than the tricks and treats. I love your glowing eye project and I'm really impressed by your photography - glowing subjects are hard!

Anne said...

I tweeted:!/SproutBooks/status/125101428602703872

Anonymous said...

I love Skeleton Hiccups!

I'm impressed at how well the photos of your spooky eyes came out!

urchiken at gmail dot com

In Julie's Opinion said...

I used to be scared to death of the Halloween movies and didn't watch them until I was an adult, but now I love watching them!
jwitt33 at live dot com

In Julie's Opinion said...

I follow you on Twitter and tweeted:!/jwitt33/status/125250312457031680

jwitt33 at live dot com

Theresa N. said...

Our favorite is Eve Bunting's Scary, Scary Halloweens great story with beautiful pictures.
Theresa N

rubynreba said...

My favorite is It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.

maggy, red ted art said...

Ooh very spooky and great fun :-)

Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!


Laura Frunza said...

Hei, definitely my favorite is the R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series :-)

Monica said...

The Great Pumokin Charlie Brown is my all time favorite!


Anonymous said...

My favorite Halloween book is "The Pumpkin Gospel" by Mary Minz Simon. The back cover description reads- "Carving a pumpkin can teach your entire family how God transforms us into beautiful creations to shine for Him." The front cover glows in the dark too! Thanks so much!


Staci A said...

Our favorite Halloween book is Frankie Stein.
mommastaci33 at yahoo dot com

apple blossom said...

we just watched spooky buddies last night very cute.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

apple blossom said...

twitter follower

tweeted giveaway!/1apple_blossom/status/130127787108478978

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com