I’m always on the lookout for good, non-gory Halloween fun. This year I found it in Aaron Reynold’s Creepy Pair of Underwear!
Why is young Jasper Rabbit afraid of his underwear? Just because they glow ghoulish green, and keep reappearing unexpectedly, that’s no reason to worry, right? Jasper isn’t sure.
There is so much to like about this book that it can be an inspiration for creative activities and even literary analysis for students young and old. The book echoes conventions of old-time horror films, and the illustrations cast a film noir tone over the story. Inspired by Creepy Pair of Underwear!, younger students could enjoy writing stories about other ordinary things-turned-creepy. What might a creepy backpack do? Or a bicycle? Or a stuffed bunny? How could students make the story creepy without blood and gore (my basic school rule for scary stories)?
Older students could do something similar, but only after analyzing the ways Reynolds, and illustrator Peter Brown, created the creepy mood, and identifying horror conventions used in new ways. This kind of study is fundamental to understanding genre basics that can be used to build many kinds of writing. Beginning the analysis with a picture book is a ready steppingstone into the process. The final products could be either new “creepy” books for young students or full-fledged scary stories.
Of course, in the United States, October is the perfect time to practice writing creepy descriptions and creating frightening characters. For more suggestions for creative fun in writing, math, and science, take a look at last October’s collection. I’m still searching for good creative social studies suggestions. Any ideas?