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Annie Was Warned

Last updated Friday, October 6, 2006

Author: Jarrett Krosoczka
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 0375815678
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2006

Synopsis: From School Library Journal Annie is warned not to go to an old mansion on Halloween night because of bats and spiders, but a friend taunts her, "I dare you to go!" Of course she does, experiencing some frightening moments on the way. She sees something out of the corner of her eye: "Was it a bat?" She feels something prickly on the back of her neck: "Was it a spider?" What are those whispers she hears as she climbs up the front stairs, and where did those cautionary signs come from? The brief text is appropriately scary, and the resolution of each suspenseful moment requires a page turn, culminating in a delightful foldout surprise as plucky Annie enters the "haunted" house. Krosoczka's richly textured, double-page cartoon paintings, executed in a dark palette filled with multidirectional brush strokes and ominous-looking shadows, create an eerie Halloween night atmosphere. The effective use of perspective causes houses and glaring street lights to overwhelm Annie and the huge mansion to loom over her, its entrance stairway appearing to go forever upward. The hand-lettered, spidery-looking negative print is placed on dark ground and grows larger when frightening questions are posed.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever been WARNED not to do something? Did you listen? Did something bad happen?
•  Do you know what a mansion is? Are Mansions always scary, never scary, sometimes scary?
•  Looking at the cover, does Annie look scared? Why would she be scared?
•  Has someone ever dared you to do something? Did you do it? What happened?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do you know anyone born on Halloween? How is their birthday different? How is their birthday the same?
•  Is Annie being safe/smart to sneak out of the house?
•  Should Annie listen to the warnings?
•  What happened to Annie at the mansion? Was she surprised? Were you?
•  Are there different kinds of warnings? What warnings should you listen to? What warnings don?t matter as much?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a Halloween mask for Annie?s surprise party. For a mummy mask, make strips of white paper and glue to round mask.
•  Draw a picture of some of the scary things Annie saw going to the mansion.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!