Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet

Picture Book

Bibliographic Information: deGroat, Diane, Sylvia. Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1998.

Plot Description:
Gilbert is going to be a Martian Space Pilot for Halloween, so his sister wants to copy him instead of being a ballerina. He doesn’t like that, but takes the bag with his costume in it to school. He talks with a friend on the way to school, who says she also is going to be a Martian Space Pilot, a different character. The class lined up to change into their costumes for the parade, and many students had Martian Space Pilot costumes. Gilbert is mad that so many people have “his” idea. He opens his bag and finds his sister’s costume! Embarassed but not wanting to be scolded for not wearing a costume, he puts it on and puts a paper bag over his head with eyeholes. No one recognizes him on the parade until his sister, wearing his Martian Space Pilot outfit, yells out that he’s wearing her costume. He pulls her with him through the parade over to school to change outfits. They can’t both change in the boys’ bathroom nor the girls’, so they go to his classroom, right into the party! He boldly says that he didn’t want to have the same costume as everyone else, so he decided to be a ballerina. They went trick-or-treating that night in their original costumes.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile: 520

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This book is written in third-person, focusing on Gilbert’s irritation that everyone else chose “his” costume and then his embarrasment at wearing his sister’s costume. It has text on almost every page, ranging from one sentence to a few paragraphs. The illustrations compliment the text well.

Content Area: English, Feelings, Halloween

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Literature for K-5: #2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson; #4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language; #7 Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story; #10 Read and comprehend literature in grade level text complexity range.
  • CCSS for Informational Text for K-5: #2 Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text; #7 Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
  • CCSS for Foundational Skills for K-5:  #4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great modern book to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to 2nd grade through 4th grade. It explores themes like feelings, friendship and family.


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