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Making a Jack-o’-Lantern, Step-by-Step Nonfiction Monday

My entry for Nonfiction Monday today hosted by is from A+ Books (Capstone Press). Making a Jack-o’-Lantern, Step-by-Step by J. Angelique Johnson fills a need for families who might not have the generational knowledge being passed down we did growing up. It is also an excellent example of K-1 sequencing skills, relative position words, and ordinal positions.

I loved the illustrations in this book. Seeing an African-American dad and son doing a project together like this is so heart-warming. It could easily be any race or family, but with this choice, it gives us a wholesome happy activity to serve as a model for my students.

I like pages 10-11 where each of the tools to be used are displayed. I had to laugh though because I still believe in just a knife, a spoon, and my hands. Sticking your hands in and get totally dirty scooping out the middle instead of using an ice cream scoop is part of the fun, isn’t it?

This title will definitely fill a need and be in high demands for Prek-2 classrooms. My only criticism is that the letters D and C are not in order on page 29. It’s an ordering activity and the answer is correct, but it took a second look to be sure I was accurate. I wonder why these were transposed.

The other titles in the series include Recycling, Step by Step; Getting a Pet, Step by Step; and the most interesting one to me – Fighting a Fire, Step by Step. I wasn’t able to see Fighting a Fire yet and I admit that my curiosity is huge! What steps would you teach a child?

What about for an adult? There are many help books for adults that give information on things that “some people” consider common sense. I’ll never forget my dad telling me once that there wasn’t a book for everything I needed to know. I’ve found books for nearly everything – even if I don’t understand them all. Some things in life are just not simple though. I can follow the directions and put together bookshelves from Home Depot and Lowes, but there is usually a moment when you have to just umph it and shove it into place. The directions never say that, but most guys seem to realize this, or its intuitive, or they had someone to show them. That’s why I’ll continue to purchase this series as it grows – I’m assuming they’ll add to it.


  1. Thanks for the recommendation and taking part in today’s Nonfiction Monday event.
    Apples with Many Seeds

  2. Perfect for Halloween! Thanks for sharing this. Looks like the perfect arts-and-crafts book. :)