Books for Treats: Give Books at Halloween

bft-jackolanternIt’s that time of year again! Time for children of all ages to dress up as their favorite comic book hero, movie star, cartoon character, and so much more. Time for them to run wild in neighborhoods nationwide, collecting candy in mom’s least favorite pillowcase. Yes, it’s Halloween tomorrow! Have you bought bags of goodies to hand out to hungry Trick-or-Treaters? I hope not, because this year, Books for Treats is making a stand. They’re telling parents to “Give brain candy. Feed kids’ minds, not their cavities!”

The concept of Books for Treats is simple. It’s a program that encourages adults to give “gently read” children’s book at Halloween instead of candy. According to their website, “Books feed children’s minds, while candy only feeds their cavities. Books encourage children to read, and parents to read with them and/or ask them about their books. Many children rarely receive books as gifts, so even gently read books are special treats.”

The concept of giving books is in direct opposition to giving candy. Would you believe recent statistics show that annually, Americans spend $950 million on Halloween candy?! It’s no wonder childhood diabetes is increasing alarmingly and that at least one in four children is 20% or more heavier than their ideal and healthy weight! Books for Treats wants to see these frightening statistics changed, and they are encouraging this change through the usage of books at Halloween.

You may think that giving books instead of candy is expensive. Well, there are easy ways to get clean, re-usable children’s books. Think about garage sales, library book sales, or thrift stores. You can do this sort of shopping year round to prepare for your neighborhood Trick-or-Treating kids. You may also think that giving a child a book as opposed to candy will result in a disgruntled kid. However, based on the testimonials from past participants, many children run back to the sidewalk, waving a new treasure, yelling, “Mom! Look! I got a book!” If you can’t take part in Trick-or-Treating, there’s even a way to donate to Books for Treats at their website: http://www.booksfortreats.org/.

Happy Halloween from Sylvan Dell Publishing, everyone! Stay safe, and remember to read your favorite spooky children’s book tomorrow!

"Luann" comic strip from author Greg Evans

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