By Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Moonlight: The Halloween Cat is a warm and cozy Halloween book that tells the story of a gentle black cat on her favorite night of the year. Smiling pumpkins, trick-or-treaters and shining stars are just a few of sights Moonlight sees as she explores the dark night before making her way inside her own front door.
Artist Melissa Sweet illustrated the book with luminous paintings that seem to glow and come to life as each page is turned. The text is eloquent and lyrical, mimicking the softly padding movements of Moonlight as she makes her way from one favorite spot to the next.
Told in a way that is gentle, yet conveying the excitement of the holiday, Moonlight The Halloween Cat is a perfect book for Halloween readers of every age.
Oh the possibilities of fuzzy black pipe cleaners! We chose to use some of ours to create our own version of Moonlight out on a Halloween stroll. We included the process we used along with photos of each step. Your young reader may have another inspiration of how to create Moonlight or even another project for using the black pipe cleaners.
Whatever the outcome, spending time creating with these most basic of art supplies helps build fine motor skills, encourages decision making skills, and builds self-confidence as the child manipulates basic material into a magnificent, imaginative creation.
This is one of those activities that, when the directions are all written out, sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. Just follow the pictures, and use the directions as more of a guide!
Moonlight Pipe Cleaner Art
- Shape one black pipe cleaner into a circle and twist ends to secure. This will be the body.
- Insert one end of a second pipe cleaner through the circle and form a second circle. This second circle will be the head.
- Cut a third pipe cleaner in half. Using one half, fold it over the bottom of the body circle and twist to secure. This will make the front legs. Repeat with the second half to form the back legs.
- Stick a fourth pipe cleaner through the body circle and fold in half. Twist all the way down to make a thick, fluffy tail.
- Cut a fifth pipe cleaner in half, then in half again. Using 1/4 of the pipe cleaner, make an ear and twist to secure. Repeat with another 1/4 of the original pipe cleaner.
- Liberally apply glue along each section of the cat.
- Lay a piece of construction paper on top (see picture below). Place a heavy book on top of the construction paper to weigh it down. Allow to dry overnight.
- The next day, remove book and carefully peel away waxed paper. Using a crayon, add a face and any additional details, such as a moon.
Although it's dark and delicious, don't be afraid of this chocolaty pudding treat. Made with skim milk and antioxidant-packed cocoa, this is a Halloween treat that isn't scary, just like Moonlight!
Young Readers in the Kitchen
The pre-stovetop measuring and whisking steps are perfect for children to complete. Once the pudding is on the stove the adult helper will have to take over, but more advanced young chefs might be able to whisk as it slowly cooks and thickens.
Black as Moonlight Chocolate Pudding
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals (optional)
- 2 cups skim milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and instant coffee crystals (if using). Slowly whisk in the milk.
- Place pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. This will take about 6 to 8minutes. Reduce heat and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Place egg in a bowl and lightly beat. Slowly stir in about 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture and whisk to combine. Return egg mixture to saucepan with remaining pudding. Continue cooking over low heat 2 minutes more.
- Allow to cool slightly and serve warm, or transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.
Related Recipe: Did you and your young reader like this pudding recipe? McDuff's favortie treat is rice pudding with sausage! We've recreated the recipe, minus the sausage of course!
Support Off the Shelf by buying Moonlight and other favorite children's books through our Amazon aStore, or through the various Amazon links throughout this post.
More Halloween books featured on Off the Shelf: