Spookley, the star of The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano, illustrated by Susan Banta (Holiday Hill Farm; Barnes & Noble), is now in his second year as official spokes-pumpkin for National Bullying Prevention Month, sponsored by the Minneapolis-based family support organization PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights).
This year, PACER is providing a free “Stop Bullying Before It Starts” digital toolkit that allows educators to bring Spookley’s message of tolerance and acceptance into the classroom. Tools included in the kit are: an audio recording of the book by Bobby “Boris” Pickett (writer and performer of “The Monster Mash”), lesson plans and activities that teach bullying prevention, a Spookley classroom play by Troiano, access to classroom streaming of the animated Spookley movie, and links to a variety of other anti-bullying resources. Scholastic Book Clubs, which promotes the Spookley picture book through its programs, has organized an awareness campaign to get word of the toolkit to teachers via social media and other outreach methods. Teachers can register online for the toolkit.
The animated movie Spookley the Square Pumpkin is being screened on Thursday, October 25, at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J.; Troiano will read and sign at the event. The movie will also be shown at pumpkin patches and corn mazes across the country, and is airing on the Disney Channel throughout the month of October. It is being offered as a digital download and rental for the first time, and Spookley’s story is available as an app for the iPad/iPhone, Android, and Nook platforms as well.