Never Miss a Beat

A Readerly Twist on Treat Giving | Book or Treat!

The origins of the sentence “Trick or Treat” date farther back than most realize.




Halloween has always been known as a night when pranksters are up to no good. This holiday’s more innocent and sweet side is watching the tiny ballerinas, firemen, and superheroes show up at your door eagerly expecting something sweet to eat. Originally, “trick or Treat” was a mantra to give the homeowner a chance to provide a treat or be on the lookout for toilet paper in their trees (among other “tricks”). Since no one wanted to be pranked, candy and other sweet treats were handed out.


This is all well and fun, but Audrey Press founder and CEO, Valarie Budayr, created a fantastic spin on trick or treating that has caught on like crazy over the years!


Valarie dreamed up “Book or Treat” in early October of 2012 when she was on her way home. It was Curb Alert day, and she spotted a massive box of children’s books on the sidewalk with a free sign on it. Being a fan of books and an advocate of children’s literacy, she picked up the box and tucked it into her trunk.


“I wasn’t sure what I would do with them, but I did know I absolutely needed to get these beautiful books into the hands of young readers somehow,” Valarie recalled. “That’s when I had the idea to give them out to kids along with their Halloween treats. Book or Treat has a nice ring, but I never made kids choose. Those who wanted both, got both!”



Valarie shared that there are so many ways to wrap the love of children’s literacy into our everyday lives. Even unconventional holidays like Halloween are the perfect time for pulling out, recalling, or gifting books that excite young readers. Oftentimes, these book-related activities come from the most organic of places.


In a nutshell: Book or Treat is a chance to give out treats while encouraging the joys of reading.


Creating A Book or Treat Project for Halloween


“Imagine a whole community coming together over books.”-Valarie Budayr


 We all have books in our homes that are perfectly good, but our kids have outgrown them or lost interest. What a perfect (and creative) way to gift them on to a deserving family who will use and appreciate them.

Book-or-Treat in Three Easy Steps:


● Book-or-Treat is a time to clean out your bookshelves.
● Place all the children’s books you don’t want into a box or basket.
● When Halloween night arrives, let the trick-or-treaters pick out a book and some candy when they come to your door.
Other versions of Book-or-Treat are:
● Have a costume book swap party. Have everyone come in costume with a handful of books they’ve read and no longer want. Place them on the dining-room table. Let the kids wander around the table and pick a book and then out through the kitchen to pick up a treat bag.
● Have a neighborhood version of Book-or-Treat. Please feel free to use our Book or Treat 8.5×10 print. Tape the posters to the outside of the mailboxes. Kids know that they will be able to choose a free book and get some treats. Many parents pull wagons behind them to carry all the books.
Any books left over from our Book or Treat can be donated to the Friends of the Library Book or a charity of your choice at the end of the evening.


Who can create a Book or Treat Event?


● Sunday Schools or Churches
● Groups like Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, and 4H Clubs
● Non-profits
● Daycares
● Mom Groups
● Homeschooling Families
● Neighborhood Groups
● PTA Groups




One More Thing


For more book-inspired activities similar to Book or Treat, Check out Valarie’s book The ABCs Of Bookjumping: The Best of Jump Into a Book on Amazon in Kindle form.


The ABC’s of BookJumping: The Best of Jump Into a Book by Valarie Budayr and Rebecca Flansburg is an e-book that contains over 150 hand-picked book reviews, unique book-inspired activities, and recipe inspired by popular children’s books. allows frustrated parents of reluctant readers to enjoy hand-picked book reviews and unique companion activities that will reignite your child’s love of reading and encourage screen-free family time.


“Bookjumping” is the act of pulling books off shelves and stories off pages. It’s making kids’ books come ALIVE by “jumping” inside the pages. Readers of this ebook will enjoy hand-picked book reviews and unique companion activities that will reignite your child’s love of reading and encourage screen-free family time.


Go here for more details on what you can expect from with awesome ebook and learn more about the authors.


Grab your copy of The ABCs of BookJumping: The Best of Jump Into a Book on Kindle HERE.