Friday, October 28, 2011
As I promised last week, I have a selection of Halloween “treats” to share this week. B has (thankfully) not found the allure of gruesome decorations or jump out of your skin scary movies. We put a decorative metal pumpkin with tiny cut-out swirls and a little flickering tea light on his dresser and he is thoroughly pleased with the degree of “spooky-ness.” I am elated that he has no desire to dress up as some blood-oozing monster. He’ll be outfitted as an astronaut and enjoying Halloween in the way I’ve always found it most appealing: an opportunity to try on a new persona for an evening (and indulge in way too much chocolate)!
Silly, Not Scary
Both of my choices this week turn what might normally be scary characters and contexts into humorous and innocuous entertainment. Allison McGhee’s A Very Brave Witch takes the line of reasoning that witches might very well be afraid of humans! Told by a first-person narrator witch through the use of dialogue bubbles, the story begins by asserting that witches find humans terrifying. Our narrator, a curious young witch herself, decides to find out what exactly is so scary. After a flying mishap, she is assisted by some very helpful (and non-scary) trick-or-treaters. Their friendly exchange convinces her there is nothing to worry about, and she even takes one reader on a ride on her broom.
Iza Trapani uses a similar turn-the-tables approach in her counting book, Haunted Party. A ghost is the host at this party, which begins by counting up a parade of creepy creature guests: mummies, gobblins, werewolves, etc. Number ten is represented by trick-or-treaters at the door, which sends the creatures into a frightened fit. Count back from ten to one as the creatures take off and escape. After one last “Boo,” the final illustration shows the ghost relaxing on the porch littered with candy wrappers and trick-or-treat bags. While it is implied that the ghost scared away the trick-or-treaters, it isn’t explicitly stated, which makes it easy to select your degree of fright.
Appropriate for toddlers, preschoolers, primary.
B and T both get to have Halloween/Harvest celebrations at school on Monday, and I’m taking goodies for each to share – the non-sugary variety. So far my plan is tiny Halloween notepads from Joann’s with Halloween pencils for B, and stickers and spider rings for T’s younger group. Any other creative and brilliant suggestions?