A Bit of Spook

img184It seems to be that time of year – Halloween. The time for spooks and goblins and weird costumes. The time for dressing up and being silly or scary or silly scary. Halloween doesn’t mean much to me. It seems like just about every day is Halloween around here. I’m always being dressed in some silly costume. For some reason my Mom Person gets a kick out of making me look silly. It’s kind of fun to get a laugh from the kids though.

halloween 06 006The Mom Person likes Halloween a bit. It provides an excuse to send packages to my Princesses who are far away. She and Electra did some Halloween book shopping at Half-Price Books and they found a couple of good ones that are going in this year’s Halloween package.

IMG_1566The Candy Witch
by Steven Kroll
illustrated by Marylin Hafner
published by Scholastic in 1986 (originally published by Holiday House in 1979)

This is a pretty cute story about a family of witches that like to cast GOOD spells for people. Mama Witch and Papa Warlock and Brother John are always doing spells like turning garbage into fruit trees and giving bald men hair. Maggie does GOOD spells, too, but no one seems to notice. She finds it very frustrating. So in order to get noticed, she tries doing some crazy spells, like having lizards come out of a friend’s bathroom faucet and turning a chair into a blueberry pie. But STILL nobody notices. So on Halloween night she made all the kids’ bags of candy disappear.

IMG_1568This made all the kids very sad and some even cried. That made Maggie feel sad and very sorry for what she had done. Maggie began to cry. Her family noticed this! What was wrong with Maggie?! When she told them how she was trying to be noticed, the family felt very bad. Now everyone is feeling bad! But Maggie has a great idea for fixing the whole thing and make everyone happy again. And if you read the book, you will find out what she did!! It will make you smile and cheer!!

IMG_1564Ghosts in the House!
by Kazuno Kohara
published by Scholastic (originally published by Square Fish, an imprint of Macmillan, in 2008)
A New York Times Best Illustrated Book

This is a pretty unique little picture book — it’s all orange and black and white!! Orange pages, Black illustrations, and White Ghosts! This is about a little girl and her cat who move into a house that turns out to be haunted! (I don’t know where this girls parents are. No where to be seen. She’s all alone except for her cat!) But the girl is not afraid of a haunted house, because —– She’s a Witch!! And she knows how to catch ghosts! She caught them all, washed them in the washing machine, hung them out to dry, then decorated her house with them! Very clever and silly! A very cute book!!

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Here is a reading of Ghosts in the House – in Japanese!

I hope that my Princesses like these Spooky books! It’s that time of year!

Hope you have a Spooky Halloween!
But not tooooo Spooky!
Your library friend
Rhythm
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Tricks and Treats

img184I don’t get really excited about Halloween. It’s just another day to me. Sometimes I have to dress up in silly costumes, but that’s not much different from any other day. I’m always having to dress up for something. Halloween is about getting treats. That’s a good thing! But I get treats every day too. I always know just the right trick to get some kind of treat from somebody.

IMG_1491Halloween is also about ghosts and witches and goblins. I don’t have any use for those, except in books. And we have some books full of ghosts and witches and goblins. We’ve been reading a lot of those lately!!! Some of them have been really good! Some have been sort of good. And some have been kind of neh.

IMG_3865These are some of my favorites that we have come across. I’ll tell you a little about them.

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Sheep Trick or Treat by Nancy Shaw and illustrated by Margot Apple. Published in 1999 by Scholastic. The Sheep in a Jeep get spooky. They make spooky costumes and go trick or treating in the barn. Then have to deal with wolves on the way home. I really like these Sheep in a Jeep. No jeep this time, but lots of fun. The kids loved this one.

img445Haunted Party by Iza Trapani. Published in 2009 by Charlesbridge. A rhyming, counting party full of fun antics with ghosts and skeletons and goblins and witches and all the spookiness that Halloween calls for. This book is full of some crazy, silly characters. A great read-aloud!!

img439By the Light of the Halloween Moon by Caroline Stutson and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. Published in 1994 by Puffin Books. This is a fun,fun rhyming tale that builds on itself like The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. And the book is ALL about the illustrations! Lots of spooky characters trying to get those toes and each other. Another fun read-aloud!!! Fabulous!

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Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. This is the team that brought us The Gruffalo and quite a few other wonderful books. A joyful tale full of rhythm and rhyme. It’s about making friends and being a good friend and helping each other. This book is full of smiling faces. I love this book!!!!

This is the fun part of Halloween! Reading fun, spooky silly books while eating treats! Fantastic!!

And here’s a little Halloween ditty from one of my favorite musical groups, Trout Fishing in America

I wish you lots and lots of treats!!!

Rhythm

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Pumpkin Time!

It’s Halloween! Trick or Treat Time! Dress up Time! Squeals and Screams Time!  Candy Time! For me it’s more about Pumpkin Time!  When our Music Boys were little guys , I would get dressed up and do the trick or treating thing with them. It meant walks in the dark with lots of other weird kids, going to lots of houses and knocking on front doors, lots of hands reaching to pet and lots of ” Oh! Look at the cute dog!”

These days the Boys are too “big” for that sort of thing and I just get dressed up for school. I’m more into Pumpkin Time than dress up time. Pumpkins are ripe this time of year and we can get them at the grocery store or at the Pumpkin Patches which seem to be everywhere. I LOVE pumpkin!!

I want to share a couple of Pumpkin books with you. The 1st one is Dr. Pompo’s Nose by Saxton Freymann.


Dr. Pompo is a pumpkin and while “rolling around on his morning rounds”, he happens upon something on the ground. And he can’t quite figure out what it is. Some of his pumpkin friends happen by and make suggestions as to what they think it is.

I think that this is a hilariously funny book! All of the Pumpkins are crazy real looking. But we read it to the Ladybug Princess and she didn’t get it. It was somehow over her head. And she is a brilliant almost 5 year old. So, I don’t know what you might think of it.

The 2nd book is called It’s Pumpkin Time by Zoe Hall and illustrated by Shari Halpern.

A cute yellow dog ( kind of like me!) is the star of this book about growing  pumpkins from seed. The illustrations are bright and cute. And that cute yellow dog is on nearly every page, helping the kids plant and take care of the pumpkins. Then they make a jack o’ lantern and go trick or treating. A cute book that you could make a whole class lesson out of. Maybe even plant some pumpkin seeds like the kids do in the book.

For more information about Mr Freymann and his interesting work carving food you should check out this video of him talking about his books. He is a rather interesting character!

And Ms Halpern who illustrated It’s Pumpkin Time! has a lovely website that you might want to visit.

And now if you’ll excuse me — I’m going to eat some pumpkin! Hope you have a fruitful Halloween!