Books We Are Using This Year
  • The Story of the World: Ancient Times (Vol. 1)
    The Story of the World: Ancient Times (Vol. 1)
    by Jeff West,S. Wise Bauer,Jeff (ILT) West, Susan Wise Bauer
  • Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2
    Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2
    by Bernard J Nebel PhD
  • Math-U-See Epsilon Student Kit (Complete Kit)
    Math-U-See Epsilon Student Kit (Complete Kit)
    by Steven P. Demme
  • First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Instructor Guide (First Language Lessons) By Jessie Wise, Sara Buffington
    First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Instructor Guide (First Language Lessons) By Jessie Wise, Sara Buffington
    by -Author-
  • SPELLING WORKOUT LEVEL E PUPIL EDITION
    SPELLING WORKOUT LEVEL E PUPIL EDITION
    by MODERN CURRICULUM PRESS
  • Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
    Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
    by Mona Brookes
Powered by Squarespace
Live and Learn Tags
Live and Learn Categories

Entries in Halloween (1)

Saturday
Oct152011

Weekly book shelf 10/15, Halloween

I've been falling behind in book reviews, so this weekend I caught back up with some back posting, in case anyone was interested in books about dinosaurs or yet more books on evolution. But with Halloween coming up I thought I'd share some of our favorite All Hallow's Eve stories around here.

Want to know about the origins of this spooky holiday? Halloween by Alice K. Flanagan will answer that and many questions about this favored children's holiday. This is just one in a series of holiday books by the same author, but I think it's the best of the bunch. It's not a chapter book, but information is broken down in to sections, one or two spreads per time period or location and belief. Some traditions are religious in nature while others are more secular, but the book (the whole series, actually) has a notably Christian leaning. It's because of this book that we always eat an Irish meal when we carve pumpkins at our house!

Like all the early books in the Franklin series, Franklin's Halloween by Paulette Bourgeios is an endearing story with enjoyable illustrations. Franklin and his friends are getting ready for the big Halloween party, and after hemming and hawing a bit Franklin finally comes up with a great costume idea. They are all really excited. But when the party comes around Bear is stuck at home with a cold. The other friends have a great time at the party, especially getting spooked in the haunted house, and at the end of the evening they pool their candy and take a share to Bear. Sweet and entirely lacking inauthentic, forced conflict.

A little old lady is on her way home when she gets spooked by a pair of shoes chasing after her! Next it's shoes and pants, then a shirt, too, and so on. She is very brave, and when she finally gets safely home she announces that she was not scared! so what does the apparition do? It sulks, and she feels sorry enough for it to make it her scarecrow. We have the book and audio version The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything, by Megan Lloyd, and while the book is cute all on its own, the real trick is in the reading out loud.

A Visit to the Haunted House by Dean Walley is an out of print pop-up book that I swear melds the Wizard of Oz movie with the Electric Company TV show. A pair of kids goes into a house that is known to be haunted and are scared out of their wits by strange happenings. Turns out it's just the man behind the curtain. When they figure that out, and he is appropriates remorseful, they invite their friends to make a Halloween happening out of it. Calvin loves it because it's a pop-up book.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving with the 1928 illustrations of Arthur Rackham is a classic of classics. The eight full page color plates and several smaller pencil sketches are fun to enjoy, and the story in its entire and original form is quite possibly the best ghost story of all time. For anyone who doesn't know it, Ichabod is the new school teacher in Sleepy Hollow. Not dashing or brave he's rather unremarkable, but he falls in love with a beautiful girl who is sought after by another more dashing bachelor in town, Brom Bones. Unwilling to be daunted Ichabod pursues the girl, even while being harassed by Bones. One night he disappears, and the legendary headless horseman is believed to be the culprit. Or was it Brom Bones after all? No one will ever know. Aside from the mysterious ending, there are plenty of other spooky references, such as goblins, haunts, and witches, all throughout the book, and the sketches especially due justice to these.

Gris Grimly's illustrated version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving is another fun way to read this old tale. In graphic novel version the emphasis is on the sketches while the text is broken up and abridged, but the story is still fun, and the images add their own special touch. This one is visually spooky while Rackham's obviously leaves the emphasis on the original text.

Both Grimly and Rackham also published illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination, but while Sleepy Hollow is already pushing the envelope on age appropriateness (though Calvin really loved both of these versions and can't get enough of them), I think the Poe works are right off the scale for us yet. Maybe next year, though, because I really do love Poe.