It’s that time again. Carve the pumpkin, or purchase one that has a permanent grin. I still have the coated cardboard jack-o-lantern (my guess as to what it’s made of) I carried as a child, thanks to my mother and an attic with magical stretching powers. That space above the pull down stairs always had room for one more box of treasures. Even creepy ones with eerie smiles.
THE GARGOYLE ON THE ROOF by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Peter Sis, Greenwillow Books, 1999.
If this book is in your attic or buried in the stacks on your bookshelves, drag it out and dust it off. Poetry and pictures in the hands of these talented legends is never out of style.
This book of clever poems has longevity. Moms and dads can read it to their younger kids and dramatize as much as the youngest listener can handle. Older kids will enjoy doing their own dramatizing. One can almost hear the illustrator chuckling to himself as he creates the gruesome characters soaring, diving, and gliding across the pages. Other characters react in fright, shock, surprise, and a few smiles, but these are not the smiles one trusts.
My favorites: the plight of the Vampire who can’t see his image in the mirror,and the social problems of the Headless Horseman and the lonely Troll. It isn’t too difficult to see middle school students identifying with some of these characters.
Without any magic at all, today’s young readers will be tomorrow’s older kids. Here are two Halloween books reviewed on Book Log last year. The links either won't work on reviews that far back or the gremlins are haunting my computer. You can, however, find them by going to the archives
at left and clicking on 2010.
Trick or Treat, Old Armadillo by Larry Dane Brimner, featured October 26, 2010.
On a Windy Night by Nancy Raines Day, reviewed October 22, 2010.
They are still scary good fun!