I bought a very large pumpkin today – a really big one that couldn’t be carried to my car, but had to be put on a garden cart and rolled over. To be honest, I don’t know what got into me because, truthfully, Halloween is not my holiday. It’s hard to admit this because I work in a school where Halloween is bigger than Christmas and Thanksgiving put together! The kids and the teachers dress up in amazing costumes that display their sense of humor and creativity. Our head of school’s costume is so convicing that I don’t always recognize her. She has been Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast and Mary Poppins and lots of other characters.
My colleagues are clearly better sports than I am. We’re all encouraged to dress up, but I go to great lengths to avoid it. For example, on one Halloween as I walked into school dressed in my regular clothes, my head of school jokingly said that if I was not going to wear a costume, I should buy a red car (rather than my third blue one) to show that I am able to change my predictable routines. I now drive a bright red car.
My non “spirited” approach aside, I love Halloween picture books, especially the illustrations of trick or treaters and jack-o-lanterns and cute (rather than scary) ghosts and goblins. Here are ten of my favorites:
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles Schulz (This classic has to be listed first. Linus waiting in the pumpkin patch is one of the great moments in children’s books!)
Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara (A little witch and her cat capture all of the ghosts and do funny things with them – like putting them in the washing machine!)
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams
The Little Green Witch by Barbara Barbiari McGrath (A Halloween version of The Little Red Hen)
The Hallo-Wiener by Dav Pilkey (One of the most popular books in Inly’s library – a storytime favorite)
Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson (A witch picks up a few passengers on her broom)
The Vanishing Pumpkin by Tony Johnston
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll (This one was my son’s favorite Halloween story when he was young. A simple and sweet story about two mice who love and care for the same pumpkin)
Ten Trick-or-Treaters by Janet Schulman (A clever and brightly colored counting book for the pre-school audience)