Saturday, October 11, 2014

Somewhat Literary Halloween Prep.

Okay, normally around this time of year, I'm aware that Halloween is coming. I plan costumes for my family, and we carve a jack-o-lantern, and there's some sort of activity to plan for at work (usually a scavenger hunt or murder mystery, as well as a kids' Lego-building competition). But the changing season always overshadows the holiday for me. Not this year! Within the last couple of weeks, Gabe has decided that Halloween is going to be the greatest event of all time. And he's swept me up in his enthusiasm! A friend of ours gave us a pumpkin from her garden the other day, and this was his face when he saw it:

How can I resist that face? He also painted a jack-o-lantern-shaped treat bowl for handing out candy, insisting on using yellow and red individually but not orange:

So, I'm going all out for Halloween! Not with the costumes...I may or may not dress-up this year...but we're going to paint and carve pumpkins, bake jack-o-lantern cookies, and (most of all) read up a storm! I'm already reading a few fantasy books right now, but they're not necessarily scary or even suspenseful. I also started The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells and Dracula by Bram Stoker to throw in some classics love! Hopefully I'll finish a couple of books to review for you while Halloween spirits are high. Meanwhile, here are a few Halloween-related literary finds for your perusal and enjoyment:

Frankenstein, MD is a modern, vlogger interpretation of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. (I just recently started watching this, so my comments aren't on the complete show.) It's pretty good, although everything happens a little faster than I expected. Maybe that's because the book itself is kind of short? Or possibly because I'm only used to seeing Austen stories reproduced in this form. Speaking of which, it's put out by Pemberley Digital--the same group that brought us The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Welcome to Sanditon, and Emma Approved, so it can't be bad, right? The actors are perfect for their characters, and I can't wait to see how they end the story!

Ollie's Halloween by Olivier Dunrea is Gabe's favorite book right now. Five goslings (Gossie, Gertie, Peedie, BooBoo, and Ollie) go trick-or-treating, "prowling" through pumpkin patches, and "stalking" through cornfields. They are enjoying the sights and sounds of the holiday while collecting treats, but Ollie keeps a treat-less distance from the others, pondering Halloween decorations. By the end of the story, Ollie's friends invite him to share their treats, and everyone's having a great time. As always, the author's illustrations are great fun and the coloring is very pretty. Dunrea's Gossie & Friends series is just adorable, and I never get tired of reading these sweet books about the little group of gosling friends.

Check out these Halloween-themed dust jackets for your books! Diane of SouthHouseBoutique and Jill of ForStrangeWomen developed these clever covers. Just in case you want to use your personal library to help you decorate--this is a fun, inexpensive way to do so (without any damage to the books, I might add!).

I hope you enjoy my finds! There will be more to come, as well as book reviews, of course!


  1. Gabe is too adorable! That face! Resistance to it is impossible. ;) And isn't Frankenstein MD fun?! I'm behind a few episodes, but what I have watched, I enjoyed. I also agree, the actors are entirely perfect for their characters. :)

    1. Yes, it's hard to resist even when he's being ornery. It is (fun)! I've made it to the part where Victoria accomplishes what she's trying to do, but I haven't seen what follows yet.

  2. I'm almost done sewing an Elsa costume, will then move on to a Rapunzel costume, and finish off with a Lego Person costume... it's a fun time of year! Enjoy :-D

    1. Wow, you're so dedicated! We usually just piece something together with items we have and a few added accessories. Gabe keeps changing his mind this year: first it was a t-rex, then Batman Superman (he clumps them together as one), now it's a yellow ghost. Who knows? :P At the end of the day, I'll probably just pick one and hope he's content.

    2. I love making things, so it's great fun for me. And I like making them costumes they can enjoy after Halloween too -- last year I made a helicopter and an airplane, which were much more challenging than this. They've both held up really well and still get played with. We still have the firetruck costume I made 3 years ago, too -- gotta love cardboard boxes!

      For a while my son said he wanted to be a lamp post this year, so I'm really glad he changed to Lego Person. All that needs is a blank shirt, fabric paint, yellow gloves, and yellow face paint.

      And yeah, sometimes parents just have to pick. My two-year-old changes her mind daily between wanting to be Rapunzel, Elsa, Dusty from "The Apple Dumpling Gang," and Cinderella. I finally said, "Look, I'm buying purple fabric, I'm making you a purple dress, and on Halloween you can decide if you're Rapunzel or if you're Elsa wearing a purple dress, or Cinderella wearing a purple dress, or Dusty wearing a purple dress..."

    3. That's awesome! It's nice that you can re-use them, too. I'm hoping after my husband graduates from school I can work part-time and maybe have more time for crafts! This one or two hours of late night free time is hard!

      Gabe has decided on being a ghost now, I think, but the color changes. Now he can't decide if he wants to be all yellow or a mixture of yellow, red, and orange. He likes the warm colors. Why he can't just be a regular white ghost is beyond me!