Wednesday, October 29, 2014
1. Goodnight Goon
Written and Illustrated by Michael Rex
This "Petrifying Parody" of Margaret Wise Brown's classic Goodnight Moon is a must-read this Halloween! Inside the cold gray tomb, we watch as a werewolf tries to go to bed while a naughty goon comes and terrorizes his room. You'll find the same catchy rhythm as the original but with "a skull and a shoe and a pot full of goo" and lots of other hilariously Halloween-themed rhymes. No matter how many times you've read Goodnight Moon (in fact, the more the better), you'll certainly enjoy this silly version of the story.
2. Go Away, Big Green Monster!
by Ed Emberley
I think his favorite part is the very last page that tells the monster, "and don't come back! ...Until I say so." He giggles every time. You should definitely check this one out for your favorite toddler!
3. Creepy Carrots!
Written by Aaron Reynolds
Illustrated by Peter Brown
This one was a Caldecott Honor Book in 2013, so you know it's going to be just as fun to look at as it is to read. The illustrations are all done in black and white - and orange. The pops of orange make sure the reader thinks Jasper is just as crazy as he sounds. The text is simple, it's a quick read, and the pictures are engaging, which make this one a great story to share with your little ones. Especially if they like slightly weird, scary stories. But don't worry, this picture book parable has a happy ending.
4. The Graveyard Book
Written by Neil Gaiman
Both children and adults will love this uniquely spooky Newbery Medal-winning novel. There's something so sacred and alluring about a graveyard. While I enjoy imagining the people connected to the names found on tombstones, I've never imagined growing up in one! In Gaiman's story, you'll find ghosts, witches, ghouls, werewolves, and other mysterious creatures, but sometimes it's the regular old humans who are meaner and uglier. This is an adventure, a mystery, and a coming of age story all in one. Gaiman's magical writing and curious characters make this one a page-turner and a story that would be a lot of fun to read together with your slightly older kiddos or even your spouse this Halloween.
5. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Written by Mary Roach
With so many unknowns about our life after death, it's fascinating to read about all the things we have learned about our bodies after death. And although it's a book with a morbid subject, it's anything but a somber story. Roach skillfully weaves respect and even humor into a book that might easily become depressing. It is a gripping novel that will teach you, disgust you, and amuse you all at the same time. What better way to celebrate the Day of the Dead?
Friday, October 3, 2014
I love Halloween! It's my favorite holiday. I usually feel slightly guilty for saying that because it's obviously not as meaningful as Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving. It doesn't have a rich, patriotic history like Independence Day. It doesn't even cause you to reflect and set new goals like New Year's Day. But I can't help it. It's my favorite. There's just something about pumpkin cookies and spooky decorations that gets me really excited. And the costumes! I love a good reason to get creative and dress up. Halloween is the perfect time to dress up and play pretend all day long. And if you've got kids, you can dress them up HOWEVER YOU WANT! I've decided I really need to maximize on the years when I get to choose my children's costumes.
|See? Halloween decorations are SO CUTE!|
Last year I spent WAY too long browsing blogs and Pinterest for costume ideas but finally settled on a Pinocchio theme. It was just way too cute. It turned out to be quite the project to make his little costume, but it turned out so great. My two main inspirations came from For the Good Days (who breaks down each part of the costume) and Crafting Zuzzy (who helped me make the killer shorts and suspenders).
|I'm glad he was as excited about his costume as I was|
I like to call this my Goldilocks costume because the shorts took me three tries. I used her free pattern and the first pair were way too small. I tried to adapt the pattern on my own and the second pair came out way too big. I adjusted the pattern again and the third pair came out just right. It was a lot of work, y'all! She has updated her blog and you can now purchase some updated patterns and it might really be worth it!
I added some cool ribbon to the sides of the shorts to make them a bit more like Pinocchio's shorts and loved that it made them more authentic. A couple of large wooden buttons really completed the look.
I used an old white shirt for the collar and followed For the Good Days' DIY description. It took a little fiddling to get the sizing just right, but was pretty simple to sew. I've made lots of little boy bow ties and for the Pinocchio costume, I just made an extra large bow tie. I added some snaps to the collar and tie so I could just snap it on or slip it over his head. I found the yellow onesie for a few bucks at H&M.
I love a good theme so of course we had to play along. Jacob was a good trooper and let me dress him as Jiminy Cricket and I went as the Blue Fairy.
"I dub you Pinocchio's conscience, lord high keeper of the knowledge of right and wrong, counselor in moments of high temptation, and guide along the straight and narrow path. Arise, Sir Jiminy Cricket." It seemed appropriate that Pinocchio's father should be Jiminy.
|"Prove yourself brave, truthful, and unselfish, and someday, you will be a real boy." |
-The Blue Fairy
Our costumes were pretty easy. I had made Jacob's pants a couple years ago for a 20's costume party and he already owned the socks, shirt, tie, and sweater. I sewed a very basic yellow vest (since it wouldn't show much) and hot glued some yellow ribbon on a blue top hat I bought at a Halloween store. I still had this amazing blue dress that I found at DI for a 70's party years ago. I knew it would come in handy again and I'm sure glad I held onto it. I bought the wings on clearance at Joann Fabrics and just added a blue headband.
|"What are conscience! I'll tell ya! A conscience is that still, small voice that people |
won't listen to. That's just the trouble with the world today..." -Jiminy Cricket
Everything came together so well! Pinocchio is a classic character, but not done very often. And it sure made a cute costume for my happy little guy!
Curious to know what we're doing for Halloween this year? I've got something great up my sleeve, so stay tuned to find out what happens!