Friday, October 31, 2014

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Trick Or Treat, Smell My Feet...








Give me something good to eat.

Christmas is my favorite time of the year, yet Halloween will always hold a special place in my heart. For the child I was, this time of the year reminds me poverty doesn't keep children from being able to participate in the age old tradition of running around the neighborhood in costumes begging for treats. Poverty doesn't prevent youngsters from being able to sit on their beds amongst a mountain of candy as they try to stop their head from swiveling off their shoulders, gazing in wonder at their good fortune.

And poverty won't make the sweet goodies disappear the next morning as the kiddies wake up from sugar induced dreams of just how, if they try really hard, they will make that stash last at least until next Easter if they're lucky.

My costumes were usually homemade and my "bucket" merely a pillowcase but there was such freedom to prowl the streets of my hometown with my siblings, knocking on doors and giggling to see my bounty grow by leaps and bounds. To sneak a piece here and there, to savor what I could not hope to have again for another year.

So I welcome the coming of fall with it's swirling array of multi-colored leaves crispy crackling under my feet as I count down to today.

My candyfest.

My savorfest.

My Halloween!



BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Marjorie Dennis Murray








***In celebration of one of my favorite times of the year, come join the fun as I romp through adorable holiday themed picture books as we finally reach Halloween!***

Title: Halloween Night
Author: Marjorie Dennis Murray
Illustrator: Brandon Dorman
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Ages: 4 to 8

"Twas Halloween night, and all through the house
Every creature was stirring, including the mouse;"

Synopsis: Everyone from the witch to the banshees are getting ready for the best Halloween party ever. Too bad they never thought to warn their guests about what to expect on the scariest night of the year!

Why you should read it: Rich artwork by illustrator Brandon Dorman combine with a tantalizingly familiar tale by author Marjorie Dennis Murray about getting ready for party guests to arrive. It's minutes before midnight and everyone in the old haunted house is getting ready to party. I enjoyed all the colorful pictures but it was the whimsical, rhyming storyline that kept me flipping the pages just to see how this would end. I especially liked the look on the party guests' faces when the old witch opened the door to invite them in!

Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5...grab it!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Margie Palatini






***In celebration of one of my favorite times of the year, come join the fun as I romp through adorable holiday themed picture books every day from now until the end of the month as we count down to Halloween***


Title: Broom Mates
Author: Margie Palatini
Illustrator: Howard Fine
Publisher: Hyperion Books For Children
Ages: 4 to 8

Synopsis: Preparing for her big howliday party can be tiring, and Gritch the Witch needs her shut-eye. No sooner does she shoo away the bedbugs and curl up for a good night's sleep than the doorbell rings. It's Mag the Hag, her bossy big sister, a day early for the party. Can they survive being broom mates for twenty-four hours?

Why you should read it: I know what it's like to have a big sister around and sometimes the fur can fly when both of us spend too much time with each other. Readers young and old will be able to relate as these two siblings nudge, snort, and pillow-fight their way to sleep. The next day doesn't get any better as Gritch and Mag wrestle things out in the kitchen. It will take a special visit from a certain someone to get these two broom mates back on their best behavior just in time for the party!

Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5...grab it!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Rob Scotton





***In celebration of one of my favorite times of the year, come join the fun as I romp through adorable holiday themed picture books every day from now until the end of the month as we count down to Halloween***

Title: Scaredy-Cat, Splat!
Author/Illustrators: Rob Scotton
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Ages: 4 to 8

Synopsis: It's Halloween, and Splat is determined to be the scariest cat in the class. But when his teacher, Mrs. Wimpydimple, turns off the light to tell a ghost story in the dark, Splat is just too much of a scaredy-cat to sit still. Maybe turning the lights back on will shine some light on a scary situation and give Splat a chance to impress the class!

Why you should read it: I love, love, LOVE the artwork of author/illustrator Rob Scotton in this funny and not too scary tale of poor Splat. Young readers will love this scaredy-cat trying not to be afraid as he and his little mouse buddy, Seymour, try to win the class Halloween contest. But it's what happens when the lights go out that will have everyone cheering for Splat the cat!

Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5...grab it!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Erica Silverman








***In celebration of one of my favorite times of the year, come join the fun as I romp through adorable holiday themed picture books every day from now until the end of the month as we count down to Halloween***


Title: Big Pumpkin
Author: Erica Silverman
Illustrator: S D Schindler
Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Company
Ages: 4 to 8

Synopsis: Once there was a witch who wanted pumpkin pie for Halloween. But the only pumpkin she had was too big to move by herself and Halloween was only hours away. It will take some careful planning and a little help from her friends to make this year the tastiest one yet!

Why you should read it: I just love the way author Erica Silverman and illustrator S D Schindler worked together to create a delightfully funny Halloween story.  Young readers will wonder how the witch will ever get to eat some pumpkin pie and everyone will be able to guess how this clever story ends!

Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5...grab it!


Monday, October 27, 2014

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Michael J Rosen








***In celebration of one of my favorite times of the year, come join the fun as I romp through adorable holiday themed picture books every day from now until the end of the month as we count down to Halloween***



Title: Night Of The Pumkinheads
Author: Michael J Rosen
Illustrator: Hugh McMahon
Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers
Ages: 4 to 8

Synopsis: Year after year, the pumpkinheads have sat on the porch while kids had all the trick-or-treating fun. But this year, it's trick-or-treat mayhem as the pumpkinheads join in. Hold on to your candy...the pumkinheads are coming to town!

Why you should read it: Now that I've expanded into writing creative nonfiction, I enjoy seeing how other authors incorporate story telling into the nonfiction arena. While the story will delight young readers everywhere, I believe it's Hugh McMahon's expertise as a master pumpkin carver that takes this delightful Halloween tale to a whole other level of entertainment. I found myself spending extra time simply staring at the wonderful detail put into every carving and there is even instructions at the end on how to carve a uniquely cool pumpkin of your own!

Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5...grab it!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Pamela Jane







***In celebration of one of my favorite times of the year, come join the fun as I romp through adorable holiday themed picture books every day from now until the end of the month as we count down to Halloween***


Title: Monster Mischief
Author: Pamela Jane
Illustrator: Vera Rosenberry
Publisher: Atheneum Books For Young Readers
Ages: 4 to 8

Synopsis: It's Halloween and five monsters are brewing up a savory Halloween stew with all the stickiest, ickiest ingredients you can imagine. But when a hungry monster gets too curious and tips the pot over, it's a scramble to calm inconsolable Moe until a knock on the door brings an unexpected guest and a big Halloween surprise!

Why you should read it: What better way to enjoy Halloween than with a great rhyming story and whimsical, colorful illustrations? There is a sense of great fun making monster stew as first a spotted frog, then other creatures like lizards and hairy spiders are added to the pot. But my favorite part of the story is when little monster Moe tries to sneak a peek and stew tumbles everywhere. Young readers will enjoy the surprise ending and beastie lovers will like what happens to the stew!

Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5...grab it!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

BOOK NOOK REVIES: Pamela Jane








***In celebration of one of my favorite times of the year, come join the fun as I romp through adorable holiday themed picture books every day from now until the end of the month as we count down to Halloween***


Title: Little Goblins Ten
Author: Pamela Jane
Illustrator: Jane Manning
Publisher: Harper Collins Publlishers
Ages: 4 to 8

"Over in the forest
where the trees hide the sun
Lived a big mommy monster
And her little monster one."

Synopsis: It a kooky, spooky, silly twist to the old nursery rhyme Over In The Meadow as ghosts, goblins, and other cool beasties make their way through the forest on a creepy fun filled Halloween night.

Why you should read it: Anyone who knows me can tell you my favorite time of the year is the fall. For me, Halloween begins the official holiday season in my house! Author Pamela Jane has managed to turn an old nursery rhyme into a new tale for reading on a crisp Autumn evening. I couldn't wait to turn the page and see what other creatures of the night would go on a fun romp through the forest. Illustrator Jane Manning's delightful artwork is a perfect compliment to this engaging story that will have your own little beastie coming back for more!

Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5...grab it!