Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sunday October 26th, 2014 Halloween @ Your Library

Halloween is almost here, though it may not seem that way with Christmas decorations already appearing in local shops and flyers. By now the candy has been stockpiled, costumes organized, and trick or treating plans made. With a centuries old history behind it, Halloween is one of the few holidays to have transformed time and time again. According to Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween by Lisa Morton (2012), “what began as a pagan New Year’s celebration and a Christian commemoration of the dead has over time served as a harvest festival, a romantic night of mystery for young adults, an autumnal party for adults, a costumed begging ritual for children, a season for exploring fears in a controlled environment and, most recently, a heavily commercialized product” (p. 7).

Some of the more popular trends around Halloween in recent years are theme crafting and zombies, often combined for extra effect. If going full throttle on the fear factor isn’t your style, start with something a bit tamer, and much cuter. Monster Knits For Little Monsters by Noriya Khegay (2013) features 20 original designs and patterns for animal themed accessories for children ages six months to three years. Featuring bears, owls, frogs, foxes, sharks, robots, dinosaurs, bunnies, and even Shrek-like ears these items are easy to create and designed to stay put on active kids.

More sophisticated interests will enjoy an Artful Halloween by Susan Wasinger (2012). These creepy but stylish collection of over 30 Halloween inspired costume and decorating projects are described as “scary beautiful” and guarantee to give your home a spooky, sophisticated look. Zombie aficionados can now Knit Your Own Zombie with Fiona Goble (2012). Create the original design and then take advantage of the fact that each piece is stuck together with Velcro and start removing body parts and creating fresh, horrifying creatures.

Mix and Match zombies are not a feature in book one of Nowadays by Merk and Martell (2012), but I will hold out hope for book two. This graphic novel introduces the reader to a zombie epidemic that is sweeping across the Thunder Bay area. Inspired by real settings, locations, and people, don’t be surprised if you recognize some of the true faces of the undead in this tale.

While trends come and go, what would Halloween be without a classic childhood story to rely on? It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz (1980) – the title may speak for itself. But if you haven’t read it, or have children who are in the spirit of Halloween, you should check it out and enjoy the time spent together.

Jesse Roberts

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