Soon after my daughter was born, my best friend sent a package of baby clothes. Mixed in with the onesies and overalls was a tiny, orange pumpkin costume. By the time my girl was two, the felt pumpkin costume fit perfectly.
Over the years, I’ve since seen so many babies in pumpkin costumes I’m beginning to wish I had stock in the company making them. Maybe because a pumpkin costume is so bright and cheerful, and not the least bit scary, it makes a good choice for a little one.
Going door to door, my daughter had no idea what Halloween was all about. She didn’t know why we dressed her up, then said “Trick or Treat” to neighbors opening their doors. All she knew was, Mommy was holding her hand and we were having fun.
The next year, she was old enough to know all about dress-up and Halloween, and wore a sparkling Cinderella dress. Right around this time she had taken to wearing the dress to the bank, the supermarket and out to dinner, so it wasn’t much of a stretch wearing it for Halloween. Fortunately for me, it meant I didn’t have to shell out any cash for a new costume.
Now that she’s in elementary school, she’s old enough to tell me what she wants to be for Halloween. A tiger, a fairy, a bride. So far, they’ve been easy enough to put together with items we already have. Not as easy as the pumpkin, but still sweet and innocent, and different enough from her everyday life to make the holiday something she looks forward to.
This year, her dad will take her around the neighborhood and I’ll man the front door, handing out candy to the kiddies, but always on the lookout for my little pumpkin, in whatever costume she’s wearing, to come running up the driveway to tell me all about her night.
These books help kids prepare for a festive Halloween.
Sung to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” the song illustrated in this book offers foot-stomping, wriggling fun for kids. The first verse tells kids, if they’re happy and they know it, to “snort and growl.” Next, they’ll need to “smack their claws,” and so on. Bold, vibrant monsters practically jump off the pages.
Lovable geese Gossie and Gertie are dressed up for Halloween: Gossie’s a wizard and Gertie’s a chicken. Together, they look at pumpkins, shout Boo! and bob for apples. Delightful watercolor drawings and gentle storytelling make this a sweet, understated story.
Kids will love trying on the masks (a skeleton, cat, vampire and witch) incorporated into this brightly-colored board book. The following pages feature four different carved pumpkins; the last page is a four-way fold-out of children trick-or-treating.
This book features rhymes for each letter of the alphabet, starting with “A is for autumn,/The best time of year./We have a big party/’Cause Halloween’s here!” It ends with “Z is for zombie,/Stomp-clomp through the night./Oh, look! It’s just Daddy,/To tuck me in tight.”
Lush, earth-toned watercolors complement this story about friendship and pumpkins. Peter lives on a farm with his grandparents; he takes special care of a tiny, lonely pumpkin separated from the others. When a new family with a little girl moves in next door, Peter decides to share his secret — and makes a new friend.
Mia Geiger is a freelance writer in the Philadelphia area. Visit her at www.miageiger.com.