Friday, October 19, 2007

Poetry for Halloween

I’ve already written two posts about some Halloween picture books that are just perfect for reading aloud in October. (Click here to read Great Halloween Read-Alouds for Little Listeners and here to read my review of The Three Bears' Halloween.) I also posted links to several lists of suggested Halloween books. Now, how about some books with POEMS about Halloween, monsters and witches, and other things that go bump in the night?

Fun and Spooky Poems by Lilian Moore
Illustrated by
Howard Fine
Henry Holt, 2006

This posthumous collection contains fifteen poems that were published in some of Moore’s earlier poetry books, including Spooky Rhymes and Riddles and See My Lovely Poison Ivy. Beware, Take Care includes poems about ghosts, dragons, monsters, and other spooky subjects. The book is intended for younger children.

Click here to read the review I wrote of Beware, Take Care last fall at Blue Rose Girls.

One of my favorite poems in this book is Lost and Found.

by Lilian Moore

A Wizard’s loving pet.
Rather longish.
Somewhat scaly.
May be hungry or
Please feed daily.

P.S. reward.

A dragon
Breathing fire,
Flails his scaly
In ire.
Would eat twenty LARGE meals
If we let him.
come and get him.

P.S. No reward necessary.

Poems for Halloween
Written by
Amy E. Sklansky
Illustrated by Karen Dismukes
Henry Holt, 2004

This collection, which has lighthearted poems about Halloween candy, jack o’ lanterns, a skeleton’s bones, Cyclops, zipping bats, and a haunted house that’s for sale, is a good book of poems to share with preschoolers and children in the early elementary grades as the end of this month approaches. The beaded canvas illustrations are bright and colorful and set a festive tone in celebrating a holiday that usually sends shivers of delight through children.

Most of the poems in Skelton Bones & Goblin Groans rhyme. Some do not—including the haikus Mummy and Grave. One of the most engaging poems in the book is House for Sale!

House for Sale!
by Amy E. Sklansky

Two fireplaces. Eat-in-kitchen.
Atmosphere you’ll find bewitchin’.
Lots of bedrooms. Space galore.
Slightly creaky hardwood floors.
Walk-in closets you can fill.
Stunning view atop a hill.
Asking price is very good.
In a lovely neighborhood.
All in all, just what you wanted.

If you read that poem to children, you know they will be able to provide the final word in the last line.

Do check out this page at Amy Sklansky website. There you will see a two-page spread from Goblin Groans & Skeleton Bones. It includes the full text of two poems: After Trick-or-Treating and Jack O’ Lantern.

I’ll end this Poetry Friday post with a witch poem I wrote many years ago.

A Poem by Elaine Magliaro

There was a witch who liked to race
Her supersonic broom through space.
At six o'clock last Friday night
She blasted off at speed of light.
She whizzed past Mercury and Mars...
Then headed off toward distant stars.
Across the galaxy she sped,
A black peaked helmet on her head.
An interstellar traveler, she
Explored the Milky Way with glee.
She chased swift comets here and there.
She watched bright supernovae flare.
She zipped through clouds of cosmic dust…
A witch bewitched by wanderlust.
There was a witch, I’m sad to say,
Flew near a big black hole one day.
It sucked her in just like a bean.
You won’t see HER on Halloween!

Kelly Fineman has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week.


tanita✿davis said...

Oh, cuteness! I had read the Lillian Moore one before, but House for Sale! struck me as particularly funny, since we've just been flat hunting and settled in our new place.

Sadly, it has no supernova, but on the upside -- no black holes that we've found yet either! :)

jama said...

Love your witch poem! Thanks so much for sharing.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I'm a big fan of Lilian Moore's poetry. I wish someone would compile a collection of all her children's poetry. So few of her books are still in print.

Glad you have no black holes. Of course, should you buy a house here in Massachusetts, all your savings will get sucked into a big black hole. Honestly, the price of real estate around here is "out of this world."

Elaine Magliaro said...

Thanks, Jama! I must have been writing my comment to Tadmack at the same time you were posting yours.

Anonymous said...

These look great! I'm adding to my library list. Thanks.

Elaine Magliaro said...


See if you can find a copy of Lilian Moore's SEE MY LOVELY POISON IVY. It's been out of print for some time--but it's one terrfic collection of poems to share with kids at this time of year. I found my copy, which I treasure, in a used book store.

Anonymous said...

Poor witch!

Margaret said...

Thanks so much! I've been looking for Halloween poems to use with my fifth graders, and so much of what I've found is either way over their heads, overly cutesy, or just plain stupid. But I'll be using several of these.

Also, have you heard of Colonel Fazackerly Butterworth Toast (who bought an old castle, complete with a ghost!)? His adventures can be found here:

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