Friday, October 28, 2011

Poetry for Halloween

Hallowilloween: Nefarious Silliness
Written & illustrated by Calef Brown
Houghton Mifflin, 2010

Kids enjoy reading poems about scary things that "go bump in the night"—and they LOVE Halloween. What better way to celebrate the spooky holiday at the end of October with children than to share with them the poems in Calef Brown’s Hallowilloween? The collection contains fourteen poems about the usual “Halloween” suspects—including a werewolf, witches, the grim reaper, a shrunken head, and a mummy.

Brown’s poems brim with whimsy and humor and wordplay.

From Jack:

Jack is a rare wolf.
A covered with hair wolf.
A crouch in the doorway
to give you a scare wolf.
A big as a bear wolf.
A devil may care wolf.
A constantly burping
and fouling the air wolf.

From Lone Star Witches:

The witches of Texas,
with cackles and hoots,
are doing a two-step
in lizard-skin boots
while filling a cauldron
with truffles and newts.
A sinister potion
is brewing in Austin
to fire up the feud
with the Witches of Boston.

There are poems about someone having dinner with the grim reaper, a poltergeyser at a national park, and a baseball umpire who’s a vampire. The “vumpire” only works night games—as would be expected. In one poem, a mummy complains about how badly its mummification was botched:

Who do I sue?
I’m completely unraveling!
No more vacations.
Forget about traveling.
All of my wrappings
are ragged and ripped.
I slipped up and tripped
on the edge of my crypt.

Brown’s stylistic acrylic paintings are saturated with color—oranges, greens, yellows, browns—and there are ample touches of black to help set a "dark" Halloween tone. Like the poems, the illustrations are imbued with humor. This book is sure to bring smiles to children's faces. I have little doubt that both the poetry and art in Hallowilloween will appeal to children.
Click here to view three two-page spreads from this book.

Click here to look inside this book.


More Poetry for Halloween

Poetry for Halloween (Wild Rose Reader)


Click here to read a few of my original Halloween haikus.

Click here to read some of my witch poems.

Here's a Halloween acrostic that I wrote a few years ago:

Ghastly spirit

Hovering in dark corners of the
Old house it once inhabited…
Silent sentinel of the past
Torn between two worlds


The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Random Noodling.


Diane Mayr said...

A great collection of Halloween books for me to pass along to the children's librarian! Many thanks.

Mary Lee said...

How did I miss that one by Calef Brown?!? Must have!

I'd add another oldie but goodie to your list -- Eve Merriam's HALLOWEEN ABC (illus Lane Smith).