2020’s Halloween

[Poetry Friday is with Salt City Verse this week. Last week we were way over in Europe with Bridget. Go travel!]

C r e a k! The first treat out of my Halloween book fault was created by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

RAGGED SHADOWS, Poems of Halloween Night will delight! Haunt the collectible book sites for this unnew treasure to spend All Hallow’s Eve with Jane Yolen, Nancy Willard, Fran Haraway, Karla Kushkin,Deborah Chandra, Barbara Juster Esbensen, Alice Schertle,Valerie Worth, Marilyn Waniek, Pamela Espeland andof course, Lee. Such a partee!

Here is Lee’s poem.

And isn’t it so like Lee, in his selection for the collection, to remind us of the day-after all-safe! day of Allhallowmas. It’s only been a year and two months since Lee left this earth, but it still feels fresh. So grateful to find a Lee hug within each of his books.

This year I’m late to Halloween preparation but here is my short confection.

2020 Halloween

 Ghost stories for a Celtic celebration.

What October traditions have you seen?

Thank you, olden times Irish refugees

for your gift import, of All’ Hallowe’en.

 𝕔𝕠𝕡𝕪𝕣𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥©𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟘JGAnnino, all rights reserved

Please look for KNOCK ON WOOD from poet Janet Wong and artist Julie Paschkis.  It’s great for older kids who still love Halloween but deserve a more nuanced illustrated journey. This one weaves through the world of superstitions.

copyright, JULIE PASCHKIS, from Knock on Wood. Poems about superstitions. by JANET WONG, all rights reserved. 

A favorite treat in Knock on Wood is this poem:

“Wood” copyright JANET WONG, from KNOCK ON WOOD, illustrated by JULIE PASCHKIS.

I also like to run my finger over the branches  finding all the tree details.

Halloween isn’t just an outdoor partee at our house. This year I’ve used the fireplace hearth, too. Where in the house do you decorate?  We are still feeling festive about a socially distanced Halloween. How are you handling things? I have an idea to put a big plastic bowl of candy on a chair at the end of our drive & keep lights off, blinds down.  

RAGGED SHADOWS art C. Giles Laroche, all rights reserved

The RAGGED SHADOWS page-turning step-this-way don’t-be-too-scared! cut paper artwork is from the very talented Giles Laroche.

Trusted friends are also recommending, these I haven’t seen:

THAT MONSTER On THE BLOCK, by Sue Ganz-Schmitt and Luke Flowers MONSTER MAKES A SANDWICH by Adam Rex                                              SHE WANTED TO BE HAUNTED Marcus Ewert and Susie Ghahreman       PICK A PUMPKIN by Patricia Toht and Jarvis,  earlier love, here.                      FLASHLIGHT NIGHT by Matt Forrest Esenwine and Fred Koehler                   MONSTER SCHOOL by Kate Combs and Lee Gatlin

Just in today’s traditional mail post, a treasure from an author I met through Michelle Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty, rhyming poet Carrie Clickard, who has sadly passed on, but not before creating this treat with artist John Shelley, MAGIC FOR SALE.

“On the corner of Hemlock and Blight/. skulks the shop of Miss Pustula Night/ with a sign on the stair:



copyright Carrie Clickard, illustrated by John Shelley

Please add your favorites in the comments. Day and night we visit with our October gal when we pass down the drive.  Her flair is the work of my artist mother-through-marriage, my hubby’s talented Mom, and it’s just not Halloween month without her riding herd on our yard.  She never arrived with a name and I feel we are way overdue in conjuring that. Hmmmm.

Hope the zombies don’t get you!

On stage with the FSU Flying High Student Circus, Halloween edition, 2017


25 responses to “2020’s Halloween”

  1. I love Eve Merriam’s HALLOWEEN ABC. I have a student this year who doesn’t celebrate Halloween, so I’ve kept my online classroom a safe place for him to be away from the constant hoopla. It has made me even more aware of all the pitfalls of those who live outside whatever seem to be “the norms” of society, and how hard it is to hold true to your religion/culture/beliefs when not the “mainstream.” I do love Halloween with all its pagan roots and chocolate overkill, but taking a bit of a break this year, what with my student and COVID.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deep appreciations for mentioning your student, Mary Lee. And of course, you would be wonderfully sensitive.

      You’ve also unknowingly shaken my brain fuzz to help me remember a MG novel character new to me this year, Sara, in a story told in alternating chapters with her new friend, Elizabeth. On ch. 11 Sara opens with, “I hate Halloween.” She teaches her new friend that celebrating Halloween is against her faith in Laura Shovan’s A PLACE AT THE TABLE, a lovely book of friendship. I’m hoping that it’s widely read, especially by students who might appreciate seeing how Sara, a follower of Islam, navigates the October challenge for students such as her.


  2. What a haunting feast! I do not know RAGGED SHADOWS and will have to search it out! I do know Janet’s collection–I must find it for a reread. SCARUM FAIR by Jessica Swaim is a fabulous Halloween poetry collection–a real favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Spooktacular post Jan, and what fun that witchie is to have on your lawn. Thanks for sharing all these Halloween books, zombie antics, Lee’s poem and yours. I like “Mummy Cat” by Marcus Ewert with art by Lisa Brown; and a favorite I read to my kids long ago “The Teeny Tiny Ghost” by Kay Winters with art by Lynn Munsinger, many thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jan, you have prepared us tasty treats for virtual-style Halloween. I loved every last bite starting with Lee’s words and actions. Thank you for preparing a feast for us. It is so good to see you preparing for a fun time of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ragged Shadows looks delightful! I’ll have to see if the local library has it. Have you read Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies? That is a fun halloween time book!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a fun post and wonderful collection of books you’ve rounded up, Jan! Thank you for including Carrie’s. She had a special fondness for MAGIC FOR SALE and all things strange and monsterish. 🙂 I’ve read (and enjoyed) Janet’s KNOCK ON WOOD, but believe it or not, not Lee’s RAGGED SHADOWS. LBH had SOOOOO many books, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised! Looking forward to getting my hands on a copy. Another Halloween-related book I enjoyed (and reviewed on TLD) is Calef Brown’s THE GHOSTLY CAROUSEL: DELIGHTFULLY FRIGHTFUL POEMS. https://michellehbarnes.blogspot.com/2018/10/spotlight-on-calef-brown-dmc-challenge.html The nameless witch in your yard is a real beauty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Michelle. Carrie created a cavorting romp through the crazy shop. Curious readers of all ages will want to spend time with her word play & to find hidden details from artist John Shelley. He was a perfect match for her story poem. I too am a Janet Wong fan & I have yet to get to all many of LBH’s books. I mean, who but a librarian can? What is the quoted number of his edited or written ones? Quite high.

      I must see that Halloween-season CAROUSEL of Calef Brown – such a talent he is to make the art & the poems for one book. We are lucky readers, aren’t we? I was smitten with FLAMINGOES on the ROOF.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Jan, what a lovely BOO for Halloween. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but think I might fill little bags and spread them out on a table on my porch, no door answering. Some children I know are not going out at all. I love this holiday and wish all the challenges weren’t so. As for decor, inside I have a pumpkin from years ago that’s carved from a coconut and a large “spider web” crocheted with a wee spider hanging on it! It’s a favorite! Thanks for sharing the books, both new to me and Carrie’s really fun poem. A favorite we read every year is Charles Ghigna’s Halloween Night and a recent find at the bookstore where I volunteer is Halloween Stories and Poems (1989) edited by Caroline Bauer & illustrated by Peter Sis, very fun. Thanks for all!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I do love the playfulness October brings out in so many of us. And, I hadn’t seen that LBH collection before. Thanks for sharing a poem and some pages. It’s lovely. I’ve wondered what Halloween will look like this year….and, it being on a Saturday what kind of goings on there will be. I hope no one is scared of anything as much as they are the virus that lurks waiting to get all of us. Socially distanced trick-or-treat? How does that work?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your Halloween preparations and poem are a delight, Jan. Thanks for sharing Lee’s Halloween anthology title – I somehow didn’t know about this one. Also, would you like me to add you to this week’s PF round up? There’s been a glitch with my comments (I suspect the googly-eyed fruit) so I’ve missed some requests to be added. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy Halloween Halooo! across to Swiss Land!

      I hope you enjoy RAGGED SHADOWS as much as I do.
      Likely it can be borrowed from a library (university?) with a fine children’s lit. collection- if not purchased via AbeBooks or somesuch. It’s highly collectible.

      Appreciations for the offer but not this week. I know from exp. that I dislike linking if I’ve not the kind of weekend/week to get around PF & visit on each or at least most, generous offerings, if this makes sense? YOU are a most accommodating host, truly the PF spirit:)


      • Totally understand! My comment section was malfunctioning so I wanted to double check if it affected you. Phew! Have a great day! 🙂


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