Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Three Literary Themed Halloween Parties for 'tweens and teens (try thaying THAT 3 times!!)

1- Quothe the Raven Party
For a sophisticated party for teens, try this "Creative Raven" theme, using lines from Edgar Allen Poe's poem as your inspiration: you can find faux blackbirds and crows at most craft stores around this time of year. Better Homes and Gardens Halloween Issue 2012 has some great inspiration for an Edgar Allen Poe "Raven" themed party...
Dress up a large mirror with a feathery wreath and verses
from EDGAR ALLEN POE'S The Raven for a spooky dining room decoration.
Source  HERE
"But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling, 
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door; 
Then upon the velvet sinking, 
I betook myself to linking 
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore- 
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore 
Meant in croaking 'Nevermore'."
Birdcage pumpkin [source]

2- A Victorian Steampunk Party, Sherlock Holmes Style...
Get out your monocles, pipes, and capes...

Instead of using a magic wand, make a Cinderella Pumpkin using gears for the wheels,
a soap dish for the driver's seat, a drawer pull for the door, and a sink drain
for the window.  The little mice are mini white pumpkins with upholstery-tack
noses, wire whiskers, and nail feet. [source]
Easy to find Steampunk accessories (gears
and goggles), and costumes on Amazon.
I found a whole list of ideas on Squidoo, including using metallic paper goods, clocks, a fog machine, lanterns, and..."Mustache on a Stick"!
More free silhouette printables from bhg

3- Oz Pumpkinhead Party (with a little bit of Washington Irving's Sleepy Hollow, and The Nightmare Before Christmas thrown in.)

Before Jack Skellington - the main character in Tim Burton's animated film,The Nightmare Before Christmas - there was L. Frank Baum's storybook character, Jack Pumpkinhead.
"...in his first scene in The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack Skellington does have a pumpkin on his head, and looks very much like Jack Pumpkinhead. Also, the director of Nightmare was Henry Sellick who, eight years earlier, had been a storyboard artist on Return to Oz, and therefore had several opportunities to draw Jack Pumpkinhead. From another perspective, similarities can also be seen between Scraps, the Patchwork Girl of the OZ books, and Sally in The Nightmare Before Christmas, so there may be another connection there, but it's also not terribly likely."(source: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz website).

Scarecrow Crunch 
4 cups crunchy oatmeal cereal squares or Chex cereal
4 cups tiny twist pretzels
1 can salted peanuts
1 bag of autumn mix honey candy
1 bag of candy corn
2 cups peaunut butter M&M’s
2 (6-ounce) boxes caramel popcorn with nuts
1 (6.6) bag chocolate graham Teddy bears

Jack Skellington Cupcakes [source: spoonful disney blog]
A hat tip to Washington Irving, at the Magic Kingdom. [source]
Listen to The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow Audio Book.  Or the radio archive on iTunes here.

Easy Decor/Activity/Party Favor
Miniature pumpkins can be colored in minutes with acrylic paints or permanent markers. The secret to their jewel-like sparkle is a finishing (polyurethane) glaze applied after the paint or ink has thoroughly dried.


  1. These pumpkins are fabulous!! I always prefer "non-scary" Halloween ideas. What a great excuse to dress up or celebrate your favorite literary characters!

  2. these are such neat ideas! Spooky yet refined :)