Friday, October 07, 2011

Everything Halloweenish: Halloween Book of Fun by National Geographic Kids

There are lots of Halloween helper books around, but as in the famous spooky folktale, There's Always Room for One More!

And just in time for the scary season comes the notable National Geographic Kids Press with a brand-new omnibus compendium with pencil-and-paper fun for one or many, ideas for really creative costumes made from easily found materials and with Halloween face makeup also from common household ingredients, recipes for Halloween treats, tips for carving kooky Jack-o'-lanterns, and on and on.

There are mazes, word scrambles, fall leaf rubbings, optical illusions, and hidden picture pages for quiet activities at home, school, or youth groups. And then there are the costumes! All require a little scissors and paint know-how from adults or older kids, but there is plenty for younger spooks to do in the process. How about dressing as "spaghetti and meatballs?" A circle of cardboard (with a hole for the trick-or-treater's head in the center) for a table, with glued-on "tablecloth" fabric and a paper plate, filled with a spaghetti made from large round pom-pom balls, pasta-like yarn, and some red felt "sauce." Or how about dressing up as a bag of popcorn, in a cardboard box with head and armholes, painted to look like a movie snack bag and hat covered with real glued-on popcorn? Or for a truly original costume, how about a washing machine? All it takes is a big cardboard box, some white paint, a black marker, and you're ready for a load (of treats, that is!).

And for truly original pumpkin carvings, there are plenty of design ideas, (with stencils and decals), including the novel idea of peeling back strips of the hard shell to allow light to shine eerily through the remaining pulp.

Want to keep the kids close to home on the big night? NG Kids Halloween Book of Fun (National Geographic Kids) (National Geographic Kids, 2011) has plenty of ideas for making your own frightful haunted house right on the premises, with all the usual props and a few new ones, and with an added section on making fake blood and hairy moles from common pantry ingredients!

Even the fake tombstone epitaphs (more boxes, white paint, and markers) give the spooky punster a field day--I. M. GONE and YUL B. NEXT, for example.

All of this in a very inexpensive, sturdy and colorful paperback book, adorned with NGS's signature color photographs and plenty of Halloween jokes and snappy and informational sidebars to add to the fun. This little book is a handy household or classroom resource for the upcoming season.

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