Scary, Scary Halloween
By Eve Bunting; pictures by Jan Brett
Isn’t it great when you have an essential Halloween classic that gives you a window in to the early art of an iconic picture book author like Jan Brett? “Scary, Scary Halloween” is such a book. I think anyone familiar with the artistry and attention to detail that Brett picture books are famous for would be very interested in this 1986 Halloween offering by Eve Bunting with pictures by Jan Brett.
Might you be familiar with a made-for-TV Halloween movie called “The Worst Witch” that came out in the same year, 1986? It was based on a book series of the same name by Jill Murphy. The series, published in 1974, may strike a chord with your young adult kids that may STILL remember the song from the movie, titled “Anything Can Happen on Halloween”, sung by the Grand Wizard himself, Tim Curry. And “Scary, Scary Halloween”, by the talented team of Bunting and Brett, is a visual of the words to THAT song. Funny how all these book and movies interrelate to a time in my now grown children’s Halloween time capsule. Movies and songs provide a sort of soundtrack to our lives, in that they can quickly take us back to a time and place.
Starting with the colorful and puckishly painted endpapers that set the tone to what follows, this tale of what can be seen and heard on Halloween is a hoot. Pictures are set against a purplish, inky night sky, as a ghostly band made up of costumed skeletons, vampires, werewolves, witches, goblins and gremlins cavort through a neighborhood, reveling in the freedom of being “someone else” for a night.
A costumed devil literally prances by a split rail fence, as he follows the happy hoard of trick or treaters. His elegantly bordered cape with eye ball design accents, is a window into Jan Brett‘s development for defining detail! It is the most chic of devilish designs in costume couture that I have seen in some time.
And as for those dark, glowing yellow and green eyes peering out from the dark following the parade of trick or treaters, whoooo can they be? Those are not owlish eyes you see, but practically purr fect and furry in nature would be my guess.
Have a Halloween treat with your kids reading the book and seeing this ghostly parade pirouette through the streets and fields even as you look out your window on Halloween and see its replication with YOUR kids.
And please give “The Worst Witch” a read too. Both the book and movie are very much worth it. Youtube has clips from the movie, so check it out. Happy Halloween!!
And here’s some more over-the-top Halloween Fun!
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