Friday, October 24, 2008

One Week Until Halloween

Ever since I grew too old to trick-or-treat, I've had a love/hate relationship with Halloween; the costumes are fab and so are the spooky stories, but the sheer sugar-fueled frenzy of it makes me want to go curl up with a book until it's all over - and those darn kids keep ringing the doorbell!

Still, as a children's librarian in a busy branch, it was easy to get caught up in the excitement. Decorations, crafts, costumes, and most of all, the deliciously spooky/funny stories - the holiday is really a children's librarian's dream.

When I became a Branch Manager, things didn't change much. Not only did I continue to wear a costume on Halloween, but I gently (no, honestly! it was completely voluntary!!) encouraged my staff to wear costumes as well, or at least a Dr. Seuss hat. They patiently obliged me.

Now I'm a Senior Children's Librarian - but I no longer work directly with the public. Last year I got to fill in for a children's librarian who got sick on Halloween, but this year my one opportunity to do a Halloween storytime for a brand-new children's librarian fell through when it turned out to be a parent workshop instead. Phooey! And what is the point of wearing my oh-so-coveted Tooth Fairy costume if only my fellow administrative colleagues will see it? Although possibly they could use the guffaw it would surely generate...

If you are looking for an easy children's literature-related costume idea, Wizards Wireless has a few suggestions (plus a fun Mo Willems survey).

There are dozens of sure-fire stories and books out there to tell at a Halloween program. My own all-time favorite is The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams, as it works well both in picture book format and as a participation story for younger kids.

For a scary story for older kids, nothing beats "The Peculiar Such Thing" as told by Virginia Hamilton in The People Could Fly. There are also several picture book versions - my favorite is Jan Wahl's Tailypo.
Oh well - my library Halloween activities may be curtailed, and my teenaged daughters may be too old to go trick-or-treating, but at least I can count on a few kids knocking on my door next week. Better find those teeth-bracelets and iron out my ribbons and wings!

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