Poetry Friday: I’m Going as a Witch This Year.
How ‘Bout You?

h1 October 24th, 2008 by jules

“Beware of where you’re going,
Beware of where you play,
Beware of werewolves everywhere—
Halloween is on the way!”

I’m throwing a Halloween party tonight (wish you could come over for some hot cider and hot apple crisp with ice cream and orange cupcakes, mmmmm), so I’m in the mood for some Halloween poetry today. And, in honor of the children who will be in my house tonight, I’m going to share some Halloween children’s poetry.

I had the pleasure of hosting the session of children’s poet Charles Ghigna (a.k.a. “Father Goose”) at the recent Southern Festival of Books, and I got his permission to share some poems today from his Halloween Night: Twenty-One Spooktacular Poems, published in 2003 by Running Press Kids. That opening verse is the last one from his “Beware the Werewolf.”

Adam McCauley illustrated this title, and—since I love his work—I asked if he could share some of the art work from it, and he obliged as well.*

So, take a moment to enjoy a couple of Halloween poems, both told from the point-of-view of children on Halloween. (Could there be a more exciting time of year for them?) If you are looking for the types of simple rhymes that will engage the very wee’est child at this time of year, this is a good title. Many, many thanks to Charles and Adam for sharing. Enjoy!

“Costume Crazy”

The year I dressed
up as a witch,
My ugly wig began to itch.

The year I dressed
up as a clown,
My silly nose
kept falling down.

The year I dressed
up as a ghost,
I tripped and fell
and hit a post.

This year I know
just what I’ll be.
I’m dressing up
to go as me.

“Pumpkin Patched”

We drove out to the pumpkin patch
To see what we could find.
But soon we found that each of us
Had something else in mind.

My mom said, “Pick a shiny one
That’s ripe and rather round,”
My dad said, “Pick the biggest one
That we have ever found.”

My sister shouted, “Pick the one
That’s fatter than the rest!”
But I knew if we looked around
We’d find which one was best.

We came upon a little one
That sat there all alone
Looking like she needed us
To please just take her home.

My parents said she was too small,
Her color was not right.
But when they saw me holding her,
They took her home that night.

They placed her on the table top
And asked us to decide
Who would cut the eyes and mouth
And who would scoop inside.

They handed me the carving knife,
But I just shook my head.
I couldn’t bear to cut her up
No matter what they said.

And so she sits just as she was
Upon the windowsill.
Instead of Jack-o’-Lantern now
This year we have a Jill.

The one, the only Kelly Herold has the Poetry Friday round-up today at Big A, little a.

* * * * * * *

* Speaking of McCauley, another great Halloween picture book read for you and your favorite child is Richard Michelson’s Oh No, Not Ghosts! (Harcourt, 2006), which I reviewed back here at 7-Imp at the end of ’06 when our images were tragically small. If you go here to McCauley’s site, you can see several spreads from the book. This one’s a winner in my household; my girls want to hear it all year long. It’s altogether possible I can recite it, and Adam’s art is spooktacularly creepy and great. Here’s but one spread:

14 comments to “Poetry Friday: I’m Going as a Witch This Year.
How ‘Bout You?”

  1. The party sounds wonderful. The post is pretty wonderful, too.

  2. Hah! Those werewolves! So not bringing Jacob and La Push to mind. I LOVE them.

    I hope you have a great party. (Feel the envy oozing across the Atlantic.)

  3. When I think of Halloween poetry, I always think of this old prayer (which I’ve seen described variously as Scottish and Cornish):

    From ghoulies and ghosties
    And long-legged beasties
    And things that go bump in the night
    Good Lord, deliver us!

    Agree w/TadMack: most excellent werewolves.

    (Although, hmm, now I’m thinking I haven’t seen An American Werewolf in London in years — that movie scared the bejabbers out of me the first couple times I saw it. Although I also thought Griffin Dunne was hilarious as the grumpy dead friend.)

  4. Ooh! Love the pumpkin poem. I can’t bear to carve up my pumpkins either.

    Have fun at your party tonight. Apple crisp and cupcakes, yum!!

  5. Thanks. Wish you all could come.

    JES, thank you for the word “bejabbers,” which single-handedly just made my day. And do you know I’ve never seen “An American Werewolf in London”? My husband and I have had a running joke since we met about the number of movies I have NOT seen (“Ghostbusters” is just one) — as in, ones the rest of the entire world has seen — making me sort of a pop culture moron sometimes. (Not that my husband calls me a moron, but you know what I mean.)

  6. How much do I love those evil werewolves? And all that delicious orange?

    On a somewhat related note, the Post has been featuring Cupcake Wars—tasting cupcakes from bakeries around DC. I’m planning an excursion to the winners!

  7. Not that I am trying to make you all jealous, but I do get to go to the party tonight. And I didn’t even know there would be hot apple crisp with ice cream. Woo hoo, as my four year old would say.

    The poems are fantabulous and I love the artwork. I’m not sure Cy will let us carve his pumpkin either (he picked a perfect Cy-sized one last week). I really need to add to our poetry collection at home, and this will be a good one to start with.

    As for “An American Werewolf in London” – that movie is scary and hilarious. Also inspiring – a college friend of mine renamed his dorm room The Slaughtered Lamb after the pub at the beginning of the movie. (And yes, it did resemble a pub in that vast quanities of alcohol was comsumed).

  8. Zoe, I can take no credit for the hot apple crisp and hot cider you’re going to have. It’s all my husband’s doing, his great recipes….mmm.

    Can’t wait to see you.

    Sara, I love the very notion of Cupcake Wars. Does Fuse know about this? She’s the biggest cupcake fan I know.

  9. Jules: Sometimes it seems like movies compete with books in the “so many ____, so little time” category. (But then I come to my senses and realize it’s not even close.) Ghostbusters should definitely be on your husband’s Netflix/Blockbuster list of “movies to help Jules catch up.”

    Zoë: I LOVE the name “The Slaughtered Lamb” — well, for the pub in the movie anyhow. Immediately sort of sets the tone in a way that, oh say, “Bennigan’s” wouldn’t. 🙂

    Have fun at the party. Don’t let anybody trick you into bobbing for ice cream in a tub of hot cider.

  10. Sara, if you want some REALLY good cupcakes, you’ll have to come to a suburb near me. YUM!

    And me? I’m going as Amelia Earhart. Not very scary, but I’ve got the goggles, the hat, plenty of scarves, and access to the flight jacket.

  11. Have a fun party! 🙂

    Best shapeshifting villains you love to hate: Prowlers (Jasmine!) by Christopher Golden

    Best red-headed TV werewolf: Daniel ‘Oz’ Osbourne on BtVS


  12. How did I miss Halloween Night when it came out? I think I have to get a copy for the library.

  13. […] okay. In fact, it’s sometimes good for them. This is from Richard Michelson’s Oh No, Not Ghosts! (Chronicle Books, […]

  14. Hi,

    I was wondering if I could use the second picture on your post?

    All the best.

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