Tag Archives: Pumpkins

SALE: Get Ready for Halloween with Jeremy, the Jack-O’-Lantern

In preparation for Fall, which is quickly approaching, my publisher and I have set a temporary discount on my children’s picture book, Jeremy, the Jack-o’-Lantern.
Now through the month of October save 15% off the cover price only at Lulu.com !

Get in the mood for Halloween and share this story with your kids, neighbors, friends, relatives, or anyone who enjoys Halloween!

Also, as part of my 31 Days of Halloween, I will be having a jack-o’-lantern contest! Stay tuned for details!

Jeremy Cover 001

What does a pumpkin think about being turned into a jack-o’-lantern? Join Jeremy as he goes from a small pumpkin on a vine to a delightfully wicked jack-o’-lantern!
Go on a journey as Jeremy experiences Halloween for the first time!

Click Here to Buy!

31 Days of Halloween

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Coming this October, I will embark an an ambitious quest to post 31 Halloween related blog posts. Be prepared for chilling content and thrilling activities you will find no where else!

  • Halloween Movie Reviews
  • Candy Reviews!
  • Halloween Specials!
  • Fantastic Adventures in Family Entertainment 2nd Annual Halloween Edition!
  • Costume Ideas
  • Decoration Ideas
  • Spooky Book reviews!
  • And Much More….

Stay tuned for the entire month of October! You won’t want to miss out on this one of a kind adventure for the entire family!

 

Trick or Treat: The History of Halloween!

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints’ Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, and All Souls’, were called Hallowmas.

Interested in going deeper and learning more about Halloween? I strongly recommend this Book: Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween by Lisa Morton
http://www.amazon.com/Trick-Treat-A-History-Halloween/dp/1780230478

Fantastic Adventures Halloween Edition: Garfield’s Halloween Special

Today’s Halloween adventure is a blast out of the past. Garfield’s Halloween Adventure came out in 1985 as a television special and was titled Garfield in Disguise. This story focuses on Garfield and Odie’s strange trip around town while on the hunt for candy. Naturally, Garfield wants all of the candy in the neighborhood for himself, and will do anything to get it. He begrudgingly takes Odie with him in order to collect more candy. Just when Garfield thinks he is done trick or treating, he spies an island off the coast and decides to try his luck over there. On the island, Garfield and Odie enter a creepy and creaky old house inhabited by a small, wrinkled old man who tells them the story of the cursed pirates who buried a treasure on the island and return every Halloween to claim it. Horror and hilarity ensue!

The ghost pirates!

Why it is a fantastic adventure: In the beginning of the cartoon, Garfield begrudged Halloween and would rather sleep. It isn’t until he watches a cartoon clown on TV that he realizes that he is missing out on all the candy. What kid can’t relate to that? Candy is definitely the universal language of kids everywhere. If you watch this on Halloween, this opening sequence will get your kids excited for trick or treating later in the night!
Garfield runs to the attic to concoct a costume. He goes through many different ideas: A rat, bat, old man, nerd, ghost, and eventually settles on a pirate. This sequence is a great kick starter to get your kids brainstorming about different costumes. After the excitement of trick or treating is over, Garfield and Odie head off on a boat to an island where they enter the haunted house. This is where the fun really begins on this spooky Halloween adventure. While the old man is telling the story of the ghost pirates, there is a great little animation of pirate ghosts creeping from under the floorboards and into the house. It is a frightening scene for young kids, but this being Halloween and all, it is entirely appropriate. It is a great way to get your kids spooked for a night of tricks, treats and just plain old fun.
In the end, Garfield lets the ghost pirates keep their treasure that is hidden in the haunted house. This is a good lesson about possessions and what is right and wrong to take. People hand out candy to you, and that is okay, but taking something from someone else is not okay.
The program ends on a high note with Garfield sharing his candy with Odie (another great lesson) and collapsing off to sleep after a grand adventure.

Garfield’s Halloween Adventure is available to stream for free if you have Amazon Prime, or rent if you do not have Prime: http://www.amazon.com/Garfields-Halloween-Adventure/dp/B0083GPSYQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351548026&sr=8-1&keywords=garfield+halloween

Fantastic Adventures Halloween Edition: Scooby Doo and the Witch’s Ghost

The next stop on our Halloween tour: Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost! This animated movie came out straight to DVD in 2001. Like most Scooby-Doo movies, this one revolves around a mystery. In this case, there is a witch’s ghost tormenting the citizens of Oak Haven, a sleepy little town where famed Horror writer Ben Ravencroft goes to write his books. Ben Ravencroft runs into Scooby and the gang after they solve a mystery at a local history museum.
once Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and Fred arrive in Oak Haven, they immediately begin to investigate the suspicious behavior of the mayor. The gang is skeptical about the Witch’s ghost being real , but once they see it for themselves will they believe in ghosts? Join the spooky adventurers as they try to solve the mystery of the Witch’s ghost!

Fred, Daphne and Velma with Ben Ravencroft

Why it is a fantastic Adventure: This movie is one that I view every October to get me into the Halloween and Fall spirit. The town of Oak Haven has a picturesque New England Fall setting: brown leaves, barren trees, a small Main Street where everyone knows everyone, and even a re-creation of a Puritan village. If you live in parts of the world where the weather doesn’t change much and Fall doesn’t really happen, this is a great way to get yourself and the kids in the proper Fall mindset.
Along the way, the gang meet a group of gothic witches who are in the rock band, The Hex Girls. This trio provides a few songs in the movie (which are actually pretty good) and help keep the kids entertained through the somewhat plodding mystery story.
Scooby-Doo provides the majority of the movie’s laughs, whether he is scarfing down a gigantic sandwich, begging for Scooby Snacks, or trying to churn butter in the Puritan village. He also provides crucial entertainment value in a story that is somewhat dark for a kids’ Halloween adventure.
On that point, the ghost in this movie is real. She is not someone dressed up in a costume to be de-masked at the end. She has a real thirst for revenge and will do anything to get her way. She brings pumpkins to life and turns them into evil jack-o’-lanterns that try to eat Scoobyand the gang. This is also a great way to get your kids’ imaginations soaring and get them creating and

Imagination running wild!

thinking out of the box.
The plot deals with witches, Wiccans and warlocks, and provides a safe introduction to the topic of real life witches- Wiccans -that you can elaborate on later if you so desire.
The mystery plot is a lot of fun and will keep your kids guessing until the end, especially since the witch turns out to be real (but who was behind the other part of the mystery, and why was the mayor being so suspicious?). There are plenty of eerie locations to keep up the Halloween vibe: abandoned mills, forests full of dead trees, a cabin shrouded in an eerie fog.

Overall, Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghostis a great atmosphere setting movie with a fun mystery and a few teachable moments and imagination igniting ideas for your kids. Watch and get ready for Halloween!

Available to purchase on DVD from your favorite retailer!

The Hex Girls introduce your kids to great music and modern witches!

NEW RELEASE: Jeremy, the Jack-O’-Lantern

 

My latest book, Jeremy, the Jack-O’-Lantern is now available to order! 
What does a pumpkin think about being turned into a jack-o’-lantern?

Join Jeremy as he goes from a small pumpkin on a vine to a delightfully wicked jack-o’-lantern! Go on a journey as Jeremy experiences Halloween for the first time!

Buy it at Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/shop/ryan-r-palmer/jeremy-the-jack-o-lantern/paperback/product-20472337.html

Coming soon to Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and more!!

Fantastic Adventures Halloween Edition: Berenstain Bears go on a Ghost Walk

The Berenstain Bears are a popular series for both parents and kids because it teaches great life lessons, helping the parents approach difficult subjects. This Halloween edition has a similar theme, in that it teaches about dressing up for Halloween and why being scary is okay. When Papa Bear gets to design a haunted house for the school’s Ghost Walk at Halloween, he decides that it’s going to be the scariest Ghost Walk ever, with every frightening thing he can possibly use. Mama Bear is concerned that he might be going too far, especially since this event is for young children, but Papa is having too much fun to take her warning seriously. Then, a nightmare of his own causes him to reconsider.

Why it is a fantastic adventure: As mentioned above, the book teaches about Halloween and the appropriateness of the scary costumes, decorations and evil creatures shown on TV.
It is a good chance for parents to have a great conversation about Halloween costumes and what is appropriate. Of course, the level of that appropriateness is up to each individual parent. The illustrations also allow for your kids to open up their imaginations and really get into the different aspects of dressing up for Halloween. it is a great way to help them kick start costume ideas.