Sunday, September 2, 2012
Into the Pumpkin ~ Review
Author: Linda Franklin
The fun of Halloween comes alive in this beautifully illustrated children's book. The drawings, done each year by the author on the eve of Halloween, follow various "Halloween" characters as they prepare to celebrate this mystical holiday -- pumpkins, witches, bats, ravens, black cats, scarecrows, spiders, ghosts, and more. Should they have their party in the graveyard or the pumpkin patch? Should they dress up or simply go as themselves? Take a ride on the witch's broom and enter the pumpkin for a magical trip both you and your kids will not soon forget. Pre-K through 6th.
Linda Franklin is an award-winning artist whose work is widely exhibited in private collections throughout the United States. She is also a celebrated teacher who has launched many aspiring artists onto careers of their own.
For the most part, I thought this book was beautifully done. I loved the little accompanying text to the artwork, which was amazing. I loved how it was spooky, and eerie without being too scary. The ghouls and the pumpkin man were the creepiest, but the watery type style tempered the scary. I thought that Franklin's idea of the party taking place through the pumpkin was pretty clever, and original.
Let me preface - Halloween is my favorite holiday. ;) I know I mentioned last week about the kids at our school clamoring for Halloween books. I am more than happy to oblige, since I like them too, and always have. I thought the creatures that showed up to this Halloween party within the pumpkin were all pretty good. Except the black cat.
Let me get on my animal rescue soap box here for a minute. I really hate to say all this, but I really believe strongly in what I am about to discuss. So I hope I don't offend or bore you. However, I HATE the use of black cats as an example of a Halloween creature, and I wish it wasn't used anymore. I volunteer at our local pound, and black cats (and black dogs!) are the most overlooked of all the animals. People come in and say things like "I don't want to hold that black cat, they are so unlucky!" or "Ugh, I hate black cats - they are creepy and sneaky!" This drives me crazy! And sadly and disgustingly, black cats are also tormented and tortured around Halloween. You would think that our society could get past this black cat stigmata, but it hasn't yet. I have a black cat. A lot of my friends have black cats. And they are wonderful loving animals, just like more colorful cats. I really feel that using their image for Halloween purposes perpetuates the stereotype. Phew. Now I have that off my chest and can go on.
All in all, I did like this book - there were just two pages that didn't sit well with me, and that is because of my closeness to the situation. And that is just my own personal hangup. I know its not something a lot of people would think about or worry about. Otherwise, this is an adorable and appropriately spooky picture book.