Select one of the keywords
The Story of Halloween    by Carol Greene & Linda Bronson order for
Story of Halloween
by Carol Greene
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I love Linda Bronson's perky pumpkin on the cover of The Story of Halloween. And Carol Greene's text magically conjures up Halloween now ('Grinning jack-o'-lanterns') - and then ('Ghosts, druids, and singers') - to our inner eye.

Greene takes us back two millennia to the Celtic 'Samhain' festival, when folk put out old fires and lit them anew from druids' hillside bonfires (which also kept away ghosts in the night). The Romans tossed apples and nuts into the celebration. Christians later named the festival 'All Hallows' Eve', shortened to Halloween. And the original English trick-or-treaters begged for pennies and 'soul-cakes', and made mischief.

We read about different fortune-telling customs that accompanied the holiday. And we learn that the Irish hollowed out vegetables like turnips to make lanterns, and brought Halloween to America when they fled the 1840s potato famine. Did you know that they also brought the tale of stingy Jack, of 'jack-o'-lantern' fame? Or that the tradition of collecting for UNICEF at Halloween started near Philly in 1950? Both were new to me.

Enjoy learning about the history of the holiday in The Story of Halloween, and flip to the back of the book for 'Pumpkin Art' crafts and 'Spooky Riddles' (I love the answer to 'What do spook roosters say?'). Happy Halloween!

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Kids books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews