October 31, 2014

Short Films for Tonight

Halloween is here at last, and I'm sure most of us have at least something to do tonight, whether it's trick-or-treating, a party, or just a scary movie with some friends or family. But if you don't have anything to do tonight, here are some short films that you can watch online for free to get yourself into a Halloween mood.

October 19, 2014

Showcase Sunday [2014 #17]

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme from Books, Biscuits, and Tea.

[Book Review] National Geographic Kids: Halloween by Laura Marsh

Halloween by Laura Marsh is a Level One National Geographic Reader, which is "just right for kids who are beginning to read on their own", according to the back cover of the picture book.

Basically, this is a National Geographic Kids perspective on Halloween; if your child reads that magazine (and I recommend it!), they should enjoy this book.

It's a very simple picture book for young readers, and it presents a simplified version of the history of Halloween, El Dia de Los Muertos, and pumpkin/jack-'o-lantern traditions, interspersed with rhymes, jokes, and ideas for decorations and costumes. It's only thirty-two pages long, so it should be a quick read for a young child getting into the holiday spirit.

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October 18, 2014

[Book Review] The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton

Ostensibly a picture book adaptation of the film of the same name, The Nightmare Before Christmas is quite the disappointment. Within the span of thirty-seven pages, the book manages to completely change Jack's motivation, remove most Jack's supporting cast, and rewrite of the story's ending. Frankly, it's kind of upsetting.

In the movie, Jack is bored with the repetitive nature of life in Halloween Town. In this book, he is sick of "Halloweenland" in general, going so far as to say he--the friggin' Pumpkin King--doesn't like graveyards. Um, what?

In the movie, Jack's plotline is supported by Sally's. In this book, there is no sign of Sally's existence.

In the movie, Jack's main antagonist is Oogie Boogie while Sally's is Dr. Finklestein. In this book, there is no sign of Oogie or the doctor's existence.

In the movie, Jack must save Santa after Lock, Shock, and Barrel take him to Oogie Boogie. In this book, Santa inexplicably returns to Christmas Town on the second-to-last page and sends Jack home with a weird little lecture about how "Halloween's the right place for [Jack]", with the implication being that Jack should just get over himself.

And let's not get into how clumsy all the poetry is. Seriously not cool, guys. I definitely don't recommend this picture book; if you want your child to experience The Nightmare Before Christmas, just watch the movie.

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October 17, 2014

[Book Review] Disney Princess: Sweet and Spooky Halloween by Melissa Lagonegro

Carve pumpkins, wear silly costumes, and tell creepy stories with the Disney Princesses as they celebrate everything sweet and spooky about Halloween!

Sweet and Spooky Halloween is a picture book tie-in to the Disney Princess Franchise, featuring Cinderella, Aurora, Belle, Ariel, and Snow White as they engage in various Halloween preparations and festivities.

Young fans of the princesses can read about Cinderella and her mouse friends picking out pumpkins and making jack-o'-lanterns, Aurora and her trio of fairy companions preparing costumes, Snow White and the dwarfs bobbing for apples, Belle reading scary stories to the Beast and his enchanted furniture/staff, and and Ariel and Flounder dressing up in creepy costumes.

It's a great reading opportunity for the Disney Princess obsessed child in your life, so I definitely recommend it to fans of the franchise.

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