Tag Archives: Halloween

Spooky Halloween Games (designed by a six year old)

Mighty-Girl is very keen on parties. She starts serious planning for her birthday party in September every year. Her birthday is in February… This year I thought we’d throw an impromptu mini Halloween party for a few friends (three families including us, seven children between us!)

This was Mighty-Girl’s cue to go into serious party planning mode. She has drawn lots of witches, mummies, skeletons, bats and pumpkins that are now stuck around the house, but I want to share these (in my completely biased opinion) utterly wonderful Halloween games that she designed entirely alone (all her own idea, plan, and execution – I just leave her to be creative, it seems to work!)

Firstly we have Spooks and Ladders, a snakes and ladders game with lots of spooky pictures. I like the way you have to fly across the board at the end of each row, and the really evil snake on square 57.

Spooks and Ladders by Mighty-Girl, age six

Secondly, and in my opinion the best, there is a spooky Halloween wordsearch. Again, completely from Mighty-Girl’s imagination. She made the grid, chose the words, filled everything in and drew all the pictures. I am in awe of her actually and think she’s quite brilliant 🙂

Spooky wordsearch by Mighty-Girl, age six

The wordsearch is quite challenging, she’s added in a lot of misdirection. Did I mention how impressed I am with this?! However, I might look out a prize if you can find pumpkin, because I can’t find it and on asking the expert, she thinks she might have left it out 😉

You can download PDF versions of Mighty-Girl’s Halloween games by clicking on the images above, or the links below:
Mighty-Girl’s Spooks and Ladders Game
Mighty-Girl’s Spooky Halloween Wordsearch

Happy Halloween 2013!

The Totally Terrifying Three by Hiawyn Oram & David Melling

The Totally Terrifying Three: Hiawyn Oram & David Melling (Hodder Children's Books, 2011)

The Totally Terrifying Three: Hiawyn Oram & David Melling
(Hodder Children’s Books, 2011)

It’s paperback publication day on Thursday (1st November), but I’m amazed we haven’t reviewed this book yet as we’ve had it since hardback publication a year ago. You can often find books before the official publication date and as it’s slightly Halloween-y, here’s the review to perhaps send you to your nearest bookshop searching for a copy…

Once there was a Dragon who was convinced he was TOTALLY TERRIFYING. One look at himself in the mirror and he nearly jumped out of his skin.

If you’re a regular reader you may be shocked to know that I am a huge David Melling fan… Yeah, okay, it’s somewhat obvious (Hugless Douglas Week for example…) This book is full of my favourite things David draws: Dragons! Witches! Trees! Everything! 😉

The Totally Terrifying Three: Hiawyn Oram & David Melling (Hodder Children's Books, 2011)

I could easily take the double spread above and frame it, it’s so wonderful. That is, if I could get past the sacrilege of destroying a book… It also neatly summarises everything in the story: the dragon, the witch, the giant, the toddler, and of course long-suffering Wiggles the dog.

The story follows a Dragon, who thinks he is too terrifying, so he leaves his neighbours and finds… A Witch, who thinks she is too terrifying (but neither the Dragon or Witch are terrified), so they leave together and find… A Giant, who thinks he is too terrifying (but none of the three are terrified), so they leave together and find… A Toddler, who also isn’t terrified… Which leads to some rethinking of their totally terrifying status, and a new three set out to scare… “absolutely NOBODY!”

It wasn't long before they came upon a Wich scaring herself silly in her magic mirror.

MG particularly loves humour in words like “scar[ing] the pants off people” and the fact that all the characters are basically just very silly and not at all scary. DG likes the brave toddler (and all the scary looking bits!) I love the details, as ever: look at what the dog and cat are doing in each picture; the trees (they need their own book); two bats near the witch’s hat at all times; the giant’s car and what happens when he stands up…

Hiyawyn Oram and David Melling are both deservedly acclaimed and this collaboration is a fine example of both their work. Other Halloween-suitable books by the totally terrific two (although not as collaborations) that we’ve already reviewed: The Ghost Library & Rumblewick and the Dinner Dragons.

Friday Pick{ture Book}: The Spider and the Fly

The Spider and the Fly: Mary Howittz and Tony DiTerlizzi (Simon and Schuster, 2002)

The Spider and the Fly: Mary Howittz and Tony DiTerlizzi
(Simon and Schuster, 2002)

It has taken me a ridiculously long time to buy this book, I have coveted it for about 5 years but I wasn’t sure MG would like it so I put off buying it and every time I saw it I put off buying it… Then there was a repeat of Bookaboo on that the children happened to watch featuring this book and not only did I fall even more in love with it, but they liked it too. Oh, how I wish I’d got it five years ago!

“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly

This book is sublime. The poem dates from 1829 and although the language is dated it is still completely accessible and wonderful to read aloud. I can even manage voices with this one (I’m rubbish at voices…) The poem is freely available, but this book improves on the classic with wonderfully gothic creepy imagery.

"Oh no, no," said the little Fly...

There is so much to love about this book: the art itself is beautiful, this book deserves to be on any and every bookshelf. The ‘subtle web’ which grows on each text-only page until it is complete by the end of the book; the text-only pages being reminiscent of silent film title cards; the timing of the page turns in the poem increasing the tension; the etherial ghost bugs observing the proceedings; the locations; everything in black and white…

The Spider turned him round about...

My terrible photography does no justice to the images, but even decent photography would barely cut it. This is a book to be savoured, to snuggle up and shiver with, to soak in each little detail and to be read again, and again, and again. DG requests I read this roughly twice a day since we got it; the sinister spider and the unhappy ending fill her with glee (she’s my daughter!) MG enjoys it too but DG is my book girl at the moment, MG prefers media so will watch the Bookaboo version instead:


If you don’t already have this book, treat your family for Halloween (and the rest of the year too…) A fantastic cautionary tale in it’s perfect form. Worth every penny and more.

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