Author: Brenda Haugen
Illustrator: Sheree Boyd
Publisher: Picture Windows Books
Library Binding: 24 pages
Ages: 5 – 8
Haugen does a good job explaining the origin of Halloween to elementary kids. Being one of the oldest holidays, Halloween originated in countries such as England and Ireland. It started as a celebration of harvest during fall. People believed in bad spirits at the time, but were also quite religious. November 1 was known as All Saint's Day while October 31 was known as All Hallows' Eve. During the 1800s, people moved from England and Ireland to the United States, and brought their Halloween traditions.
Haugen explains how the traditions of the past continued to present-day. For example, people used to carve vegetables and put candles inside to make lanterns, which turned into carving pumpkins on Halloween. She also briefly addresses Halloween symbols, like black cats, witches, and the colors black and orange.
The illustrations are understated, but I appreciated the diversity of the characters. Haugen's explanation of the origin of Halloween is appropriate for the age level. One striking example is that she says people moved to the United States instead of saying they migrated.