Friday, October 26, 2007

Don't fear the goblin

My alltime favorite children's book is It's Halloween, a collection of fun little rhymes written by noted children's poet Jack Prelutsky and delightfully illustrated by Marilyn Hafner. You can check out a few pages for yourself thanks to Google books.

Every October I read the book aloud at least once, I usually post the title poem to my blog on the 31st, and this year my daughter has gotten into it as well. When I tried to read it to her last year she resisted, but this year when she saw me flipping through my copy she demanded that I read it aloud to her. That made me more happy than I can tell you.

Here's one of the poems from It's Halloween.

THE GOBLIN

There's a goblin as green
As a goblin can be
Who is sitting outside
And is waiting for me.
When he knocked on my door
And said softly, "Come play!"
I answered, "No thank you,
Now please, go away."
But the goblin as green
As a goblin can be
Is still sitting outside
And is waiting for me.

The goblin in the accompanying illo is a harmless looking little fellow with a pair of spectacles perched upon his nose. Even when I was younger I always thought the kid in his bedroom, hiding under his bedsheets, was being a big ol' wussy. Last night I wrote a new second half, something I've wanted to do for years.

There's a goblin as green
As a goblin can be
Who is sitting outside
And is waiting for me.
When he knocked on my door
And said softly, "Come play!"
So I packed a bindle
And we both ran away
Into a world of weird
Revel and dark delight.
Now I'm forever marked
As a child of the night.

A little rough, but maybe not bad for a few minutes work while my daughter and I were watching Halloween cartoons.

Prelutsky wrote several other books of children's verse. At least two of them, Nightmares and The Headless Horsemen Rides Tonight, cover similar subject material but are more spookified for an older audience. I really need to get copies.