This weekend, I made a long-overdue homecoming to Concord (I hadn’t been back since January!), since it’s an undeniable fact that fall is the most beautiful in New Hampshire, no contest. The brilliant leaves and crisp (read: cold) air got me in the mood for some of these past and present fall favorites:
1. A Gingerbread Haunted House
The main reason for my visit was an Ericsson family tradition: gingerbread houses. In the past, we were usually were consumed with Good Housekeeping-style festivals and workshops around Thanksgiving, but this year called for spooky haunted houses instead.
2. Leaf Coloring
I love the textural quality that comes from the old crayon “leaf rubbing” craft, so who says it has to be just for kids anymore? Cloth Paper String has some beautiful solutions for prints on bookplates, cards and more, and trying them in ink looks like it’s worth a shot, too.
3. Autumn Leaf Bowls
I don’t have access to a kiln anymore, but if I did, these leaf bowls would be the perfect craft project for me – it’s so easy, even a 4th grader can do it! Apparently you can make them with self-drying clay and paint… so I may have experiment soon…
4. The Little Old Lady That Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams, illustrated by Megan Lloyd
To me, this is the ultimate classic Halloween picture book. Even today. I immediately think of the CLOMP CLOMP, WIGGLE WIGGLE, SHAKE SHAKE, CLAP CLAP theme that was so much fun as a child. It’s the perfect pick for scarecrow story-times and readings.
5. Only A Witch Can Fly by Allison McGhee, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
Last year’s award-winner Only A Witch Can Fly is definitely the new classic. I have been completely enamored with rising superstar Taeeyun Yoo since The Little Red Fish, and it’s no surprise that her linoleum block prints earned her one of the NYT Best Illustrated books of last year.
6. Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Jan Brett
When I was a wee one, those green eyes and prowling creatures used to give me the chills – in a good way. Not your typical Jan Brett illustrations, either (that’s the ’80s for you!).
7. The Fort Greene Halloween Festival
I volunteered for this event back when I was a proud Clinton Hill student, and it was so much fun to see the park transformed into a FREE Halloween festival! Even if you’re not young enough for hay rides, face painters and sack races, grabbing a free pumpkin, live music and a pumpkin smoothie from Habana Outpost is totally adult-friendly. Plus, the costume contest for dogs, “The Great Pupkin” (sponsored by Fort Greene PUPS) is deadly cute – check out photos of past events!