Despite the weather not feeling like autumn yet, (we're in the midst of Indian Summer and will reach the 80s here in Maryland today), thousands of people took advantage of the great weekend to get to their local pumpkin place (Weber's Farm) to walk the hay or corn maze, make scarecrows and buy pumpkins, apple cider, and fall decorations.
Hundreds of thousands attended Renaissance Festivals, watched shows, rode the elephant, cheered for England or Scotland at the Joust, ate food on a stick, paid to have experts put henna designs on their hands and arms (the 11-year-old wanted a dragon, again), and bought beautiful Halloween costumes. (People were still lined up for miles to get in as we left the place at 3:30 pm on Saturday.)
Although some were there just for the food and the fun, many were planning ahead to October 31 -- Halloween.
If you've been to your local library or bookstore, you'll notice displays of Halloween books set out for you to pick up. One of those books is The Halloween Book of Facts and Fun by Wendie Old (me), illustrated by Paige Billin=Frye. Park Ridge: Illinois: Albert Whitman & Company, 2007. (available in paperback as well as hardback, and soon to be an e-book!)
Here you'll find a history of the holiday, fun facts, some halloween stories, and plans for a children's Halloween party. I LOVE the cat on the cover, don't you? Especially the way his tail curves around the moon. (later I might tell you the story behind this wonderful cover.) And the illustrations inside are not scary at all -- not even the one where Frankenstein and Dracula are sitting side by side near a cozy fire, reading each other's book. (Fun Fact -- did you know that there actually is a Count Dracula? And that he runs the Red Cross blood bank in his country?)
Have fun this month. Go to your local pumpkin patch, take a hay ride. Attend the Renaissance Festival closest to you. Enjoy these lovely autumn days.
The Nonfiction Monday list of links is located at Practically Paradise today. -wo