Friday, October 16, 2009

Gingerbread Pumpkins and Kid's Halloween Book Picks

Welcome to the final day of Cookie Bookie 2009. There are still so many October books to share. If only I had the time to have Cookie Monthie, but all good things must come to an end. Today I thought I'd share some of my favorite books to read with young whippersnappers for Halloween. I confess that I own over 100 children's Halloween books, a collection started during my years as a first grade teacher.
First and foremost, I love The Witches, by Roald Dahl. (If you read his autobiographies, Boy and Flying Solo, you'll see the fascinating seeds for many of his imaginative tales.) The Witches is narrated by an orphaned boy who lives with his Norwegian grandmother. She cares for him, feeds him, educates him, loves him, but most importantly teaches him how to spot a witch in disguise. Beware of well dressed women with wigged heads, since it is a well known fact that witches are bald. Beware the gloved hands, hiding hideous claw like fingernails. Beware the square toe-less feet, the blue tinted teeth, but most of all beware the eager interest in little children. (The book is mildly frightening, but the movie is down right terrifying since the Grand High witch is extremely hideous.)
For smaller children (or those with a juvenile turn of mind, like myself)....

Shake Dem Bones, by W. Nikola-Lisa, recounts a Halloween party but reads like poetry and jazz music; scoo-bee-doo-bee-doo-wah, yah.
The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat, by Stan and Jan Berenstain is full of mischief, misconception, and misadventure, but it's all resolved in the end.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, by Linda Williams, tells of a brave little woman whose courage is tested by a piecemeal scarecrow. We put on a reader's theatre every year for Family Night with this book.
Miss Nelson is Missing ,by James Marshall, is every grade school teacher's fantasy. Miss Nelson, fed up with her misbehaving students, disguises herself as the witch Viola Swamp, and then heaps on the discipline and homework. Did I miss any wonderful kid's Halloween books? Leave me a comment and let me know. And now, a very kid friendly cookie to accompany our young-at-heart literature. All children love to roll and cut out cookies, and these gingerbread babies are sturdy enough for the chubbiest little fingers. They're strong enough that you can poke a hole in the top and hang them from a tree which is handy at Christmas time, but don't wait until then to make a batch. The homespun smells of molasses, ginger and cinnamon are meant to be enjoyed in the fall. And if you can tell me a better way to spend an October afternoon than with young charges by your side, an exciting Halloween book in your hands, and a cookie waiting on the plate, then I'd like to hear about it. Now is the time to stop and enjoy. Thanks so much for joining in for Cookie Bookie. I've had about 2000 readers here daily, and I'm still so amazed at your kindness and interest. Your comments mean the world to me. I've got all kinds of fun stuff planned for the holidays, so keep coming back and spread the word!Gingerbread Cookies
Estimated Cost: $2.00 for about 2 dozen
Keep this recipe in mind when you are out of eggs.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup sugar
2 and 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teasoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350. In a small, melt butter. Stir in molasses and sugar, and cook until mixture is smooth and not grainy. Remove from the heat and cool to lukewarm. In a separate large bowl, combine 2 and 1/4 cup flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour butter mixture over dry ingredients and stir to combine. Work in remaining 1/4 cup flour. Dough should be like playdough. Roll out to a generous 1/4 inch thick and cut shapes. Bake for about 8 minutes, depending on size of cookie shape. I like mine a little underbaked so that they stay soft. Let cool for two minutes on cookie sheet and transfer to rack. Frost as desired. (I use about 2 tablespoons butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar and enough milk to make a spreadable frosting.)

P.S. I just adore my cakestand. It's perfect for every season. With just a change of the ribbon, it's ready for fall. I'm honestly considering having some made. Everyone needs such an adaptable cakestand.

See you After the Weekend that Pork and Spicy Green Bean Recipe...


VeggieGirl said...

BERENSTAIN BEARS!!! My favorite series as a child :) That would be MY top pick for the kid's Halloween books :)

VeggieGirl said...

P.S. - Gingerbread pumpkin-shaped cookies?? Too cute.

Liz said...

I loved loved loved The Witches (movie and book) as a child!! You're right, the grand high witch is crazy scary!

Brooke said...

Just wanted to thank you for recommending The Hound of the Baskervilles - just picked it up on Wednesday and couldn't put it down. I love a good mystery. Thanks too for sharing the kid's books - I love reading seasonal things with my kiddos and will check some of them out. Mine are definitely too young for The Witches - I loved that movie as an older kid but looking back I realize it is seriously scary!

Katie and Mark said...

I love the movie Witches, but maybe I should read it with my kids first! :) Maybe movie in a year...or two...or three. My kids also like "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Spider."

a couple more ingredients, and I can attempt to bake those delicious cookies with my kiddos!

MK and Co. said...

One of my favorite spooky children’s story is one you used to read to me as a child. In fact I don't think you read it but actually had it memorized. It was Dr.Seuss' "Pale Green Pants" poem. I loved listening to you recite that funny, thoughtful, and spooky tale.
Thank you so much Prudy for providing so many of us with these wonderful recipes and great pieces of literature. I'm sure it takes a great deal of time and energy but I'm so happy you still continue on with this work.
I love coming to your blog to learn new things. I really do believe cooking and baking is a fine art and when I see your blog I'm convinced of it even more. So thank you Prudy!

Carrie said...

My favorite Halloween story is "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown", which is a book as well as a movie :)
I love your site, Prudy. Every recipe I have tried from you has been delicious.
And I want a cake plate like yours!

Catherine said...

I'm with Mary Kate. "Pale Green Pants With Nobody Inside Em" by Dr. Seuss. But I think it's really called, "What Was I Scared Of." My kids love this one and they're dying to have Aunt Erin recite it for them.

We also love the "Teeny Tiny Ghost by Kay Winters" (I have to tell you I couldn't remember who that was by, but Baby Paul could!) "Humbug Witch" by Lorna Balian, and I think that the "Strega Nona" books by Tomie dePaoula are fun for Halloween.

Oh yes and we always copy with you a little play for "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything" for family night in Halloween.

Now I have to get some pumpkin cookie cutters because I can't wait to make those cookies with my kids, maybe for a little after church activity on Sunday.

Seth and Julie said...

I love Miss Nelson is Missing. I remember we used to have an assembly and watch the movie once a year in Elementary School. Still one of my favorites!

Leslie said...

Jacob read and then watched The Witches when he was young and it terrified him.
I think he was with............cousins. But, he had fun. Scary fun.

And, all my kids love frosted cookies. Mmmmmmmm frosting. That is, except Holly. No frosting for her.

Leslie said...

Jacob read and then watched The Witches when he was young and it terrified him.
I think he was with............cousins. But, he had fun. Scary fun.

And, all my kids love frosted cookies. Mmmmmmmm frosting. That is, except Holly. No frosting for her.

Emily Rose said...

I had every one of those books except the Rattling Bones one! My favorite Halloween book has to be The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll

Those cookies look scrumptious! I loved cookie bookie week!

Heather T - sloCooking said...

Thank you so much for sharing this yummy recipe. You've received a Make Me Hungry Award.

This reminds me of my mother's recipe. Her's is the only other one that starts off with warm liquid ingredients.

The Blonde Duck said...

All these books were favorites of mine as a kid!

Prudy said...

Mommy-I love "Cindy lou and the witch's dog"and west LOVES "The spooky smells of halloween".P.S.Ilove cookies,too!

Emily said...

Great cookie bookie week! I loved it.
You know what books I liked reading as a kid? Those Dorie the witch books. I'm not sure if anyone else read them, but I really liked them.

Adrienne said...

I like how the gingerbread shows through a little on the frosting so it looks like the actual texture of a pumpkin with ridges. Aw, I'm not explaining it right, but the way they are frosted, some of them look like a bunch of pumpkin ridges.

I remember my violin teacher had a book about a little real witch who got mixed up with a little trick or treater and they went home to the wrong families. I'm not sure what the title was, and I couldn't find it on Amazon. Perhaps I made it up...?

~The Dippold's said...

Yummy! You are so crafty. As always I love your blog. So cute! :)

Janssen said...

The kids at my library cannot get enough of the Miss Nelson books. I love them!

Michal said...

we also love: froggy's halloween and the runaway pumpkin. haven't seen the witches movie, but we love the book. hmmmm. and my kids are going to beg me to make these cookies if i let them see the screen:)
happy halloween--wish we could celebrate together.

Cakelaw said...

These cookies are gorgeous!

jenjen said...

I love gingerbread cookies!Mmmm, sounds so good. I love those Halloween books too. The Witches is a favorite here.


Rebecca @ Belle Blog said...

Hello, I am 37 and am still fascinated by childrens picture books like these. Miss Nelson is missing has been one of my faves since...well since I can remember. Maybe you can help me find a book I read often as a child. It was about a little girl who had a pinata for her birthday. It was shaped like a big star. I just don't know what it was named or who wrote it. It was another of my faves and read a lot when I was little. Loved this post.
♥ Rebecca

Prudy said...

I have that one too! It's Nine Days To Christmas. We always read it and do a mini las posadas with a tamale dinner in December. Good luck finding it!

Krista said...

"Big Pumpkin" is my favorite toddler Halloween book. He has a really catchy song to go with the text if you wanna, and I still find myself singing it sometimes.

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