Oct 23, 2011

Countdown to 10/31 - Real Family Halloween Fun

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e-Book Review: Real Family Halloween Fun by Maggie da Silva

I knew from the second sentence in the introduction that I was going to really enjoy this book. How? Because she mentions "the olden days of the 70's." The 70's were my prime Trick or Treating years and those childhood Halloweens are what started my lifelong love affair with this oddball holiday.

For some people, Halloween is about gore and scares, for others it's all about the kids. Me, I'm a bit in-between. What drives my love of Halloween more than anything are those childhood memories. A more innocent time for myself...and the world at large. Kids today will probably never have the excitement of being able to go out on their own on Halloween night. There is something really magical (and spooky) about adventuring around the neighborhood for treats and encountering other creatures of the night without a parent. It's the promise of a night where anything can happen.

A few years ago, I had an email correspondence with a woman who lived in the Midwest. She told me how every year her entire street setup this amazing Halloween night for the neighborhood. They would plan out a dinner for the night. Each participating house would have one course and in good time they'd all move on to the next home. The neighborhood was essentially shut down for a block party, which also allowed the kids to go from house to house freely without a constant guardian. It sounded, in a word, idyllic. The epitome of what I think Halloween should be.

And that brings me back to Real Family Halloween Fun. That feeling the kid in me longs for is everything this book is about. From decorating and crafts to homemade costumes to planning a full-on Halloween party night, this book has you covered.

Another thing I really like about the book is it dips into some of the activities from Halloween's history: fortune telling games, bobbing for apples and traditional Irish recipes (and some modern ones too, including hot dog mummies, caramel apples and apple crisp). The history of games on Halloween has always been a point of interest for me.

Some books just lay all the information out for you to read but Maggie da Silva is very personable in her approach. As I read the book, I felt like I was a kid talking to a mom about planning the best Halloween night ever. And I mean "talking to a mom" in the nicest possible way! Those with little goblins of their own would probably get the most out of this e-book. Even though I don't fall in that category, I truly enjoyed the feeling of an "olden day" Halloween while reading it. Aside from it being an e-book, this book could easily have been published in any decade from the later half of the 20th century. It really encompasses the timeless aspects of Halloween.

You can find Maggie da Silva over at RealFamilyTime.com where she also has a book about family camping.

The author has graciously given us a copy of the e-book to award a lucky visitor. Please note, this is an e-book. It's available for Kindle or Nook. There is free Nook and Kindle software available for Apple and PC users. To enter, leave a comment below and be sure to include your email address, if it's not in your profile, so we can contact you. The contest is open until midnight EST 10/25/11.

Disclaimer: A review copy of the book was provided in exchange for this review.

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