Posts Tagged ‘halloween’

Happy Halloween

Halloween has come and gone. The kids had a great time trick or treating with Nana and Gramps, bring back loads of candy. I love how they sort their candy, my 8-year old daughter had each item right down to the chocolate bar brand sorted out in its own pile, my 6-year old son abandoned his sorting plan after his dad said he could eat some candy, and my 3-year old sorted things into what she would eat now and what she would eat later (you can guess which pile was bigger). I’m just glad the Darth Vader pumpkin my son requested actually ended up looking like Darth Vader, sort of, at least some of the kids in the neighbourhood agreed.

Happy Halloween!

Write a Review Wednesday: Mummy Mazes A Monumental Book

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed The Haunted House that Jack Built. In keeping with the Halloween spirit we’re looking at Workman Publishing‘s Mummy Mazes, A Monumental Book (age 8-12), by Elizabeth Carpenter. I have to thank Jillian at Workman Publishing for my review copy.



When it comes to Halloween creatures mummies are at the top of the list. There’s something fascinating about them and their history. My 8-year old daughter is especially entranced by the whole Egyptian culture, mummies included. In Mummy Mazes, A Monumental Book, kids join Professor Archie Ologist on an expedition to find the secrets of ancient Egypt.

This large book is a combination story and activity book. Each page is filled with an intricate Egyptian mazes, like pyramids and mummies and wall paintings. Along with each maze Professor Ologist gives some interesting facts about Ancient Egypt. Did you know King Djoser built the first pyramid. Before him Kings were buried in dirt mounds or sunken brick chambers.

The mazes themselves are an interesting challenge too. Each maze has 3 starting points and 3 finishing points. Obviously there can only be 1 start and finish so the other 2 are there to mislead you. First step, figuring out where to start. Not to worry, the mazes are designed so you discover the false starts early in the maze; you won’t be halfway through a maze with a false start. Once you’re done the maze, figuring out the correct finish, you then need to use the hieroglyph at the end of your page to solve the mummies message at the end of the book. Each maze can be coloured and removed easily by the perforated edges making them great for display.

Although Mummy Mazes is designed for 8 to 12 year olds, I have found myself drawn into figuring out the mazes along with my daughter. My 6-year old son loves to help find the false starts but the mazes are pretty intricate and his interest usually wanes a little after that. Mummy Mazes is a great way to learn about ancient Egypt in a fun and entertaining way. If you have a child with a fascination with ancient Egypt or solving puzzles, Mummy Mazes might be a great book.

Visit your local bookstore or Workman Publishing to get your own copy of Mummy Mazes, A Monumental Book. For other great book suggestions for kids, read through the previous Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Write a Review Wednesday: The Haunted House that Jack Built

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed World School Day Adventure. This week we’re getting into the Halloween spirit with Scholastic’s The Haunted House that Jack Built (age 3-8), written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by David Parkins. I have to thank Nikole at Scholastic Canada for my review copy.


Jack invites some friends over: a ghost, a ghoul, a mummy, a beast to name a few. They chased and scared and rattled and prowled throughout Jack’s house one Halloween night. Then a monster popped some corn and a whole new side of the Halloween creatures was revealed.

Based on the familiar children’s nursery rhyme,  Helaine adds a fun Halloween twist in her book The Haunted House that Jack Built. I’ll be honest, I’m a big fan of holiday books; we have a whole shelf devoted just to them. My kids love them too and nothing gets you into the Halloween spirit more than a fun ghost and ghouly book.

Although we’re talking about monsters and things that go bump in the night, the creatures illustrated in The Haunted House that Jack Built are all fun in nature, nothing to scary. Like the original rhyme, kids will quickly catch on to the repetitive nature of the story and enjoy reading along. And the surprise at the end will delight everyone.

If you want to add The Haunted House that Jack Built to your personal library, visit your local bookstore. For other great books for kids, read through some of the previous Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Happy Un-Birthday Surprise to Me

My husband and I aren’t very good at keeping secrets from each other. We’re not very good at keeping secrets at all. When we planned our surprise visit to Disney World in June for our son’s fifth birthday we were only able to keep it a secret because we could tell each other. We’d call each other or send texts with little messages about the trip. We were so excited.

So when my husband and friends in Michigan had a little birthday celebration for me on the long weekend it was a big surprise, especially since my birthday is a month away.

Did someone say party?

Did someone say party?

It started with an innocent suggestion: let’s visit some friends for the long weekend. It doesn’t take much to convince me to travel. And since it had been some time since we visited our US friends the whole request didn’t seem that odd to me.



There were Halloween decorations, balloons, noise makers (a favourite with my kids). And of course cake, a wonderful Disney themed cake (a huge cake). That wasn’t the best part. All parties have gifts. And this party was no exception. And boy what a gift. It turns out my husband and our friend have been working secretly to plan a trip for all of us to go to Disneyland to celebrate Halloween and attend the Halloween party October 31.

With my secret party planning friend...

With my secret party planning friend...

...and my secret party planning husband.

...and my secret party planning husband.

And of course that means visiting the Nightmare Before Christmas revamped Haunted Mansion ride. That last part, the revamped Haunted Mansion, that is one of the things on my ‘Must do before I die’ list. I hope this isn’t a sign of my impending demise. And did you know that the Haunted Mansion is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary this year and I’m celebrating my foeinvjsjhth birthday this year too. It’s like my destiny that I should visit California this year, though I don’t actually believe in destiny.

It’s not like I wast dreading this birthday but now I’m actually looking forward to it. And I’m giving you fair warning now that I might toss in the occasional post or tweet about Disneyland. Well, wouldn’t you if you were me?

So a happy un-birthday to me.