My family is a big, fat bunch of sticklers. No Halloween decorations allowed until October 1. It’s just not right, they say. They equate it to preparing for Christmas before we have a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving. I think that’s kinda harsh, but I get it: timing is important. And so, no pumpkins will be purchased or cobwebs hung until later in the week.
But they can’t stop me from thinking about Halloween. Specifically? My costume. No, I will not dress up as a librarian, as I’ve been known to do in the past. I’ve got all the accessories: lanyard, nametag, clunky shoes, scowl, and a mean finger wag. And no, I will not dress up in some form of traditional Halloween figure. No goblins or witches or black cats.
Truth be told, I never much cared for Halloween. A bit of a chicken growing up, fear, dread, and alarm never ranked as emotions I much enjoyed. I still don’t understand horror movies: why pay to get scared? Life can be frightening enough, sometimes, as is.
Instead, my Halloween costume will reflect a favorite children’s book character. The questions is which one? Oh, I have some ideas already, and even though it isn’t October, I’ve narrowed it down to a few. I hope you’ll watch out for the big reveal.
To get you in the mood, how ‘bout I share last year’s costume? Here I am in all my glory:
I hope and pray you know who I am. And if you don’t, I hope and pray you’ll learn who I am and quick. I am none other than the Lunch Lady as in the hilarious, secret, school-protecting, spy-detective character as penned by Jarrett Krosoczka (go ahead and click on his name, right here – he has a fantastic web site) in his graphic novel series, the Lunch Lady.
Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe. Who else wields frozen fish nun chucks? Who else has a school lunch tray that doubles as a laptop? And how about a spatu-coptor? The Lunch Lady rocks, and I dare you to think otherwise.
After arriving to work as the Lunch Lady, I decided to email Jarrett Krosoczka a picture of me in costume. We met years ago, and I figured, hey, why not? Well, he graciously replied to my email and even popped my picture onto his blog and Pinterest page! Holy Rock Star Status!
Speaking of, he is an interesting fellow, and in addition to the Lunch Lady series, he has written (and/or illustrated) a variety of other books. I’m forever attempting to train my young students to remember the “author strategy” when they’re stumped as to what to check out next. If you like a book by a certain author, see if s/he has written something else! Chances are, you might like it, too! In this case, I’d say, hey, if you’re a Lunch Lady fan, try his Platypus Police Squad series. Even though it is not a graphic novel series, it still maintains a high level of creativity and that Krosoczka sense of humor. (The Texas Bluebonnet Book Committee agrees: Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked was on the Bluebonnet List in 2014-15.)
While I’d love to have an excuse to interrupt Krosoczka from his creative endeavors just to say hi again, my head is teaming with costume ideas honoring a new character this year. The weekend is around the corner, the family will be in full Halloween support (as it will officially be October), and I’m headed into costume creation mode. Oh, the possibilities.
Stay Tuned & Keep Reading,
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