About the Holiday
Today’s holiday has a pretty simple goal—to encourage people to appreciate all the colors that make up our world and to use color to express their feelings, their personality, and their creativity. The stunning beauty of changing leaves makes fall the perfect time for celebrating color, and October is usually when this gorgeous natural phenomenon is at its peak. To have fun with today’s holiday, experiment with color—you may see the world in a whole new way!
Shivery Shades of Halloween: A Spooky Book of Colors
Written by Mary McKenna Siddals | Illustrated by Jimmy Pickering
Have you ever thought, “What color is Halloween?” Sure, we all know it’s orange and black—but what about the rest of the color wheel? Tell me—what’s your favorite color? Purple? Let me look through Shivery Shades of Halloween…Yes! Halloween is purple—“Twilight, / Shadows, / Monsters lurking, / Secret potion— / Poof! It’s working! Dusky-musky, bruisy-oozy, cruelish-ghoulish / Blotch of purple.”
Hey! This is fun! Give me another one! Gray, you say? Hang on…. Yes! Halloween is Gray! “Tombstone, gargoyle, / Dungeon wall, / Rats and rubble, / Haunted hall, / Dusty-fusty, dimly-grimly, shady-fraidy / Shroud of gray.”
Okay, now it’s my turn. I’m choosing…Red. Yep! Halloween is also Red: “Tip of fang, / Flash of cape, / Horns and tail, / A gash, a gape, Bloody-ruddy, burning-churning, blushing-gushing / Stain of red.”
Wild! And that’s just the beginning! There are also spirited, spooky rhymes about brown, yellow, blue, white, green, and, of course, orange and black.
Mary McKenna Siddals brings joy and a love of words—their sounds and their effects—to her verses that transport kids to the throbbing heart of Halloween on the broomsticks of color. In Shivery Shades of Halloween, Siddals presents all the spine-tingling places, characters, and objects that make this holiday, and any mystery, so much chilling, thrilling fun. With giggles, ewwws, and a few shivers, kids will delight in the original and imaginative phrasing in this clever concept book.
Jimmy Pickering’s vibrant, full-bleed illustrations ooze, flash, and swirl with the colors of Halloween. For Green, a “queasy-peasy” web-eared reptile slurps a “vile brew” from a test tube as an evil scientist looks on and the walls seep with a thick green sludge. Purple zaps and sparks as the reptile is transformed into a smiling goblin with bats’ wings and five legs. This goblin then leads readers from page to page where they meet a tricky ghost, a haunted graveyard, a spell-casting wizard and crystal-ball-reading witch, a floating candlestick in a haunted house, a howling werewolf, a dancing caldron, a clumsy demon, and a trio of trick-or-treaters. Each painting incorporates touches of the other colors introduced, creating eye-catching and suspense-building pages.
Shivery Shades of Halloween is a book that kids will want to hear and you will want to read over and over. For teachers, the book makes a wonderful resource for writing lessons and to show the power of evocative words not only around Halloween, but at any time of the year. Shivery Shades of Halloween is one concept book that transcends its holiday theme and would be a welcome addition to home bookshelves as well as school, classroom, and public libraries.
Ages 2 – 7
Random House Books for Young Readers, 2014 | ISBN 978-0385369992
Take a peek at Victoria scaring up some fun by reading Shivery Shades of Halloween!
To learn more about Mary McKenna Siddals and her other books, visit her website! You’ll also find lots of activities as well as activity sheets to extend your enjoyment of Shivery Shades of Halloween: A Spooky Book of Colors as well as her other books.
Here’s a link to Shivery Shades of Halloween Activity Sheets.
You can also connect with Mary McKenna Siddals on her Shivery Shades of Halloween Facebook Page, where you’ll find more fun and a whole community of readers.
Discover more about Jimmy Pickering and view a gallery of his illustrations, paintings, sculpture and more on his website.
With glue, glitter, and your imagination you can make your love of Halloween and its ghosts, ghouls, pumpkins, and more colorfully transparent to all!
- Printable Halloween figure templates | Template 1 | Template 2
- Poster board or other heavy stock paper or cardboard
- White glue
- Glitter in a variety of colors
- Googly eyes (optional)
- Wax paper
- Popsicle or craft sticks
- White thread (or any color)
- Fine-tip permanent marker
- Hot glue gun or regular glue
- Print the Halloween Figures templates
- Cut out the figures
- Trace the figures onto the poster board
- Cut out the figures around the outside edge and also along the inside edge
- Lay out the figure templates on the wax paper
- Gently pour some white glue into the center of the figure template
- Smooth the glue completely to the edges of the figure template, adding glue if needed
- Sprinkle glitter on the glue, as much or as little as you’d like
To dry the glue
- Let the figures sit overnight OR:
- Place the figures on the wax paper in a warm oven. Turn the oven on to 200 – 250 degrees and let it come up to heat. Then turn the oven off and place the figures inside. Check after 15 minutes and check frequently until dry.
After the glue is dry
- Add faces to the ghosts with a permanent marker
- Add googly eyes with the hot glue or regular glue
- If desired, color the edge of the template to match the color of the glitter
To hang figures
- Thread a needle with the desired length of thread and gently push the needle through the glue near the top of the figure.
- Tie the thread around a chandelier, curtain rod, or any other place you would like to decorate
Picture Book Review