All posts by grammy2kiera


I’ve been doing something fun on my personal blog the last few days that ties in with Halloween. I’m having a 13 Days of Halloween feature, so I thought it would be okay to share a day of that for Tween the Weekend.

Erik, from the This Kid Reviews Books blog, has been a guest here before, and he’s such an interesting kid that I wanted to learn something about a typical Halloween for him and his family. He graciously said he would be happy to help me out, so I sent him the following questions. His answers are a lot of fun, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

For those of you who might not know, Erik is eleven years old and has written and published a book of his own. The title is The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, and is available on Amazon.

So, Erik, here we go.

1. Do you have any Halloween traditions at your house?

Yes, we do – we have tons of… FUN!!! And we also have a tradition of getting lots of candy *hee hee* and us kids have to get some candy that our parents like. 🙁

One tradition is that my mom usually hand makes our costumes. We get to design them how we want. It is really fun to do.

Oh, we make sure our kids save us all the tootsie rolls! It’s always nice to share with your parents.

2.  What was the most awesome Halloween costume you ever had?

A home-made steampunk costume that Mom made. A couple of the parts to it are store-bought but then we customized it. We also found a derby hat and painted NERF guns and made goggles and gadgets and… Ta-da! Awesomeness, in a suit! 🙂 Josie also dressed up like a steampunk kid too.

Steampunk is nice! I’ll bet you were both adorable.

3. What was your most disastrous Halloween costume?

A “Batman Ninja.”  It was store-bought and very complicated to put together. I’m not even sure if I did put it on right. My parents couldn’t figure it out. No one really knew who I was either.

That had to have been disappointing. Says something for the home-made costumes, doesn’t it? They’re the best in my book.

4. Do you decorate for Halloween, and if so, how?

Yes. We carve pumpkins and put glowsticks in them (it looks pretty cool and we don’t have to worry about candles burning). We also have some simple decorations around our house. We don’t get any trick or treaters at our house because we live out in the country.

Oh, the glowstick idea is a great one. Our house is over 100 years old, so we don’t use candles except for birthday cakes. I really like that idea and may steal it. We also live in the country, so I know what you mean about no trick-or-treaters. It’s very disappointing, but we always go to town and join in trunk or treat there.

5. Speaking of trick-or-treat, what is your favorite Halloween candy or treat?

Caramel apples! I love caramel! I love apples! Apples + Caramel + On a Stick = YUM YUM YUM!!!

Oh, I’m with you on that one,  Erik, all the way.

6. Who is your favorite Halloween monster or personality

My favorite Halloween monster is the Frankenstein monster. He really isn’t bad is he? I think he’s just misunderstood. Who wouldn’t get cranky when people are chasing you with pitch forks and torches?

I agree. And I just finished watching Alvin and the Chipmunks meet Frankenstein, and you’re right, he wasn’t bad at all. Great choice.

7. So, since your favorite monster is Frankenstein, what is your favorite Halloween movie?

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – I really like classics, and this is the best of the best. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Snoopy.  🙂

Well, no Frankenstein there, but it’s hard to go wrong with Charlie Brown.

8. But speaking of Charlie Brown (I can’t help but think of the theme song) do you have a favorite Halloween song?

Purple People Eater and the Monster Mash. They are funny and I like funny. I guess they aren’t so spooky, but again I am not into spooky. J

I’m so glad to know you’re familiar with Purple People  Eater. Do you know, I used to have a Purple People Eater hat when I was a child? It was plastic, and very, very purple, and I thought I was soooo cool wearing that silly hat.

9. Do you have a favorite Halloween book?

I’m not into scary books that much. I like books that are a little spooky or mysterious. My favorite spooky story is a picture book that I first read as a toddler. It’s called A Big, Spooky House by Donna Washington. It is about a big tough guy who isn’t afraid of anything. When he goes into a vacant dark mansion for shelter from the rain, he finds something to be scared of.

I haven’t heard of that book, but I’ll definitely check it out for my granddaughter. We aren’t into scary, either, and it sounds intriguing.

10. Speaking of scary, Erik, have you ever had a Halloween fright? If so, what was the worst?

When I was buried in hay on the hay-ride at my little sister’s Halloween party… I was afraid of suffocating because there was a bunch of first-graders piled on top of me.

Then there was the time my aunt’s boyfriend crouched down behind the door at my grandmom’s house and when I went to trick or treat there, he jumped up in this mask that had an eyeball hanging out and said “BOO!” I was like 5 at the time. I still remember it. I couldn’t breathe I was so scared.

Oh my goodness, Erik, that would have scared me half to death. I hope you can laugh about it now, though. Sometimes you have to forgive us grown-ups, we do things without thinking.

11. Speaking of scary, have you ever visited a haunted house? If so, what were your impressions?

Yes. It was horrible. A local amusement park has a terrifying haunted house. I tried it after I got over-confident from Disney World’s Haunted Mansion (which wasn’t that scary at all. I don’t think I ever went into a real haunted house (or supposedly real)). If I did, I don’t want to know!

I’m sorry that happened to you. I stay out of haunted houses, except the one at Disney World. That’s more my speed. Although I’ve been told my house is haunted, I’ve never found any ghosts lurking around.

12. How far have you traveled to go Trick or Treating?

120 miles! We surprised out grandparents once. They were not expecting us to show up! We don’t usually go too far. We usually go into town to go trick or treating.

That must have been a load of fun! It might also be a record for distance traveled for trick-or-treating.

13. One final question, Erik. Are there any specific Halloween traditions you plan to pass a long to your own kids?

First off, is it a coincidence that the last question is number 13? Just curious. 😉

To answer your question: Besides Trick-or-Treating, I would pass down carving pumpkins, costume making, and getting candy that your parents like. 😉

Those are all great traditions to pass along. And, yes, 13 was deliberate on my part.

Thank you so much, Erik, for joining me in this little bit of fun. I loved reading your answers, and I think others will, too.

Tween the Weekends is a monthly feature hosted right here on Emblazon. Be sure to check out the other posts. Just click on the linky on the TTW page and you’ll be redirected to their personal blogs. I’ll be back on my own blog tomorrow with more Halloween fun. Until then


Cordelia Dinsmore





An End-of-Summer Interview

Returning readers of my blog know that I occasionally interview authors. I like to switch things up and try something different from time to time, in an effort to instill a bit more interest, and to find topics that hopefully will attract and meet the needs of more readers.

Today I have decided to conduct a reader interview, rather than an author interview. It’s good to know what inspires someone to write a particular story, but it’s also helpful to understand why readers choose a particular book or series.

My first guest for this new experiment is a young man named Jim. I’m going to let him tell you a little bit about himself to start things off. Realize, of course, that I’m interviewing minors so I need to protect their privacy as much as possible.

Hi. I’m eleven years old, and I live in a small town. I’m going into the fifth grade in a few weeks. I have two older sisters and one younger sister, so except for my Dad, I’m the only guy around the house.

It’s very nice to meet you, Jim. What have you been doing over the summer?

Well, I played baseball for the first part of the summer. I play basketball with other guys in the neighborhood, and I love to fish. We also are pretty active in our church.

Sounds like you know how to have fun. Do you manage to find time to do much reading during the summer months?

Just a little bit. My mom usually signs me up for the summer reading program at the library, but I don’t read all that many books. But there’s lots of fun activities that they do besides just reading.

Would you categorize yourself as a reluctant reader, then?

Probably. I like books, but I don’t really like the long ones. Like a whole novel. You know? I still like the easier books the best. They’re just more fun.

Are you talking about Chapter Books, possibly? Can you tell us what some of your favorites are?

Sure. I like the Captain Underpants books. And I like the Stink books – he’s Judy Moody’s little brother. I also really like the Bailey School Kids books. They’re my favorites.

I haven’t read any of the Bailey School Kids books, but I know there is quite a selection of them. Do you have any favorites among those?

I really liked Ghosts Don’t Eat Potato Chips, and Angels Don’t Do Karate. They’re really good mysteries with great details. I always have to read clear to the end to figure out the mystery, and I think that’s good in a book – not to have it all figured out before you’re finished.

That makes a lot of sense to me. If one of your friends asked you to recommend a great book to them, what would it be?

Any of the Bailey School Kids for sure. And The Lightning Thief was a very good book that I would recommend to someone who really likes to read. I really liked it.

Okay, Jim. I appreciate your thoughtful answers. It sounds like you know what you like when it comes to reading material. One last question. If you could meet any author, who would it be and why?

I think it would be Jeff Smith. He wrote the Bone books, a good graphic novel selection. He’s a really good author and I love his illustrations.

Thanks so much, Jim, for taking the time to talk with us today and for your thoughtful recommendations for reading material. I’ll be sure to check out the Bailey School Kids and the Bone books. I hope the last of your summer is lots of fun, and I wish you great success in 5th grade.


Cordelia Dinsmore