For parents, the scariest part of Halloween night isn't the roving bands of pint-sized ghouls and goblins canvassing their neighborhood but their little one's earnest question, "Mom, where's my costume?"
Here to the rescue is Homemade Halloween, a simple Halloween how-to for parents who are neither super-crafty nor uber-organized. The book's ideas for creating a "spooktacular" night are easy to create and even easier on the wallet. Colorful illustrations and photographs, historical fun facts and important safety pointers fill each page, and all the basics are covered, from simple and effective costumes and decorations to tasty culinary treats. Examples include carving a jack-o'-lantern with "pumpkin panache," serving "creepy cupcakes" and "sherbet wizards," and creating theatrical costumes in three steps or less with no sewing. Yes, no sewing! (Parents, it's all about the glue gun.)
In the eyes of author Tom Nardone—founder of the website ExtremePumpkins.com—pumpkin carving is ripe for irreverence and perfect for mayhem. Last year he gave the world the best-selling Extreme Pumpkins; this year he's returned with a sequel, the equally gory (and perfectly titled) Extreme Pumpkins II: Take Back Halloween and Freak Out a Few More Neighbors. His suggestions for success include adding jigsaws and routers to a "tools for terror" arsenal and going for the outrageous with designs such as Angry Mob Pumpkin, Alien Invader, and Suburban Nightmare Pumpkin. His Sno -Shooter Pumpkin will give joy to 13-year-old boys everywhere.
Breathing new life into Halloween's traditions, Nardone's "Extreme Pumpkin Design Manifesto" encapsulates his cause best. He writes, "My hope is that Extreme Pumpkins II will give you some extremely gross, tasteless, scary pumpkin-carving ideas, or at least lots of cool things to copy. And if you hate this book, well, maybe that will inspire you too."