Darlene Halloween and the Great Chicago Fire

Overview

One October day in Chicago, Murphy the witch and her nasty cat, Jacko, decide to stir up some trouble.
They set out to gather ingredients for their evil magic potion, which calls for field mice as its key ingredient.

They have no idea what they're in for as they capture Darlene's field-mouse family for their bad brew. When Darlene and her grandkids fight back with surprising force, the mayhem they create ...

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Overview

One October day in Chicago, Murphy the witch and her nasty cat, Jacko, decide to stir up some trouble.
They set out to gather ingredients for their evil magic potion, which calls for field mice as its key ingredient.

They have no idea what they're in for as they capture Darlene's field-mouse family for their bad brew. When Darlene and her grandkids fight back with surprising force, the mayhem they create causes the Great Chicago Fire—and the defeat of the last witch in the city!

This whimsical tale featuring the varmint heroine Darlene Halloween describes how the holiday came to be named after her and offers a clever explanation for classic Halloween traditions such as jack-o'-lanterns and trick-or-treating.

Peter Welling's sixth book for Pelican contains his signature multilayered writing and illustrations with puns and jokes embedded in the dialogue, descriptions, and drawings. This tall tale will have readers coming back for more tongue-twisting fun.

Each of Mr. Welling's books tells a simple story of both popular and lesser-known holidays and events. They include Andrew McGroundhog and His Shady Shadow; Shawn O'Hisser, the Last Snake in Ireland; Michael Le Soufflï and the April Fool; Justin Potemkin and the 500-Mile Race; and Joe Van Der Katt and the Great Picket Fence. He teaches writing and illustration courses for the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Continuing Studies Program and is an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 1-4 Welling offers a confusing, pun-filled story that combines the Great Chicago Fire and the origins of Halloween. In a pumpkin patch south of the city lives a family of field mice, the Halloweens. Murphy, the area's last witch, sends her black cat, Jacko, to gather mice for a potion. Thanks to Darlene Halloween's quick action, Murphy ends up in the pot and dissolves into a "wild witch wind." Everyone flees for the city, where Jacko eventually tracks the mice to Mrs. O'Leary's barn. He's frightened by carved, lighted pumpkins, and, as he tries to escape, encounters the wind; he smashes into the lanterns, igniting a fire that the wind then turns into a tremendous blaze. After the conflagration subsides, the mayor declares October 31 Halloween Day to honor the family that got rid of the witch. The celebration includes Jacko lanterns. Frenetic cartoon illustrations contain images that might mean little to children. While references to sports teams like Da Bears may be familiar, a sign such as Democratic Machine on a huge mechanical contraption seems aimed at adults. Welling provides a couple of pages of facts about the 1871 fire, including lyrics to the famous song about it. With so many Halloween-themed books available, there seems little reason to purchase this jumbled tale.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589804791
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/15/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2007

    AMAZING

    Peter J. Welling has a great sense of humor and his children's books are marvelous. I recommend all of his books to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2007

    J.K. Rowling has Nothing on this series

    While Harry Potter may be considered the 'best' children's series of all times, its only because people haven't read Peter Welling's newest Children's book 'Darlene Halloween, and the Great Chicago Fire.' Staying true to form, Mr. Welling delivers once again as a piece of folklore history is put into his own perspective through his animated illustrations and word building story. This is one to snuggle up with the kid by the fire, grab some pumpkin pie and coffee, and read about the history of Halloween, and the Great Chicago Fire.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    Wonderful Book!!!!!!!

    To mix history, education and fun into a children's book is hard to find and this book was wonderful to read because of that. I got a lot of enjoyment reading this to my classroom. Everyone enjoyed it. Peter Welling is an extremely talented author and artist. A+++++++

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