The Story of the Jack O'Lantern
  • The Story of the Jack O'Lantern
  • The Story of the Jack O'Lantern

The Story of the Jack O'Lantern

3.0 3
by Katherine Tegen, Brandon Dorman
     
 

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On Halloween night, we dress up in costumes, go trick-or-treating, and carve jack-o'-lanterns. But what is really behind these holiday traditions?

It all started with a greedy man named Jack, who made a pact with the wrong person. When it comes time for Jack to repay his debt, the deal doesn't quite end as he expected. . . .

Katherine Tegen weaves together

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Overview

On Halloween night, we dress up in costumes, go trick-or-treating, and carve jack-o'-lanterns. But what is really behind these holiday traditions?

It all started with a greedy man named Jack, who made a pact with the wrong person. When it comes time for Jack to repay his debt, the deal doesn't quite end as he expected. . . .

Katherine Tegen weaves together legend and tradition to tell the story of one of Halloween's most popular icons. With vibrant and dazzling illustrations from Brandon Dorman, The Story of the Jack O'Lantern answers one of the mysteries of that spooky night.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this jack-o'-lantern origin tale, miserly Jack makes a deal with a cloven-hoofed stranger. When the man returns for his payback, he throws a burning coal at Jack, hitting Jack's pumpkin and creating "the beginnings of a smile." Condemned to forever walk the earth, disgruntled Jack watches a boy in a modern neighborhood place a jack-o'-lantern in a window. Dorman's cinematic scenes and Tegen's matter-of-fact prose ("On Halloween, some people believe ghosts and spooks will leave their graves and wander the earth again") provide genuine chills. Ages 3�8. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Annie Laura Smith
What is really behind this holiday tradition of carved and lighted pumpkins at Halloween? Tegen uses legend and tradition from Irish folktales to answer why this Halloween icon is so important. Back matter explains the Irish legend. The Irish people who immigrated to America carved out pumpkins to scare away the evil spirits. Legend told of a man named Jack who tried to outwit the devil, and was sent forever wandering the Earth as a spirit. He carried a lighted pumpkin to find his way. Illustrations vividly show Jack stealing in the village, the villagers hiding when he came by, and the devil tempting Jack with a meal. The devil later demands payment and throws a burning coal at Jack. The burning coal enters the pumpkin where it glows with a smile. Jack's fate then follows the Irish legend. Costumes, as shown in illustrations with children trick-or-treating, are worn on Halloween to ward away sprits such as Jack. The last pages of the book show carved and lighted pumpkins like those we all see now on Halloween. This is a multicultural/holiday story that can be shared in the classroom during the days leading up to Halloween. Reviewer: Annie Laura Smith

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061430886
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/27/2010
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
605,748
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Katherine Tegen has been writing stories since she was ten years old. She has always loved celebrating holidays and anything to do with magic. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Story of the Easter Bunny, illustrated by Sally Anne Lambert and praised by School Library Journal: "This visually splendid story with folktale rhythms makes a good choice for holiday sharing." She lives in New York City.

Brandon Dorman lives in Puyallup, Washington, and is the creator of Pirates of the Sea! and Santa's Stowaway, and the illustrator of Jack Prelutsky's Be Glad Your Nose Is on Your Face, as well as Halloween Night, by Marjorie Dennis Murray.

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Story of the Jack O'Lantern 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great for older children, but if you're looking for a Halloween book for your 4 year old, like I was, definitely don't get this one. It's a little too deep for that age group since it addresses "evil", how Jack made a deal with the devil, etc. Other than that, it's written well and the illustrations are very nice!
txgalBS More than 1 year ago
I thought this book would be cute and well illustrated for my grandchildren (ages 6, 4, 2, and 2). However, the story is dark and disturbing and I'm going to throw the book away. I don't even want to return it so that other children could pick it up. The story is about a greedy old man (Jack) who meets a strange man (who "some even said he was the devil)". In the end when Jack dies he is "condemned to wander the earth in search of a home." Very dark story that would give small children nightmares!
USGrant More than 1 year ago
highly recommend