Halloween can be frightening, and as the evening approaches, the pumpkins in the patch gather to make a plan to defend their home against the scary trick-or-treaters. "Just Jack" steps up to save the day, and everyone learns about trust and the danger of making judgments.
This book is a collection of poems about the many images of Halloween to tickle the imagination and funny bone of every reader.
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.08(d)|
Jack to the RescueAnd Other Imaginings
By Rebecca Harris
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Rebecca Harris
All right reserved.
Chapter OneJack to the Rescue
Within my Halloween pumpkin patch Resides a pumpkin named "Just Jack." Surrounded by sizes and shapes galore, He seems to be just one orange sphere more.
Not up front, he sits at the rear of the pack. Shy and imperfect; it's confidence he lacks, Which really makes sense considering that He's just one of so many in my pumpkin patch.
It's easy to become just one of the crowd, When others' shapes and sizes scream out loud, "Pick me! I'm scary, surely I am the one To guard and protect, and to get the job done."
But my eyes resumed searching Through the vast green and brown, And then lighted upon a short, Squatty guy with a frown.
"Harumph," he grunted to catch my searching gaze. "Looking for someone special in this harvest maze? "Perhaps I am," I answered him back. He offered, "If it's Halloween duties, I've a plan of attack."
So together we trudged through the mud-rutted field, No longer unsure of what the search would yield. First recruit was Squidd with skin deep forest green; He could make a face the meanest of mean.
Then came Celeste with eyes so very bright, To serve as a beacon in the dark of the night.
Tallest of all was Felopigus Fred, Who could see for a mile without lifting his head.
When all were assembled and stood at attention, One member musn't neglect getting mentioned-Sir Percival Allyn Christopher Dodd, Eagerly became leader of my Halloween squad.
Down the mud-rutted road to the house we did march; When we reached home, we stopped at my gated arch. Sir Percival Allyn Christopher Dodd spied the land, And assigned each orange trooper a place to then stand.
Darkness had begun sneaking through each bush and tree, And over the distant hill, our foes we could see. "Look lively, troops! Approaching visitors looking odd!" Ordered Percival Allyn Christopher Dodd. "Shine your brightest and scariest face, To scare these terrifying creatures from our place."
Then over the hill creatures came in mobs, Of monsters, ninjas and frightening hobgobs. There were ghouls and goblins and weird fairy queens; The stuffffff of everyone's very worst dreams.
With squeals and screeches they approached my house; There was even a great big hairy grey mouse! Undaunted by my scare troops' most threatening glares, Toward my door they maniacally danced up my porch stairs.
Then up stepped the most unlikely "Just Jack," Who'd been watching in silence and saw each ghoul had a sack.
"Perhaps they aren't burglars or beasts in their hearts; Perhaps they just need someone to be nice from the start." His words made some sense, but their looks did not change, And I was really distracted by the wolf's teeth and mange.
"Looks can deceive you," Jack thoughtfully said, And to all the troops gave a nod of his head. "Let's invite them inside; give them cocoa and treats. Even offer them all warm and comfortable seats."
So we did, and then much to everyone's glee, Masks peeled away, and charming children we did see. The party went on through that Halloween night, And somehow the company seemed ever so right.
The next day brought daylight as every day brings. The wind plays in the trees, and the song bird sings. Sir Percival Allyn Christopher Dodd woke, Then opening a tired mouth, these words he spoke. "You did it, dear friends; you scared danger away. And look-even the sun has come out to play!"
In truth, of goblins there was nary a trace, And pride reflected in each pumpkin's face. With humility Sir Percival turned to "Just Jack," And gave him a congratulatory smack on the back.
"Thanks to Jack here," remarked Sir Percival Dodd, We've learned not to fear things which to us seem odd."
A valuable lesson we all learned that dark night- Sometimes we must trust beyond what's within sight.
In the Air
You can feel Halloween is in the air; Leaves on skeleton trees whisper, "Beware." The harvest moon grows fuller each night, Held by hazy specters; it's quite a sight. An autumn breath nips your ears and nose, As shadows in the forest garden grow. Yes, soon 'twill be All Hallow's Eve, When ghosts appear, as some believe, To shock and give us quite a fright, All upon that Halloween Night!
Atop the gloomy hill, 'long the dark, winding trail, Sits the haunted house that's forever "For Sale." No one will buy it; "It's haunted," all say, "And strange things have happened there even in mid-day." Through cracks in the walls, eerie winds whistle through; Of broken windows and doors, there are more than a few. A new coat of paint would help with its face, But no one will even venture near the old place. Skeleton trees threaten and grab at your clothes, And a disgusting, unreal stench assaults your nose. So it's no wonder no one chooses to go near, Especially when creaks and moans reach the ear. So the house is called haunted, and sits alone every night, And in the Halloween moon, it poses a frightening sight.
THE DARK OLD HOUSE UPON THE HILL SITS ALL ALONE, FORLORN AND STILL. NO LIGHTS FILL THE WINDOWS; NO FLAME WARMS THE HEARTH; THE MAILBOX STANDS EMPTY; THE OLD PLACE LACKS HEART. YET ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT THE HOUSE COMES ALIVE. SHEETS RISE FROM FURNITURE; COBWEBS DIP AND DIVE; SONGS WAIL IN THE WIND; PEOPLE STAY FAR AWAY, 'TIL NOVEMBER MORNING SAFELY COMES IN.
Alone each night in the cold, dark field, He wonders how it might feel to be real; Instead of dancing just with the wind, He'd like a live partner to sway with and spin. Oh, sure, each day birds come and perch on his hat, And pull stray straw from his tattered back; The farmer may toss a slight comment his way, But even that doesn't brighten his day. Each night to the moon he confides his woesl He stretches his arms and wiggles straw toes. But each day begins and ends the same way. What he would give to just jump down and play!
Orange Harvest Moon
An orange harvest moon Casts its eerie glow. What mysteries it holds, None can begin to know. The wind whispers secrets To skeleton trees; It's very own Halloween Mysteries. Darkness slips icy hands Over our eyes; And fear grips our hearts; Our reason flies. "Tis just Halloween, A simple holiday; Yet all becomes ghoulish Upon Halloween Day.
A black cat lives in my neighbor's house; So gentle, she wouldn't hurt a mouse; Her eyes shine like stars of emerald and gold, And her purr could melt the deepest cold. But something happens once a year, The coming of which can bring great fear. One night she becomes a Halloween cat; She bares her teeth and her lips curl back, To make way for a throaty black cat hiss; One that is impossible to miss. She makes her rich black coat stand on end; A frightening message one look at her sends. "I'm a Halloween cat, can't you see, And no one dare mess with the likes of me," Is what she appears to convey to all From the tip of her nose to her tail standing tall. She doffs her Halloween persona that night, And unless you know her, she'll give you a fright. Come the next morning her sweetness returns, But for one day inside her a Halloween cat yearns.
The Creatures Come
Up my path the creatures come, Frightful beings, every one. Some with scary teeth and claws, Others with slobbery, oversized jaws. Some are tall with gauze-like wings, Or grotesque faces with ooze that clings. What is it about this frightening night, That makes us want such terrifying sights? Witches, bats, monsters and screams, Everything of nightmarish dreams, Make us laugh, smile and issue screams, All on a moonlit Halloween Eve.
Slamming shutters, creaking floors, And things that go bump in the night; These are things of which Halloween's made. And make for a terror-filled night. When goblins and monsters, witches and ghosts Dance with shadows to keep out of sight. Then the big harvest moon casts an eerie orange glow, To make Halloween night just right.
ON HALLOWEEN DAY
Goblins and ghouls and witches' black hats, Join monsters and specters and green-eyed black cats, To howl with the wind and chase clouds away, All upon this Halloween Day. For soon 'twill be dark and out they will come, To terrify, if not all, at least some, As they demand their treats, then leave with a grin, And we ask not where they go, nor where they have been. We're satisfied simply that they have moved on To somebody else's neighborhood lawn. As their devilish giggles and shouts fade away, We anxiously await the coming of day.
Excerpted from Jack to the Rescue by Rebecca Harris Copyright © 2010 by Rebecca Harris. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My neice and nephews loved Sir Percival Allyn Christopher Dodd and the Straw Man. Halloween has never been my thing, so I try to downplay it. This book, however, teaches a marvelous moral about not making judgments and about thinking outside the box to solve problems. The kids loved the poetry format, surprisingly. It was easy to read and understand, the pictures were pleasing and fun. We all had fun reading it together. The word pictures are terrific, but the younger kids needed help.
As a teacher, I shared this book with my 3rd graders. Great discussion prompts. The kids loved the characters of "Jack" and of the individual poems afterward. We even talked about poetry, rhyme scheme, and they loved clapping to the rhythm of the poems. Great learning tool. Later this week my students will create a new character to draw and add to the book. I'm excited to see what we come up with. Teachers, parents, librarians, check this one out!
I'm a full time nanny for kids age 5,9, and 11, and all three had so much fun reading this! Super cute illustrations for the youngest, great vocab words and imagination stretching descriptions for our 9 y/o and even my oldest enjoyed reading this fun collection of poems/stories to the younger two. So inexpensive and so worth it!
I got this for my grandkids. I never thought they would enjoy poems so much! All three of them relate to different characters, and the youngest wants to be a black cat like in the book. What a great way to kick off fall and their second favorite holiday. This book's a keeper.
I love the way that this was written the words flow so beautifully and easily. I have an 8 year old and a 2 year old and they both love this book also. It is quickly becoming a family favorite in our house.