Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Great Halloween costumes, part 1

Technically, this blog is about children's literature. So Abbie's Halloween costumes over the years aren't really relevant. But kids and imagination are, and it's the last week of October, and...

What the heck. I don't have to justify what I choose to post about. If I want to depart from the topic at hand, I can. (Hey, I think I've just discovered the true attraction of blogging for professional writers: No editors. Of course, that's the scariest part too.)


The story of Abbie and her incredible Halloween costume ideas, part I.

Throughout Abbie's trick-or-treating life, I made her costumes. I have a little sewing ability and a ready glue gun, so it was fun.

Early on -- before Abbie could express her own ideas about things -- I dressed her as the usual suspects, like ghosts and black cats. Then we went through a period where she picked and she was still sort of ordinary: Tigger, a fairy princess, a mermaid. I do a pretty mean mermaid's tail, if I do say so myself.

But pretty soon Abbie decided she didn't like dressing up as anything other kids might be. Even though her costumes up until then had been handmade and unique, they weren't special enough.

So at age 6 she decided she wanted to be a purse for Halloween. A purse -- an ordinary black woman's purse. I protested, not sure how to pull it off and imagining something rather ugly. But she was definite about it. She wanted to be a purse.

This is what we ended up with.

Adorable, right? It had oversized keys, comb and money, plus Abbie made a cell phone for the back pocket. People could actually put candy in the front pocket. It was a HUGE hit. Our neighbors still talk about the year Abbie was a purse.

After that, Abbie was determined to have a costume with a high wow! factor. She'd come up with an idea and together we'd figure out how to execute it. There were some pretty iffy moments, but mostly we had a great time working to bring her imagination to life.

There was the peacock, whose tail had to be able to fan. (My personal favorite. The tail trailed behind until she lifted her arms to make it fan out.)

And the volcano, which doesn't show up too well. But her hair was the lava, sprayed red and with a glow stick to make it fiery. There are little trees and moss and rocks along the mountainside.

We only had one failure along the way, which was the year she wanted to be the sun. I'm not sure why that one foiled us, but she looked more like a flower.

She kept up the fun ideas until she got too old for trick-or-treating. Stay tuned for more great Halloween costumes, in which we try to turn Abbie into abstract ideas!