Every Halloween season the grocery checkout lanes are filled with special Halloween issues. There's usually one or two good ideas, but mostly just standard kid fare involving candy corn being shoved into cookies, brownies or cupcakes. The trend is also spreading to books as more keepsake, hardcover books are finding their way to Amazon's digital shelves. I always hold out hope for a few gems, but mostly they are standard fare. Here a look at some of the new books released this season.
from the Editors of Country Living
This perplexing little book is very nicely designed and has great images, but the 101 ideas are just that: ideas. There's very little in the way of "how-to" in this book and it's such a missed opportunity for Country Living to put out a more substantial volume. This is their fourth Halloween book and they still haven't managed to get it right. A more robust, greater-detailed, and larger size version of this book could have rivaled Martha Stewart's Halloween, but instead we get a tiny 5 x 7 inch book with an inexplicably spiral-bound spine – it must lay flat to read one sentence paragraphs?
Halloween! Tricks, Treats, Fun & Sweets
by Morgana De Ville
Halloween is gaining in popularity in the U.K. although still not like the celebration we have in America. As a result, a few books dedicated to the holiday are trickling out like this one. This is another tiny book at 7 x 7 inches and has a puffy hardcover like you see on children's books. The extensive photography is adequate, the decor simplistic, and the costume ideas are strictly for kids. The many recipes are appealing but written with a foreign tone that won't be well received by general American audiences. The book just doesn't have the ornate design, flourish or spirit in comparison to others in it's class, but I always applaud publishers committed to the holiday.
by Cico Books
This collection of 35 projects from a talented group of UK "project makers" is dandy fun from the other side of the pond. The book has some interesting projects that will appeal to a broad spectrum of crafters, especially those who are good with a needle & thread. The section on costumes is completely kid-centric which is fine, but I like when Halloween books broaden their spectrum and include adults in the fun (Halloween is for kids of ALL ages). The recipes are again, very English. Words like caster (superfine) sugar, treacle (molasses), bicarbonate (baking soda), plain (all-purpose flour) flour, and glucose syrup (I think that's corn syrup) make for a challenging read.