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Silhouette Illustration of kids trick-o-treating

Happy Halloween!

No tricks here, we're celebrating the spooky season with a special treat for our readers:

A deliciously delightful collection of Halloween-inspired writing!

Thank you to our contributors for sharing poems and stories that will get you in the mood for trick-or-treating, costume parties, and bone-shaking fun! Thank you to Little Thoughts Press editor, Carrie Karnes-Fannin for her frighteningly fun illustrations! And thank you to all our readers and supporters!

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Skeleton Disco
by Claire Schlinkert


We are spooky, kooky movers,
we are UV-glowing groovers,
and we’ve boogie-woogie music in our bones.
With our foot phalanges tapping
and our meta-carpals clapping,
we sway clavicles to drums and saxophones.


We are hip-hop rapping rockers,
we are coccyx-bobbing boppers!
See our tibias and fibulas sashay.
And that funky rhythm thumping
gets our jumping femurs pumping.
Raising radii, we belt, "YMCA!"


Then we each gyrate our pelvis
as we strut our stuff to Elvis;
in our orbit shades, we rattle, rock and roll.
With our mandibles, we'll shout it
(and we make no bones about it):
without organs we'll still party, heart and soul!

Costume Capers

by Kelly Kates

 

    “I’ve lost my sheep!” cried Little Bo Peep.
   “Where are our mittens?” wailed the kittens.
    “I found this piece of my grandmother’s shawl on the gate of her house! Something terrible has
happened!” cried Little Red Riding Hood.
    The fairy tale folk were in an uproar. What was going on?
    They ran up streets and down, searching for the missing items. Red Riding Hood led the charge. 
    They turned the corner and found a suspicious looking group huddled together. The wolf,
dressed in a nightgown and cap. Tom, the piper’s son, holding a sheep. A dog wearing mittens
and someone hiding under a sheet.
    “Those are my grandmother’s clothes! What have you done with her?” shrieked Red Riding
Hood.
    “I should have asked, but we needed costumes. I saw these on the clothes line and thought I
could borrow them. I’m sorry,” the wolf mumbled. “I was going to be Old Mother Hubbard.”
    “I was going to dress up as Mary had a little lamb,” squeaked Tom.
    “I was trying for Puss in Boots,” whimpered the dog.
    The kittens hissed, “Those are mittens, not boots! That is a terrible costume!”
    “I am guessing that is you under that sheet, Georgie Peorgie. At least you look like a proper
ghost,” sighed Bo Peep.
    Georgie muttered, “Actually, I was trying to look like Humpty Dumpty.”
    “You should have let us help you, ” scolded Red Riding Hood.
    “We’re not used to people wanting to help us,” the wolf howled.
    “Of course, we will help. Next time, just ask. Besides,” Bo Peep said with a smile, “Halloween
is a time for everyone to enjoy a little mischief.”

Silhouette Illustration of Bo Peep and three trick-o-treating sheep
Silhouette Illustration of kids trick-o-treating

A Trick and A Treat

by Kendra Cardin


Evening beckons them. Streetlights brighten
their debut. Perhaps you are one,
too. From my porch, I can see
the winged, caped, masked, and fanged.
What a spell they cast,
that parade of
eager fae
marching
past.

Mr. Bones' Thinking Spot

by Cynthia Mackey

Mr. Bones had all his best ideas while lounging by the front porch.


If he ever needed an idea, it was now because Mrs. Bones had just made a gigantic batch of caramel apples.
 

This might have been a good thing if
           1. The kids were not away at Camp Haunted Hollow.
           2. Mr. Bones had chompers that worked.
           3. Mrs. Bones liked eating caramel apples. (She only liked making them.)

 

Mr. Bones did NOT relish the smell of rotting fruit. Not to mention the wasps the apples would attract. It rattled his bones just thinking about it.
 

Leaves fell like confetti from the trees.
           “Hmmmm…. Confetti…” thought Mr. Bones.
           “WHOOOOO!”, called the neighborhood owl.
           “Confetti? Whooo? That’s it!” said Mr. Bones to no one in particular. “A party!
           B
ut who can I invite?

 

Along with all the skeleton-kids, the ghost-children had spirited away to Camp Haunted Hollow.
 

The werewolves were off prowling the western moors.
 

The vampires had vanished on an extended vacation to Venezuela.
 

The Zombies had… wait! Zillions of zombies lived down the road on Zinnia Lane!
 

Mr. Bones shivered with excitement as he wrote the invitations…
 

ZOMBIE PARTY TONIGHT - Eat, drink, and be scary!

Silhouette illustration of skeletons dancing

Conjuring Courage

by Christine Alemshah

On this night, when everything twinkles and burning wax fills my nose like birthday candles,
pumpkins line up like tiny toy soldiers.


Mine is perfectly round, just like everyone else's.
It doesn't stand out. It fits in.


"Great details," say the judges.
"Nice work," a classmate chimes.

 

I wish every day at school were like this night, where compliments are many, and taunts are few.
Tonight, I feel more alike than different from everyone else.
Like my pumpkin — proud, smiling, confident.

 

Hollow eyes stare back at me as if all-knowing, challenging me to dig deeper.
     I have thick skin, and so do you.

    Look closer at my pumpkin pals,
    and you'll see we're not the same at all.
    Some have broken stems,
    Others sport sunspots,
    some big and some small.


I ponder those thoughts, look around, and agree.
At the pumpkins and my classmates—we are all unique.

 

I close my eyes, exhale deeply, and whisper—proud, smiling, confident.
 

Because on this night, when everything twinkles and burning wax fills my nose like birthday
candles, I've conjured up the courage to stand out, not fit in.

 

Thank you to our contributors!

Claire Schlinkert is a British children's writer, currently living with her family in Belgium. She loves writing poems and playing with words, and she has published her writing in anthologies and in magazines including Tyger Tyger and The Toy. She also enjoys spending time with family and friends, singing in choirs, going for walks, and visiting the very tempting bakeries near her home.
 

Kelly Kates' writing has been inspired by the many colorful students she has met during her twenty-two years as a Performing Arts teacher and school social worker. She also works as a choreographer for local theaters and started writing when the pandemic shut performances down. In the past two years, she has taken a writing class at Lighthouse Writers’ Workshop and completed an SCBWI mentorship. She is a member of SCBWI and 12 x 12, participating in conferences and working with a monthly critique group. She was a proud winner in the 2023 Spring Fling and Kidlit Vibe contests and placed second in the ICL Fractured Fairy Tale Contest.

Kendra Cardin creates a safe harbor for herself with poetry and storytelling. She has a soft spot for speculative tales and enjoys imagining new and familiar characters to befriend. Her writings have appeared in various publications including Liminality, Blink-Ink, and Sídhe Press's, Glisk and Glimmer anthology.

Cynthia Mackey is the author of Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker and The Lullaby Monsters and her poetry appears in The ToyThe Dirigible Balloon, and Little Thoughts Press. Her debut picture book, If a Bumblebee Lands on Your Toe, will be published by Yeehoo Press in 2024. Cynthia lives with her husband in Victoria, Canada. For more info, see www.booksbycindy.com.

Christine Alemshah (she/her) is a bi-racial Filipino American children's author and classically trained vocalist. Christine writes children's picture books championing innovation, celebrating multiculturalism, and often having a musical vibe. She hopes readers will see themselves in the stories she writes. Her picture books Dumpster Diving with Lola and From Faye, With Love, will debut with Free Spirit Publishing in Winter 2025.

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