Saturday, June 29, 2013

Jack-O'-Lantern by Edna Barth ; illustrated by Paul Galdone (1974)

Mean Jack is like the proverbial "git outta my yard" old man, shaking his fist at the sun and the moon.  The story is unusual for the fact that he gets the better of St. Peter, and ends up giving him three wishes that don't backfire on him.  He gets the better of the Devil too - and the devil's sons Norman and Everett (I wonder why Barth chose those names?).  Although not much of a Halloween story, it still has enough of a taste of New England and cider and cold autumn winds to pair nicely with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and some hot popcorn on an October night.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Mean Jack gets the better of both St. Peter and the Devil (and the Devil's two bumpkinish looking demonic sons, Norman and Everett - I wonder why Barth chose those particular names?) in a humorous tale.  While not a terrifying Halloween tale, this has enough old New England flavor to pair nicely with Legend Of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle , some apple cider and hot popcorn on a cold October night under a yellow pumpkin moon.

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