Halloween. When all the spirits, monsters and under-twelves come out to play. When a basket of sweeties appears at the front door, and nobody’s going to know how many I nick because it will all be gone by the end of the night. Nobody can deny it is a happy day. Let’s play a game.
It’s time to go trick-or-treating in our favourite Kidlit settings. Which costume would you wear? What sort of treats would you hope to receive? Which tricks will you have up your sleeve?
The rules? Only the same rules the nation’s little monsters (largely) abide by. We are tricksters not yobs. Tricks must be played before the door is shut. Tricks and treats must fit in with the setting of the book. No electronic tricks in the early-1900s, for example.
I encourage you to join in. Leave a comment at the bottom of the page or write your own blog post and link back. Play well, little ghouls.
Costume: If I dressed as a witch or wizard, I might be mistaken for a … well, staff member. Or visitor. This might be the best thing of all. Imagine joining the Hogwarts feast? Next to that, I would like to trick-or-treat the Hogwarts kitchens, so I need to go Sirus Black and turn into an animal so I get past the Hogwarts security.
Treats: Forget the Fizzers. Take me to the Great Hall for pumpkin pasties and butterbeer.
Tricks: Beware. There are hundreds of people armed with wands, and most of them have only a tentative control on their magic. The likelihood of ending up a toad if you upset the wrong person is high. This is the place for something cheesy. Water spray? Stick my tongue out?
Location: Toad Hall
Costume: Anything but a Weasel. I’m aiming for treats, so the first thing is not to get run through with a rapier. A pilot or a racing driver might get Mr Toad in the generous mood, although there is always the possibility I will hit the wrong hobby, and be chased out as riff-raff.
Treats: There’s a running theme here. Feasts. Great halls. At the very least, I expect a slice of home-baked cake.
Tricks: If I’m feeling risky, I’ll imitate the noises of the Wild Woods. To play it safe, my friend will hide in the trees, and make the noises of a motor car, or horse’s hooves. When Toad gets overexcited and goes to investigate, I’ll nip round to the kitchen door and try my luck there.
Location: Sinclair’s (1900s department store)
Costume: Trick-Or-Treating would probably be frowned upon in the 1900s. To be honest, I just want to go in and try on a ball-gown. Reckon I can convince anybody that I might seriously consider buying one?
Treats: Overlooking the fairly large issue about etiquette, get me into the sweet department for some samples. A sugar-mouse? Rose and violet cremes? The chocolate department is described in The Midnight Peacock, and my mouth was watering.
Tricks: It would have to involve a clock-work toy. Have you ever been in one of those retro-vibe shops which sells clockwork mice? I bought my sister a clockwork tortoise a couple of years back. It is the cleverest and most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
Location: The Huntress (pirate ship, home of the Sea tribe)
Costume: The reason I want to trick-or-treat in this world is the costume options. And the materials! Spider-silk. Feathers. I reckon I’ll dress as a sky wolf. Or possibly ride one.
Treats: I’d pass over the raw reindeer steak. A carved wooden trinket would be the best. There are skilled crafts-people in this world.
Tricks: In peril of being forced to walk the plank, my trick would have to incorporate a quick getaway. Perhaps I could throw a spider-silk net over the ship? I would be at quite a height before I threw it, and the rule about the door doesn’t apply. I’d be on my sky wolf, remember, above the desk of the ship.