For parents of a certain generation, Raffi was like the Pied Piper: he sang, kids listened, they often fell asleep. Back then, that was the mark of a miraculous, massively talented performer. In our house, Thing 1 had a serious preference for “Baby Beluga” at bedtime, although it took until track 8 of that favorite Raffi CD, “Over in the Meadow,” to even hope she might actually fall asleep. [I can't find Raffi's version online, but here's a really silly Wiggles interpretation.]
As Halloween looms, favorite songs seem to be getting spooky makeovers (see The 13 Nights of Halloween for additional tuneful fun). In this adorable, not-at-all-scary-rendition, the meadow morphs into “Over in the forest / Where the trees hide the sun / Lived a big mommy monster / And her little monster one.” Awwwww … that rhythm, that rhyme … talk about snuggly memories!
Mommy Monster and her little one run through their forest home sharing giddy fun while their friends and neighbors also enjoy happy family time all around. “Pale daddy ghost” haunts with “his little ghosties two,” while “an old mother zombie,” stares with “her little zombies three.” Wolves howl, mummies moan, skeletons rattle, bats swoop, goblins leap … until Monster Mommy calls her one over – and the rest of the forest gathers around: “‘Trick or treat?’ asked the mommy; / ‘Treat!’ cried the one. / So they skipped off together / For some Halloween fun!”
While Pamela Jane provides the enchanting lyrics, Jane Manning (don’t you love the symmetry of the creators’ last name/first name as if they were meant to be?) fills the pages with lovable characters. Her tiny details make every page an invitation to notice something unique – ghosts with buttoned shirts, zombies that carefully hang up their colorful laundry, witches that clearly read, goblins that enjoy sniffing pretty flowers.
So before you send your little monsters out next holiday night, be sure to hold them tight this week (every week!), cuddle up, and sing them to sleep … before you know it, you’ll be experiencing a different sort of scary story when you wake up Rip Van Winkle-style, only to realize that those little monsters grew up way too fast … fair warning to be sure to grab those hugs and kisses while you can!