You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Children’s lit’ category.

It’s my favorite time of year:  Fall.   Nights are getting cooler, leaves are turning and falling.  Fall equinox is next week (Tuesday, September 23), and Halloween is just around the corner.  And, inevitably, pumpkins are appearing surreptitiously.

So it seems the perfect time to review a new book out from Dey Street Books:  the making of the classic TV show “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!”  The TV show first debuted in 1966, about three years before I was born.  I grew up watching it, along with the Christmas special and about a dozen other Peanuts outings.  This one has remained a favorite, though, and I still watch each year.

Most Halloween television revolves around gory, nauseating fare, which may be one reason I still love the Great Pumpkin.  I still love it when Lucy snatches away the football from Charlie Brown at the last minute.  The Flying Ace gives me fits of laughter.  I identify strongly with Charlie Brown’s misshapen costume and his bad Halloween luck (all rocks, no candy).

You’ll get a nice behind-the-scenes look at the making of this classic, and you might even learn some interesting trivia too.  I did: when Sparky (aka Charles Schulz) talks about how he came up with the idea for the Great Pumpkin, he basically claimed it was “a kind of a satire on Santa Claus” (p 19).  A satire!  On Santa!  Linus writes to the Great Pumpkin, just as a kid would write to Santa, asking for gifts.  When he doesn’t get them, and the Great Pumpkin doesn’t show, he is disappointed, but he survives.

I’ve asked around to friends and family to get their take on The Great Pumpkin.  They still love it, and even my young nephews and niece watch it.  Another generation will grow up watching Peanuts, and that’s a great tradition.

If you’re a fan of Peanuts, this is definitely a great book to pick up.  There’s a lot of insider info and history, not to mention the gorgeous illustrated script.   Happy 48th, Great Pumpkin!  I can’t wait to see if Charlie Brown will actually kick the football again this year.

**The complete title is “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown:  The Making of a Television Classic” and is published by Dey Street Books, and imprint of Harper Collins.


It’s like 95 degrees out today, so I’m taking advantage of that by staying inside and writing.

My first short story for my 9 year old nephew was a hit; I’m told he’s working on sketches now. The deal was that I’d write the text and he would do the illustrations. So while he works on that, I’m working on the next story for him to illustrate.

This could turn into a fun little series!

%d bloggers like this: