When we were searching the shelves for Halloween books, Helen asked if I had How Spider Saved Halloween because it was one of her favorites. She also remembered it having a fairly good witch in it (and I’m sure Ladybug would agree!)
Spider is worried about finding the right costume because nothing changes him drastically enough to hide who is behind the costume. This book was published in 1973 – look at these costumes. No Halloween or Scream masks, no blood or guts. I miss 1973. Not the clothes, just the … innocence.
Spider goes to his friend Ladybug’s house to see if she can help him.
Ladybug and fly show him their costumes – see isn’t that a great witch?
Spider is still trying to think of a good costume for himself when they hear a smashing sound and laughter coming from outside.
Bullies have destroyed Ladybug’s jack-o-lantern. Maybe it wasn’t such an innocent time after all. Ladybug is terribly upset because what is Halloween without a jack-o-lantern? And that’s when Spider gets the idea for the perfect costume. He has his friends color him orange and he cuts out a green stem and voila!
He’s the perfect jack-o-lantern. The three friends go out trick-or-treating and are having a wonderful time until they hear the bullies coming down the street with cans of shaving cream. (Even though they are bullies, they still are pretty tame.)
But Spider knows how to get back at them. Hiding behind a bush until they are right near him, he then jumps out and scares them. And that is how Spider saved Halloween.
Robert Kraus wrote several other Spider/Ladybug/Fly books, some of which are still available through Amazon, etc. In 1965, Kraus started his own publishing company, Windmill Books which published some of his NY artist friends’ books, including, among others, The Chas. Addams Mother Goose, (which I need to find immediately!) and several by William Steig, including Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, another huge favorite here at Fragile Earth Stuffed Animals. They also were the first to produce board books and bathtub books for very young kids.