Halloween silliness is in the air. Why not channel it into a crafty, productive activity? It started rather spontaneously with none other than the most corny of knock-knock jokes. The kids (6&8) are always trying to make up their own and it sure gets annoying. We had cycled through several pieces of fruit as the repetitive visitor (banana who? banana who?… orange you glad it wasn’t banana again?), when I felt the need to go over the whole structure of the knock-knock joke to let them try to come up with their own that were actually laughable.
I myself am not a jokester. It’s more my husband’s territory. We ran stuff by him to see where it would rate. The kids half-cared what either one of us thought, only that it was funny to them. Calvin, my 6-year-old, wandered off after 15 minutes, but Ava humored me through the joke-creation process.
We stretched a bit to come up with ten. Many, we knew, would only be funny to us and mildly funny to others if they knew the back story, which Ava fully intended to share with any audience, curious or not. At some point we started fine-tuning the language and making a list. We referenced our Halloween books for inspiration and art. We liked the idea of a lift-the-flap book and the door became the obvious flap to open.
We put on our writing, illustrator and publisher hat. We started with a title, cover and table of contents. Title: Who’s at Your Door? Cover: door with the flap, subtitle of Ten Halloween Knock-Knock Jokes and TOC: Drac, Punk (Pumpkin), The Ghoul, Hoo (Owl), Pig, Candy, Bat, Witch, Mummy and Leaf.
I did the writing – alternating colors for responses, Ava did all of the drawing and I colored the pictures. We chose the constant as the door with steps leading up to it (on each of the ten joke pages) and Ava did the bubble-thought drawings to depict what the caller implied they were on the other side of the door. For example,the clueless homeowner pictured a cute blonde girl with pigtails when the caller said they were the ghoul.
Here they are (assume the Knock-knock. Who’s There? precedes each):
1. Drac. Drac who? The Drac who thinks your fang-tastic. (pictured above)
2. Punk. Punk who? Punkin pie in your face with Cool-Whip.
3. The Ghoul. The Ghoul who? It’s just the ghoul next door, don’t be scared! (pictured above)
4. Hoo. Hoo who? Hoo Hoo, the spooky owl (note photo shows an owl in a tree, far away from the door)
5. Pig. Pig who? Pig in a buttery croissant blanket (inspired by food served at several Halloween parties this weekend) (pictured at right)
6. Candy. Candy who? Cand-you see I’m here for treats? (pictured at right)
7. Bat. Bat who? Batter hurry up and get your Halloween costume on! (photo pictures stressed out parent running for their clown costume)
8. Witch. Witch who? Which way to the nearest broomstick store? (photo pictures a witch with her bent broomstick)
9. Mummy. Mummy who? Mummy, you look so frightening in bandages!
10. Leaf. Leaf who? Would you like me to leaf you alone? (You must be so sick of these knock-knock jokes!)
Three hours later we three-holed punched the pages and thread a ribbon through it. It was a creative, artistic activity and while the jokes were a challenge for them to dream up, Ava really enjoyed figuring out how to best illustrate the dialog through pictures.
She’s bringing it to show-and-tell this week. I warned her that others might not get her humor. Such is life. It’s important to know what makes us laugh, I told her, regardless of what others think. Calvin thinks I’m obsessed with the pig in the buttery croissant blanket. I might be, but that’s what makes it darn funny to us. And Ava and I voted. That one is our favorite!
If we do a mini-publishing run on the book, she says she’s open for business and taking orders. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Books are $4 and part of the proceeds will go to her school’s Media Center.