Posted August 18, 2015 by Amy in Books

The Halloween Happening (Book/Toy Set) Review


The brightest and hottest days of summer are here, and with them comes the sad truth that the carefree summer season is coming to an end. Kids everywhere are starting to head back to school, and it won’t be long before pumpkins and russet leaves decorate every surface. Yep, fall is right around the corner, and if you’re the plan ahead type you likely already have a few ideas banging around in your head for the Halloween festivities that come along with the cooler days of fall. And if you’re the type to plan fun yearly traditions, you might just find a new favorite in The Halloween Happening.

The Halloween Happening is a book and toy set that is packaged up along with a set of number cards and a decoder. That gives you everything you need to get the tradition on its way. The toy is a cute little fuzzy pumpkin guy wearing a black hooded cape. The cards are round, printed a dark glossy black with red spooky numbers written on them, along with a decoder cards which shows what letter each number coincides with. This will help to figure out the secret message the pumpkin guy will be leaving for your kddos.

Fans of Christmas favorite The Elf on the Shelf may well recognize a few similar elements between that tradition and the of The Halloween Happening. Both feature a cute stuffed character meant to watch over children during the Halloween season, and who might just decide to run away for a while if naughty behavior is observed. “I am scared of bad behavior, so remember to be good.” They also both show up in a different place each day before the holiday, giving kids the fun task of searching for their friend each morning.

The book included in the set explains the concept to the kids. It is written in the voice of the pumpkin toy, who introduces itself to the kids and asks them to give it a name. After that, it explains how the codes work. Unlike Elf on the Shelf, the pumpkin toy doesn’t show up on a certain day. Instead, the day it shows up signifies the length of its message. For instance, if it shows up five days before Halloween, the message will be five letters long. The game always ends on Halloween day. Each morning, the pumpkin will be holding one of the cards (is little hands make a claw that grips the card). The kids will write down the number each day, and on Halloween they get to decode the entire message. It’s a fun concept, and doesn’t have to last all month for busy families.

The toy itself is adorable, and unlike Elf on the Shelf kids are not dissuaded from touching it, so they’ll enjoy playing with their new friend. The cards are pretty durable, and the code concept can be tailored to their age. The book itself is a sturdy hardcover with cute illustrations and spooky text. Though the text doesn’t always flow all the great, young kids will enjoy the rhyming phrases, and it does do a fairly decent job of explaining the concept of the toy. Parents looking to add a fun family tradition to their Halloween celebrations won’t be disappointed.


U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)