Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A rhythmic text and a vibrant palette combine in a Halloween tale noteworthy for its finely tuned balance of drama and comedy. A green-faced witch, with pickle-shaped nose and chin, decides to mark the holiday by baking a pumpkin pie. But the pumpkin she's planted is stuck on the vine. A gallery of graveyard ghouls comes to her aid--first a translucent white ghost, then a smartly dressed vampire, a tightly bound mummy and, finally, a bat with a bright idea. Their breezy conversations create a pleasantly sinister mood that stops just short of being scary. Accordingly, in Schindler's hands the cast looks not so much spooky as spirited. The eye-catching full-spread illustrations, in rich hues of orange and blue, capture the midnight magic, while dropped-out type adds an extra dash of mystery. A fine combination of fright and fun. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Like Tolstoy's Great Enormous Turnip, Silverman's Big Pumpkin wont's budge from the ground even with the witch's magic. On a Halloween eve, help comes from unusual sources: a ghost, a mummy, a vampire, and a bat who all discover that cooperation is the only way to budge a stubborn pumpkin. Action-filled paintings add to the fun of this cumulative adventure. The pulling and tugging sequences build in their power and hilarity. 1995 (orig.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
This story is a perfect for young listeners who still seek comfort during Halloween and who are ready for a story. The repetition, internal rhymes, and places for chorusing involve and reassure young listeners. The story presents traditionally frightening figures in a friendly light. The tale centers on a green-faced, grumpy witch who is craving a piece of pumpkin pie, but she can't separate her huge pumpkin from its vine. A ghost, vampire, and mummy believe themselves strong enough to triumph, but they find that success only comes with cooperation. The satisfying end brings shared pumpkin pie and friendship, providing yet another subtle reassurance. There are also sounds and speech that make this a natural read-aloud for parents.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-- A rollicking, amusing Halloween tale. Based on the Russian folktale ``The Turnip,'' it's the cumulative tale of a witch who plants a pumpkin seed in anticipation of a Halloween pie. When the pumpkin grows too large, however, she finds she needs the help of some fitting wanderers: ghost, vampire, mummy, and a little bat. Some nice lessons are learned: the need for help from others, the joy of sharing, and that everyone--no matter what size-- has something to offer. The text is rhythmic and repetitive, making it a surefire success for story hours or read-alouds. Schindler's richly colored illustrations lend humor and give a lively feeling to the characters and plot, helping to make the story nonthreatening for the youngest of readers. The book starts with a large border, and the pictures and the pumpkin grow as large as the page. Rousing good fun for the Halloween season and far beyond. --Elizabeth Hanson, Chicago Pub . Lib .
With pie on her mind, a witch goes to her garden to pick a special pumpkin off the vine. But she's watered and weeded it a bit too well--the gigantic pumpkin won't be budged. A ghost comes along and offers his help, as does a vampire, and a mummy, but all their tugging is to no avail. Then a bat flutters up, and the others laugh, for what can such a little thing do? The bat has an idea, though: they will all pull together. The pumpkin is liberated, and the ghoulies are soon enjoying pie. A take-off on other stories where giant vegetables (notably turnips) are pulled from the ground, this one will have special appeal because of its Halloween theme. Silverman's use of repetition is slightly overdone, but the rhythmic word patterns will still be pleasing to kids. Artwork, heavy both in shape and color, is a good choice for this nighttime adventure. A treat for story hours.