This book shows the reader how to grow their own pumpkin from seeds and then turn them into a delicious pumpkin soup.
Children's Literature - Veronica BartlesPart of the "Grow it Yourself!" series, this book gives children detailed instructions on how to grow their own pumpkins for a creamy fall soup. Malam introduces the pumpkin with a quick overview of the many various types of pumpkin plants, and he explains the requirements for growing healthy pumpkins. Each book in the series focuses on one type of plant, to show young readers not only how to grow it properly, but how to use the plant after it's grown. In beautifully illustrated, simple terms, Malam walks beginning gardeners through the process of growing a garden. From determining where and when to plant, picking out the proper variety for your growing conditions, and sowing the seeds to caring for the young plants as they grow to maturity, children can follow the easy instructions to grow a hearty meal. Malam explains the proper way to tell when the pumpkins are ready to harvest, and how to prepare the pumpkin to cook after it's been picked. He includes a simple recipe for using the freshly-picked produce. Stunning full-color photographs complement the instructions contained in the book, allowing children of all reading levels to learn how to grow a successful garden. A glossary, index and list of resources for further research make this book the perfect resource for anyone who wants to learn to garden, anyone who has ever worried that they might not have a green thumb, or who has ever wondered where the food we eat comes from. Reviewer: Veronica Bartles
School Library JournalGr 2–4—These hybrids cover a variety of garden-related topics seemingly chosen for their child appeal. The first title presents information on raising butterflies along with wildflower gardening. The edibles in the other three books include the tomato in Sandwich and the pumpkin in Soup. The most unusual of the lot is Snack, which showcases the broad bean or fava, much more commonly grown and eaten outside of North America. Each title takes readers through the steps of indoor germination, transplanting, pollination, and eventually harvesting. Stock photos are sharp and colorful, gracing every page. Each closing section gives simple cooking directions, the most complicated being the pumpkin soup. Major cutting, peeling, and frying instructions request adult assistance. Glossary terms are in bold type in the oversize text. Pairing gardening instructions with a cooking lesson seems like a perfect combination but the superficial treatment in these titles is a setup for disappointment. The challenge of growing wildflowers when there are so many easier-to-grow and butterfly-attracting choices is puzzling. No mention is made of insect pests, fungal diseases, weather problems, and the myriad transplanting and indoor germination challenges. Under the tutelage of an experienced gardener-cook, these titles might work, but then who would need them?—Carol S. Surges, Longfellow Middle School, Wauwatosa, WI
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