Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this exuberant celebration of a Halloween icon, a brother and sister begin early preparations for their favorite holiday-in the garden. Painted paper collages brightly illustrate progress in the pumpkin patch from the children's seed-planting, watering, and weeding to the pumpkin's green vining, yellow flowering and orange fruiting. The king of squash can provide a rich introduction to kinder-gardening; and this book-with accurate information contained in a minimal text-yields a bumper crop of entertainment and basic know-how. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Learning how plants grow by creating a pumpkin patch provides both a botanical lesson and Halloween fun when it comes time to pick and carve the perfect pumpkin. Bold collage art and easy text make this book particularly good as a read-aloud.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-When is the very best time to start getting ready for Halloween? In the spring, of course, when a tiny seed can have time to grow into a big fat pumpkin. Bright, bold, painted-paper collages capture the excitement of two children as they dig the soil, plant the seed, water, weed, and wait. Vibrantly colored double-page spreads celebrate this first gardening experience as the youngsters watch their vines grow larger and longer and finally blossom. Tiny green pumpkins swell and become huge orange globes that overflow the boundaries of the page. On Halloween, mom and dad help turn them into jack-o-lanterns, and the siblings don their costumes. On a final page, six simple illustrations and brief captions give an exceptionally clear explanation of how a pumpkin seed germinates. Whether as an introduction to gardening or as a Halloween story, this dual-purpose book will be welcomed by the youngest spring gardeners and fall harvesters.-Lisa Wu Stowe, Great Neck Library, NY
Some books wow you with their simplicity, and this is one of them. In a first-person narrative, a little girl tells how she and her brother begin celebrating Halloween in the summer when they plant their pumpkins. The text is direct and easily understandable by preschoolers: "First, I turn the soil with the shovel, and my brother uses the spade to dig narrow rows, just one inch deep. Then we drop in pumpkin seeds and cover them with soil." Before long, small green shoots poke out of the ground and later turn into vines. After the children water and weed, yellow flower buds pop out, showing them where their pumpkins will grow. Bringing this all to life are Halpern's terrific painted paper collages. Big, bold, and childlike in execution, they are especially effective as they chronicle the growth from green buds to round, ripe pumpkins. The last several pages celebrate Halloween as pumpkins become jack-o'-lanterns and the siblings dress up for Halloween. A final spread shows how pumpkins grow underground; there is also an address for the International Pumpkin Association. An informative charmer.