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Children's LiteratureThis is a warm and friendly Halloween story with no witches or ghosts and only the tiniest bit of suspense. Mrs. McMurphy is a kind, sweet farmwoman who is very much in charge of her animals—and her pumpkins. One pumpkin appears each day with one more addition to his face (and it's worth noting how expressive the pumpkin can be with nothing more than a change in the line of his mouth). This pumpkin promises to eat Mrs. McMurphy as soon as he has teeth, but she has other plans. Mrs. McMurphy firmly sends the pumpkin to the porch, then the shed, then floating down the river and even in a package to the North Pole. When the pumpkin finally shows up with a mouthful of carefully carved teeth, Mrs. McMurphy turns it into warm, sweet pumpkin pie for her trick or treaters. The illustrations are reminiscent of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art with warm fall colors, flat farm paintings and delicate borders of pumpkin blossoms. The story would be fun to read aloud, with children predicting what might happen or creating their own conclusions. It's a perfect example of creating a story with a new twist for a popular holiday that has already generated thousands of books. 2004, HarperCollins, Ages 3 to 7.