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Mystery Vine: A Pumpkin Surprise
     

Mystery Vine: A Pumpkin Surprise

by Cathryn Falwell
 

As the seasons go by, the mystery vine grows and grows and grows. Now, finally, it is autumn, and the mystery vine is no longer a mystery.

Hello, pumpkins!

This is the season for jack-o'-lanterns, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin seeds—ready for toasting and munching, and for saving and planting come spring.

Overview

As the seasons go by, the mystery vine grows and grows and grows. Now, finally, it is autumn, and the mystery vine is no longer a mystery.

Hello, pumpkins!

This is the season for jack-o'-lanterns, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin seeds—ready for toasting and munching, and for saving and planting come spring.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Debby Willett
In this rhyming picture book, while this boy and girl help their mother with the garden, they discover a "mystery vine." Choosing to allow the mystery vine to grow, the children and their mother tend the garden, planting seeds, pulling weeds, watering, and preparing the garden for growing vegetables. Soon it was time to harvest the ripe vegetables; yet, the mystery vine could still not be identified. At the end of the growing season, fall was on the way and the children still did not know what was growing on the mystery vine. The temperature was dropping outside, the old plants were dying, and finally the mystery vine was showing its fruit! The children and their mother enjoyed the harvest of all the vegetables. Collages and full color art illustrations are warm and supportive for the poetry verses. Included at the end of the book are sections with recipes, gardening ideas, and craft projects. This is a sweet rhyming book for young readers. Reviewer: Debby Willett
School Library Journal
PreS-K—Two children plant a garden in the spring. They water and weed and enjoy each vegetable as it ripens, but they are puzzled by one particular vine. Both spring and summer pass, and finally, in the fall, their mystery vine produces pumpkins. This will come as no surprise to even very young readers, as pumpkins are pictured on both the cover and title page, one of the seed packets the little girl carries has a picture of a pumpkin, and the book is subtitled "a pumpkin surprise." The layout is quite nice, with the text offset in small frames and enticing pictures of vegetables gracing the top, and brightly colored collages with clean lines decorating the pages. However, the rhyming text itself is often forced and awkward. Delightful pumpkin books abound, making this one a marginal purchase.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Falwell's latest introduces young readers to gardening. A young boy and girl work and explore their backyard garden from spring, when they plant the seeds, through summer, as they harvest the different vegetables, to autumn, when their mystery vine finally reveals its orange surprise. Rhyming verses describe their activities and the ripening vegetables: "First came lettuce, / crisp and crunching. / Bright green peas, / so good for munching." The characteristically brightly colored collage artwork accurately reflects the shapes and colors of the growing plants, so children can easily recognize the plants for what they are, whether in the book or in their own garden rows. Backmatter includes pumpkin recipes, some gardening ideas and instructions for a paper vine to record books read. This is a step up in complexity from Jeanne Titherington's Pumpkin, Pumpkin (1986), and, paired with Lois Ehlert's Growing Vegetable Soup (1987), it's a great choice to help prepare children for the fun and fruitfulness of gardening. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061771989
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/25/2009
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Cathryn Falwell grows vegetables and mystery vines in her garden next to Frog Song Pond in Maine. The pond and its creatures have been featured in the books Turtle Splash! and Scoot!, also published by Greenwillow Books.

Cathryn Falwell grows vegetables and mystery vines in her garden next to Frog Song Pond in Maine. The pond and its creatures have been featured in the books Turtle Splash! and Scoot!, also published by Greenwillow Books.

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