The Perfect Pumpkin Pie

( 1 )

Overview

When he was alive, Mr. Wilkerson was an ill-tempered, disagreeable, sour, and impatient old man. Once he died, he got better.
But not much.
Now he is back and very, very hungry.
When Jack and his grandma move into the old Wilkerson house, they find out just how hungry, and...

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Overview

When he was alive, Mr. Wilkerson was an ill-tempered, disagreeable, sour, and impatient old man. Once he died, he got better.
But not much.
Now he is back and very, very hungry.
When Jack and his grandma move into the old Wilkerson house, they find out just how hungry, and why.
At least they think they know. It has something to do with pie.
A perfect pie.

Mr. Wilkerson, lover of pie, returns as a ghost on Halloween to demand some good pie from Jack and his grandmother.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mrs. Wilkerson prepares the perfect pie for her husband, reminding him "After we pass on,... there will be no more pie." With that, he shouts, "Then I ain't goin'!" and promptly expires. The widow buries him in the yard and moves on; in move Jack and his grandmother, who bakes a pumpkin pie. Swirling pen-and-inks, watercolor wash and a splattering of black paint show the ghost rising to sample the results, "Pumpkins, pumpkins,/ pumpkin pie!/ I must have one/ before I die." He rejects the first, but three's the charm, and the fellow goes back underground-until an apple pie scent wafts his way. Playful type and a mix of full-spread compositions and silhouette sequences keep a brisk pace. Youngsters will happily join in the ghost's refrain. Ages 3-6. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A pie eating ghost is the centerpiece of this rambunctious spooky tale. This story of crochety old Mr. Wilkerson and his quest for the perfect pie is full of the kind of goofy, silly details that appeal to the same youngsters who loved the tale of The Little Old Woman Who Was Not Afraid of Anything when they were in preschool. Meant for a more sophisticated listener the story follows the Jack and his grandmother as they encounter the ghost of Mr. Wilkerson who chants "it must be perfect, or a ghost I'll stay, and haunt this house and never, ever, go awaaaaaaaay!" Fortunately for Jack his grandmother has dealt with temper tantrums before and she tells the ghost to "stop all that moaning . . . sit down and have some pie." The pie does not meet Mr. W's standards and he starts roaring again but Jack and Grandma just bake another pie. This one does not have enough cinnamon to please grouch ol' ghostly Mr. W. and even Grandma agrees that this is true so yet another pie is baked. After tasting at the gourmet level Mr. W. announces this one "perrrrfect." Jack and Grandma head off to bed confident that the ghost was finally laid to rest "OR WAS HE?" In a typical urban legend twist the pumpkin pie was just the beginning . . . now he's on to APPLE. "Grandma looked at Jack. Jack looked at Grandma. I'll set another plate, said Jack." Younger listeners may find the pictures a little too scary but for those for whom it is intended it is delightfully spooky and completely satisfying to join in the ghostly chant "it must be round and brown as toast, or I'll haunt this house a hungry ghost." Hope my own recipe would measure up to Mr. W.'s tastes! 2005, Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, $ Ages 5 to 9.
—Sheilah Egan
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-The talented and prolific Cazet scores again. It's Halloween night, and when Mrs. Wilkerson tells her grouchy husband that there won't be any pie in the afterlife, he declares, "Then I ain't goin'!" Then he keels over face down in the pie pan, dead with a fork in his hand. His wife buries him in the pumpkin patch, moves away, and that's that. Or is it? Of course not. A boy and his grandmother move into the house and are visited on the next Halloween by a wonderfully earthy ghost (with a fork sticking out of his brain and a removable eyeball) who is in search of the perfect pumpkin pie. This tale makes a great read-aloud, complete with the catchy refrain: "Pumpkins, pumpkins,/pumpkin pie!/I must have one/before I die./It must be round/and brown as toast,/or I'll haunt this house/a hungry ghost." The watercolor cartoons are dynamic and funny, bursting with details that kids will love (the ghost makes his exits in a swirl of chaotic lines filled with baking utensils). Even if your holiday shelves are crowded, make room for this one.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A lad and his imperturbable grandma draw the attention of a pie-lovin' ghost in this comical country tale. No sooner does Granny put a pumpkin pie on the windowsill to cool than up rises Old Man Wilkerson from the garden, threatening, "It must be perfect / or a ghost I'll stay, / and haunt this house / and never, ever / go awaaaaaaaay!" Unfortunately, he's picky: The first pie won't do ("It looks like papier-mache!"), nor the second ("Next time, pleeeeeeease, MORE CINNAMON!"). Third time's the charm-or is it? Cazet takes cues from David Catrow and Stephen Gammell for his art, depicting Wilkerson as a wild, disjointed figure with his good eye in one hand and a fork in the other, surrounded by scribbled lines and sprays of paint. No recipe, but still a mouthwatering crowd-pleaser, at Halloween or any other time. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689864674
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
  • Publication date: 9/6/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 946,845
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 12.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Denys Cazet is the author and illustrator of forty-six books for children. Among these are such favorites as Never Spit on Your Shoes, I'm Not Sleepy, and fourteen titles in the Minnie and Moo series for beginning readers.
He lives with his wife and sons in Pope Valley, California.

Denys Cazet is the author and illustrator of forty-six books for children. Among these are such favorites as Never Spit on Your Shoes, I'm Not Sleepy, and fourteen titles in the Minnie and Moo series for beginning readers.
He lives with his wife and sons in Pope Valley, California.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2009

    Enjoyable Book!

    It is a delightfully fun text, which my first grade students enjoy hearing every year around Halloween. It presents a ghost in a fun light hearted way. It brings out logical thinking in the students as they always seem to comment that the ghost visits would stop if the people would just stop making pie. The grandmother character is light hearted and fun. She does not let the ghost get the better of her, but is willing to share.

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