"Savage’s spirited rhymes (no pun intended) make this an ideal readaloud for younger Halloween celebrants." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The landscapes Savage creates… have a softness and gentle humor that will capture the imaginations of young children and add to their anticipation." --Kirkus Reviews
From a sneaky spider to a ghostly chef to a sly mummy and crafty witch, join your favorite spooky creatures as ten orange pumpkins disappear in a countdown to a Halloween surprise. Bright, bold, and fun, Ten Orange Pumpkins is a perfect read-aloud and is sure to capture the imagination of the littlest trick-or-treaters.
Bold black silhouettes against very different backgrounds—starting with a stripy mango sunset and ending with a deep blue sky polka-dotted with stars—make for dramatic and easily understood scenes.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Another rhyming book counting down pumpkins at Halloween? Yes, please! Bold colors contrast with seasonal shadows in the mixed-media (digital and traditional) illustrations, drawing readers in to a countdown that does not anthropomorphize the pumpkins. Rather, readers see one pumpkin at a time disappearing in benignly spooky fashion: a mummy chooses a pumpkin, lightning flashes one away, a witch uses one in her brew. The catchy rhyme scheme never feels forced and is predictable enough for listeners to enjoy guessing. With just one to three lines per page, the text is also well suited to beginning and newly independent readers. The clean illustrations and uncluttered pages will show well in a group setting. When the last pumpkin turns into a glowing jack-o'-lantern next to a black cat that has appeared throughout the story, readers are wished a happy Halloween, but this is a story that could be enjoyed year-round.—Julie R. Ranelli, Queen Anne's County Free Library, Stevensville, MD
In this strong graphic treatment of a traditional theme, 10 Halloween pumpkins are spirited away or destroyed one by one by various seasonally appropriate, sometimes-scary entities: a scarecrow, a mummy, a bolt of lightning, a hungry ghost, alligators in a pond, pirates ("Arrr!"), an owl, a witch and a spider. In a visual style reminiscent of 1950s horror tales, Savage creates a highly dramatic and sensational sequence using strong color contrasts, including, of course, Halloween orange and black. Homely scenes of country life--fields, clothes on a line, a spooky mansion, a stormy churchyard--and more exotic ones--a witch's kitchen, pirate skeletons on a stormy ocean--are all rendered in a strong, airbrushed graphic style. While the overall mood is scary and grotesque, there are light touches in several features, including the cat that appears on every spread, the alligators that morph from rock look-alikes to snapping monsters that consume the pumpkin, the mummy who mummifies a pumpkin and the doughboy ghost who makes a pumpkin into pie. The simple rhymes of the countdown have a sweetly repetitive nursery-rhyme quality, and they will help to reassure children who may be a little apprehensive about Halloween, as well as aiding counting and subtraction skills. Although the landscapes Savage creates are highly stylized, they have a softness and gentle humor that will capture the imaginations of young children and add to their anticipation. (Picture book. 3-5)
Stephen Savage is the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Polar Bear Night (A New York Times Best Illustrated Book). He also wrote and illustrated Little Tug and the acclaimed Where’s Walrus?, which Kirkus called "refreshing, captivating, elegant and witty." Stephen lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and daughter.