Gr 1-3-The pumpkin man is coming to buy Pa's crop. All day small Hattie helps cut the fruits and roll them into stacks. Secretly she hides one under the dead vines hoping to keep it for her own even though her father has promised them all to the buyer. After they load the wagon it is obvious that they are one short! Hattie tearfully surrenders her pumpkin, but all is not lost. The one from which the buyer cut a sample wedge makes a dandy Jack-o'-lantern and Pa's honor as a man of his word is intact. The pictures are well-controlled watercolor paintings in the pleasing colors of autumn: orange pumpkins and red barns set against the ochres and tans of fallow fields. Kelly includes the homey details of the late 19th century: water pump with a bucket hanging from the spout, kettles in a general store window, an oil lamp hanging over a dining table set with a meal of cornbread and beans. Clothes, boots, wagons, buildings-all display the artist's concern for authenticity. Thoughtful teachers will quickly visualize many uses in a whole-language classroom for this outstanding title. Combine it with Donald Hall's perennial favorite, Ox-Cart Man (Viking, 1979).-Ruth Semrau, formerly at Lovejoy School, Allen, TX
Set in the pioneer West at the turn of the century, this story begins when Hattie spies her first jack-o'-lantern in the general store. Pa has a whole field of pumpkins, so Hattie doesn't think there will be a problem in finding one to carve. But Pa has promised the Pumpkin Man from Piney Creek 100 pumpkins, and Pa is a man of his word. No surprises here, but little kids will like the comfortable ending, when the Pumpkin Man takes the one hundredth pumpkin he has purchased and carves Hattie a jack-o'-lantern. The pen-and-ink art is occasionally stiff, but there are some nice spreads warmed by autumnal colors. A recipe for pumpkin pie is included.