The Ugly Pumpkin: A Thanksgiving Story

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Overview

No one wants to take home the Ugly Pumpkin. Sure, he doesn't look like any of the other pumpkins, but why does everyone have to tease him so much? The poor, lonely pumpkin goes in search of a place where he'll fit in - and finally discovers the truth about who he is and where he belongs.

A lonely, oddly-shaped pumpkin is sad that no one chose him for Halloween, but by Thanksgiving he has discovered where he belongs.

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Overview

No one wants to take home the Ugly Pumpkin. Sure, he doesn't look like any of the other pumpkins, but why does everyone have to tease him so much? The poor, lonely pumpkin goes in search of a place where he'll fit in - and finally discovers the truth about who he is and where he belongs.

A lonely, oddly-shaped pumpkin is sad that no one chose him for Halloween, but by Thanksgiving he has discovered where he belongs.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Pumpkin pickers pooh-pooh the orange, barbell-shaped "ugly pumpkin" in October. Fortunately, November brings the lonesome veggie some new friends and an epiphany ("O my gosh/ I'm a squash"). Horowitz's (Soon, Baboon, Soon) mixed-media illustrations of the gawky hero-who stands on Mr. Peanut legs, in elfin booties-are a trifle awkward, but expressive hand-lettered pages convey strong emotions. This seasonal entry ends with an unexpected "Happy Thanksgiving!" Ages 4-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A simple rhyming text tells the tale of a peculiar looking pumpkin that was overlooked for Halloween. Saddened by this, the ugly pumpkin "walked into November" and happened upon a garden of squash. There was something familiar about the shape, thought the ugly pumpkin who then determined he, too, was a squash. Happy and content, he sat down at the Thanksgiving table with many varieties of squash to enjoy the feast. An autumn palette is used to create the garden scenes, from the Halloween pumpkin patch to the Thanksgiving table. Children familiar with the story of the Ugly Duckling will recognize the parody here. Horowitz creates the mood with a wide range of expressions for the ugly pumpkin. With the cartoon style illustrations, a squash as the main character, and a jaunty text that describes its trials, this could be seen as just another light Thanksgiving story that would be a "fun" addition to the holiday collection. It is that for sure, but it could also be the starting point for a discussion about difficulties faced by families as they came to America, and a discussion of how and with whom we share our Thanksgiving feast. 2005, G P Putnam's Sons, Ages 5 to 8.
—Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-In this story that echoes Hans Christian Andersen's "The Ugly Duckling," a very odd-looking pumpkin encounters harsh rejections, mainly from creatures associated with Halloween. The book contains an inventive, amusing, and surprising compilation of words and illustrations. The minimal text is rhymed, sometimes settling comfortably into a quiet corner of the riotously colorful illustrations and occasionally entering into the vivid tableau. Some children might find the wild depictions of skeletons and the creepy sneers of gnarled trees alarming, but the bright colors, bouncy rhymes, and engaging pumpkin (that turns out to be something else altogether) combine to make this a charming book on the whole, with a happy and surprising ending.-Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A club-shaped pumpkin gets dissed by a customer, all the other pumpkins, even twisted apple trees, before the sight of a motley crop of hubbards, acorns and banana squash brings on a personal epiphany: "O my gosh / I'm a squash." Endowed with a face and stick limbs, the gnarled narrator sits down at a Thanksgiving table with its new soulmates, then is last seen strolling down the lane hand in hand with a lumpy new friend. Written in doggerel-"A skeleton came for pumpkins / one bright and crispy day. / I asked if I could get a ride . . . / He laughed and said: No Way"-and illustrated in brightly colored paint-and-paper collage, this weak riff on the "Ugly Duckling" may not earn high marks for botanical accuracy (all pumpkins are squash), but it does feature plenty of visual flash. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399242670
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/18/2005
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.36 (w) x 10.28 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Dave Horowitz

Dave Horowitz has written and illustrated several picture books, including Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again, Twenty-six Princesses and Five Little Gefiltes. He lives in Rosendale, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2012

    Love this book

    One of my favorites to read to my daughter, nieces and nephews leading up to Thanksgiving. The flow and rhythm in this book is poetry

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2010

    Wonderful book

    My 18 month old son loves this book. He is too little to understand the message but he likes the pictures of familiar things (apples, moon, pumpkin) and he always giggles when I shout out "Oh my gosh I'm a squash" while reading it to him. He has been grabbing it every night before bed for about three months now. My friend's kids are 3 and 6 and they loved it too. I agree with the other reviewer who said this book is destined to be a classic!

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  • Posted November 22, 2008

    One of the sweetest books. Will never part with it.

    I bought this for my 7 year old granddaughter and just read it to her for the first time last week. She absolutely loved it when she guessed the reason for the pumpkin's unusual appearance. And the photo on the very last page made her smile. The drawings are so charming. One of the cutest books ever.

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  • Posted November 4, 2008

    My Kids love this Book!

    My 4 kids (ages 2-10) all love this book! We can read it at Halloween and Thanksgiving. They love to shout out - "Oh my gosh - I'm a Squash"! It's a simple yet very entertaining story, with a happy ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2007

    A great take on the ugly duckling

    I love this book. It's a thanksgiving version of the Ugly Duckling. It's about a squash who thinks he's a pumpkin and no one wants him for Halloween. Everyone laughs at him and then, around thanksgiving he stumbles into a garden full of squash and he realizes he is not an ugly pumpkin at all he is a squash.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    The Ugly Pumpkin deserves to become a classic. The illustrations are wonderful. They pulled at my heartstrings when the ugly pumpkin was sad and made me smile when he found a place to belong. The rhyme is perfect and ideal for reading to children.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2007

    A Keeper!

    Great story with a surprising twist 'not scary'. The pictures are also excellent. We read this every year!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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