"There was once a small pumpkin in a great big field, a very small green pumpkin the size of an apple. The fierce sun burned down on the little pumpkin, and he grew and grew. And pretty soon, there was a fat little, round little, yellow little pumpkin in a great big field." Long lost, this Halloween story by the author of Goodnight Moon is now published for the first time. This edition features glorious illustrations by Caldecott Medal winner Richard Egielski.
Wittily illustrated by the great Richard Egielski. Elizabeth Ward
Margaret Wise Brown's story of a pumpkin that admires the scarecrow on the other side of the field is observant, imaginative and more than a bit quaint.
Susan Marie Swanson
A pumpkin's dream comes true when three children make him as spooky as a scarecrow. "Egielski suspensefully keeps the pumpkin's face hidden until a wordless double spread reveals its candlelit glory," said PW in a starred review. Ages 3-6. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
This never before published story by one of the country's most endearing authors will indeed be a welcome addition to the Fall/Halloween season in any home or library. Though it's not frightening to readers it is terrifying to any mice that might be in your audience. A small, sweet, little apple-sized yellow pumpkin wishes to be a big fierce pumpkinas fierce as the hot sun that bakes down upon it, and would scare the field mice away. Soon thereafter the sun was not as fierce and something in the air tingled the pumpkins sides. The pumpkin notices it is not small and yellow, but the color of the hot burning suna fiery orange-yellow. Surely the pumpkin is frightening to mice now. Some children are not afraid; in fact they think the pumpkin is their most perfect, terrific, terrible pumpkin. Will the pumpkin be the fierce pumpkin it wants to be? At night, after the children have cleaned out the pumpkin and carved a ferocious face, the pumpkin is placed on their porch with a lighted candle inside so everyone can see how fierceyet how happya pumpkin can be. The colors are brilliant, adding intensity on each page from the somber mellow hues of a hot, sultry, summer day to crisp, bright, frisky autumnal shades. The illustrations alone are exuberant and can relate a story of their own. This is one that will be hard to keep on the shelves, at least for one season! 2003, HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 3 to 6.
PreS-Gr 3-In melodic, flowing prose, readers are introduced to a "fat little, round little, yellow little pumpkin in a great big field." Here the artist paints a huge, searing white sun rising behind the yellow-green pumpkin to contrast beautifully with him and make his eventual growth into a big, orange pumpkin vivid and dramatic. This little pumpkin dreams of making a "fierce, ferocious gobble-gobble face" to scare away the field mice "like the scarecrow does." The intense sun-gold skies match the mood here wonderfully. Somber grays and taupes on the next several pages provide visual contrast and slow down the pace so that children can take in more of the details. The little pumpkin feels a "crisp tingle that tickled [his] sides." After three children take him home and use a small saw knife to make his mouth "zigzag up and zigzag down," he says, "Ho, ho, ho!/He, he, he!/Mice will run/when they see me." The youngsters dance gleefully about him singing a song to the "terrific, terrible pumpkin." With Brown's rhythmic text and patterned language and Egielski's illustrations highlighting the moods she evokes, this title is a real treat for Halloween storytimes. Also, it's a surefire hit for creative drama activities because of all the action and emotion in the story.-James K. Irwin, Poplar Creek Main Library, Steamwood, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
In a previously unpublished tale from Brown (whose newly unearthed early work is filling the shelves lately), a "fat little, round little, yellow little pumpkin" enviously regards a one-eyed scarecrow while growing into a "fiery orange-yellow pumpkin. The color of the sun"-whereupon three children carry it off to make it into a jack-o-lantern. Along with a trio of field mice, children can follow the pumpkin's development as seasons change in Egielski's ground-level scenes, then jump in surprise at coming face-to-face, in a spread-filling close-up, with a "terrific, terrible pumpkin," bearing a new zigzag grin: "Ho, ho, ho! / He, he, he! / Mice will run / when they see me!" The mice do indeed scamper off, but young audiences are more likely to stay put, ready for a repeat encounter with this long-buried episode. (Picture book. 5-7)