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Pumpkinhead
     

Pumpkinhead

by Eric A. A. Kimmel, Steven Haskamp (Illustrator)
 
Pumpkinhead lives in Pumpkintown, where everyone has a pumpkin for a head. But unlike the rest of his neighbors, Pumpkinhead wonders about the outside world. Fearlessly, he sets off on a journey into the unknown. Foolishly, he takes off his heavy head when he stops for a rest. Mischievous squirrels meddle, and before too long, Pumpkinhead makes a seriously silly

Overview

Pumpkinhead lives in Pumpkintown, where everyone has a pumpkin for a head. But unlike the rest of his neighbors, Pumpkinhead wonders about the outside world. Fearlessly, he sets off on a journey into the unknown. Foolishly, he takes off his heavy head when he stops for a rest. Mischievous squirrels meddle, and before too long, Pumpkinhead makes a seriously silly mistake.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this offering, the title character asks his mother if everyone in the world has a pumpkin for a head, as he and all the other residents of Pumpkintown do. She replies, in flat and repetitive language typical of the tale, that "Nobody in Pumpkintown has ever gone anywhere else. Nobody from anywhere else has ever come to Pumpkintown. No one really knows whether or not other people have pumpkin heads. It's a mystery." In an attempt to solve it, Pumpkinhead first checks the library (but the entire collection focuses on Pumpkintown), then follows the road out of town. When he stops to take a nap, he removes his head and faces it in the direction in which he was walking so that he'll know which way to go when he awakens. But a pair of mischievous squirrels see to it that he ends up back in Pumpkintown (which he doesn't recognize as his hometown) and repeat the prank on the return trip. Pumpkinhead once again lands at home to report his discovery to his fellow townsfolk, who conclude, "There's no need for any of us to go anywhere again." Though Haskamp's (Roadsigns) quirky acrylic artwork offers some kid-pleasingly silly images, the volume's attempt at drollery misses its mark. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Pumpkinhead lives in Pumpkintown where everyone looks quite the same. They all have pumpkin heads. Although some heads are small, some are fat, some green, some orange, everyone has a pumpkin head. One day, young Pumpkinhead raises a serious question. "Does everyone in the world have a pumpkin head?" Determined to find the answer, he sets off on an adventure. Filled with anticipation and excitement, Pumpkinhead leaves the known for the unknown. However, along the way, he stops for a rest and two wily squirrels play a trick on him. When Pumpkinhead awakes, he sets off again without realizing that he is heading back in the direction he has come. He returns to his own hometown, thinking he has discovered a new place and marvels at the similarities. When he leaves, the two squirrels play their trick again, and Pumpkinhead retraces his route once more to return home. Thus, his adventure ends in the declaration that "everybody in the world is just like us." Bright colorful illustrations add humor and fun to this modern-day trickster tale that is sure to tickle children's funny bones. However, without a careful reading, this story may lead to the misconception that sameness is ideal. Used in an upper elementary classroom, this picture book would be an excellent diving board for discussion on diversity and appreciating our differences. 2001, Winslow Press, $15.95. Ages 5 to 9. Reviewer:Leah Hanson
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-"Does everyone in the world have a pumpkin head?" In this goofy story, young Pumpkinhead goes to the library to find the answer to his question. The librarian tells him, "Nobody in Pumpkintown has ever been anywhere else." So this orange-faced hero heads off on a journey beyond his town limits. When he removes his head to go to sleep, he sets it down facing the direction he is heading. Unbeknownst to him, during his nap, two mischievous squirrels move the gourd. When he awakens, the boy ends up heading back toward home. Soon he arrives at a village where all the buildings "look the same" as his town. When he meets the people there they tell him that one of their citizens has gone on a quest similar to his and Pumpkinhead chalks it up to coincidence. Believing he is returning home, he sets off again and the squirrels repeat their trick, bringing the silliness full circle. Haskamp's acrylic paintings suit this story perfectly. The artist's palette is full of oranges, yellows, reds, and browns with a few greens thrown in for good measure. Marvelous, colorful endpapers show the range of variation in the pumpkinhead look. This picture book can be enjoyed as part of a story program about autumn or about fools. Young readers will enjoy being in on the joke as the young hero proves that he is, well, a pumpkinhead.-Bina Williams, Bridgeport Public Library, CT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781890817336
Publisher:
Winslowhouse International
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
9.13(w) x 11.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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