Saturday, October 24, 2009

Too Many Pumpkins

Too Many Pumpkins

Too Many Pumpkins, by Linda White and Megan Lloyd, is my favorite pumpkin book. I truly enjoy looking for it when we pull down the Halloween box each year at home.  I got my copy through a book club order because it was the 99 cent book of the month. How could I lose, right? Anyway, the art in this book is just fabulous. The little details are great, especially because the book has a lot of words for a picture book.

In the book, Rebecca Estelle (and her cat Esmeralda) hate pumpkins.  Through a pumpkin truck accident they end up with more pumpkins than they know what to do with and they come up with a creative, kind, and generous way to get rid of them all.

Besides the enjoyable art I love that the book goes through a whole year and the cycles of the seasons as though they were nothing special.  Nothing screams, “fall is when we harvest!” at you, like so many other books do.  I love that the protagonist is an older woman who has a history that informs her current preferences.  I love that several of the pages end with, “until…” implying that something new might happen and letting you guess what it might be before you turn the page.

This is not a book for very young children.  The main problem is that the very first page has a lot of words and very little art other than the page border and a small drawing.  3-year-olds who love to read may be able to sit for it.  I’d say it’s more for 4s and 5s. 

This year, my own kids (who are 6 and 8) informed me that I didn’t need to read it to them when we pulled it out of the Halloween box.  They told me they could read it themselves (which they can), which deprived me of my snuggle time with them and my enjoyment of the book.  In desperation I read it to the Kindergarten class at my school.  I figured only a few would listen, but most of the class sat and paid attention.  They loved the page with all the carved pumpkins.  At least someone wants to hear about Too Many Pumpkins!

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