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Mrs. McMurphy's Pumpkin Paperback – September 7, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperFestival (September 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060534095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060534097
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,510,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3–This tale's classic storytelling structure makes it a natural for storytime. Four days before Halloween, a pumpkin with a "wicked grin" and no other facial features appears in Mrs. McMurphy's hallway. It threatens her, "When my teeth are here, I'll eat you," but she refuses to be cowed and carries it outside. The pumpkin mysteriously reappears inside her house on each of the following days, first with a "crooked nose" to add to the grin, then "two pointy ears," then "two mean eyes." Each time, it repeats its warning and the woman responds by sending it farther and farther away. Finally, on Halloween, the pumpkin returns once more, complete with "large, sharp teeth," and declares that it's ready to eat her. Mrs. McMurphy calmly replies, "We'll have to see about that," and ends up making a pie and serving delicious slices to her trick-or-treaters. Walton uses lots of repetition that invites young listeners to chant along. Done in gouache and acrylics, the folkloric illustrations are dominated by orange tones and filled with wonderful details. This is sure to be a Halloween favorite.–Jane Marino, Bronxville Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Rick Walton is the author of more than sixty books for children. He lives in Provo, Utah, with his wife, Ann, and their five children.



Julie Chambers has also written Baby Bunny's Busy Day, a similarly formatted book featuring a felt rabbit. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Delana Bettoli has illustrated many books for children. This is her first book for HarperCollins. She lives in Silverton, OR.


More About the Author

Rick Walton first thought of writing for children when his high school English teacher, Joyce Nelson, told him that a story he had written for the class would make a good children's book. But it wasn't until after he had dabbled in business, law, teaching, software design, and almost every other career in the book, he finally realized that writing for kids was one of the few things that he both enjoyed and was good at. Since then Rick has had over ninety books published. His works include picture books, riddle books, activity books, mini-mysteries, a collection of poetry, and educational and game software. His books have been featured on the IRA Children's Choice list, Reading Rainbow, and on CBS This Morning. Rick teaches university courses on picture book writing and on the children's book publishing industry.

You can find out more about Rick at www.rickwalton.com, and at www.rickcreation.com.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
I rented this book from our local library and was so bummed when we had to return it.
bababooey21
Finally the pumpkin returns with his teeth, and Mrs. McMurphy ends up making a pie out of the pumpkin and giving slices of it out to trick or treaters.
youbink
It is beautifully illustrated, and shows how a person can calmly handle a scary situation.
E. Mcclure

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Vickery on September 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a primary teacher, I search for seasonal books that lend themselves to the essense of specific times of year and science- oriented issues. I use good literature to touch on science, geography, SS and art. (There just isn't enought time in the day!)

Mrs. McMurphy's Pumpkin is rich with the colors of the season. Pumpkin blossoms and vines are everywhere. As you count down the days to Halloween, you are treated to illustrations of Mrs. McMurphy's farm in the fall - delightful.

Adding a new feature to the pumpkin's scary appearance while repeating the previous features promotes memory and pattern

understanding in young listeners. (And of course they can recall the senses - ex. "My nose is here, I smell you.")

But most importantly in these changing times, (many no longer "celebrate" Halloween because they feel focusing on Halloween can promote evil connotations) this selection is anything BUT evil.

Mrs. McMurphy's pumpkin delivers a fun, beautifully -illustrated tale that presents a scary feeling during the Halloween season without witches or goblins. It is really about a beautiful country farm and its charming, easy-going resident, Mrs. McMurphy. Farm animals, fall trees, the autumn sky.....

pumpkin vines and blossoms...fun trick-or-treaters...

A charming story, elegantly illustrated.

Cindy Vickery "teacher"
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By youbink on October 8, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like the little bit of suspense this book provides for the child without being overly scary. A pumpkin appears one day in Mrs. McMurphy's house , at that time the pumpkin only has a grin and no other facial features. The pumpkin tells her that when he gets his teeth , he is going to eat her. Mrs. McMurphy handles the situation beautifully, and calmly removes the pumpkin from her house .(I love when she boxes the pumpkin and sends it to the North Pole.)But the pumpkin keeps returning, and every time it does , it possesses a new facial feature. As the pumpkin continues to return the suspense builds. Finally the pumpkin returns with his teeth, and Mrs. McMurphy ends up making a pie out of the pumpkin and giving slices of it out to trick or treaters. Nicely illustrated, I love the emerging details on the pumpkin, a nice Halloween story for young children . Just enough suspense to make it a Halloween story without frightening the child too much. I like the way Mrs. McMurphy handles the pumpkin , I think it's good for children to see that you can handle things calmly.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By traderje on February 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Mrs. McMurphy's Pumpkin by Rick Walton and Delana Bettoli (2004) uses sequenced changes to illustrations. A mysterious, pumpkin with a mouth appears in an old woman's room and declares that as soon as it gets teeth it will eat her. The old woman throws the pumpkin out but it comes back with more facial features. She throws it out again, but it soon reappears with even more facial features. Each time she throws the pumpkin out it comes back again with a new facial feature, until it finally has teeth. Mrs. McMurphy picks the pumpkin up and chops it into a pie. The effect of the changing illustrations for the pumpkin is to build suspense in the reader. It keeps the child interested enough to keep reading. Young children learn many things including a connection between parts of the face and senses, staying calm during a crisis, and that older women can be good role models.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mette Ivie Harrison on December 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
My son is 2 and he asks for this book over and over. It's just scary enough for his attention to be riveted, but not so scary he's really afraid. And I love the message of the book about what to do when we are threatened.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By KSL on October 7, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The things I like best about this book is the Mrs. McMurphy is a woman who lives on her farm in the country, and she's no dummy! One morning a pumpkin comes to her home and tells her as soon as he gets a mouth he's going to eat her. Each day she nicely listens to the pumpkin each day, and then sends the pumpkin on it's way as she goes about doing her morning work around her farm. I absolutely love the colors in this book they are so bold. And the ending is really clever!

Make sure you read this book first because you know your child and how your child will react, some children might not like the pumpkin, he does look mean. My daughter never had a problem with the pumpkin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gail L. Brown on October 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
this is one of my favorite books of the season for kindergarden I have to borrow it from the public library and we home schoolers and private schools are competing for a single copy why is it so expensive?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By V.B. Casper, WY on September 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
My 2 year old and 3 year old boys love this book. When I first started reading this book I wasn't sure about it, "as soon as my teeth are here, I'm going to eat you!" But Mrs. McMurphy handles the naughty pumpkin in a temperate way, and in the end the book met my approval.
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