From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-A perfect blend of art and text works together to convey the adventures of a boy born "with a pumpkin for a head." A crafty flying bat plucks up Otho's head and explains in rhyme why he drops it into the sea. After a large fish swallows it, an even larger squid squeezes the fish, with Otho shooting out, "like a cork from a popgun." In excellent pacing, the next page shows the pumpkin-head hero drifting at sea, then scooped up by a fisherman. Young children are sure to enjoy the bouncing rhythm of the fisherman's words as he compares Otho to all the other types of fish he has netted. Besides black and white, Rohmann consistently uses shades of blue and patches of orange throughout. In this artwork, less is truly more. The multiple-color relief prints done on an etching press, with large white space surrounding smaller, movie-still-like pictures, enhance the visual appeal. In Otho's face, Rohmann captures the vulnerable emotions of a lost child, and the wide smiles when returning to a mother's embrace. Gather your little pumpkin heads close to you in the fall as you read them this tale and watch their faces light up with a glowing grin.James K. Irwin, Poplar Creek Main Library, Steamwood, IL
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreS-Gr. 1. Otho was born with a pumpkin for a head. His parents are unfazed by this anomaly as their son "heads" out on the adventure of life. First, a black bat wanting to nest in Otho's head flies off with it. Pumpkins are heavy, however, and the bird drops Pumpkinhead into the sea. Otho floats until a fish swallows him--but a squid squeezes the fish, and Otho pops out like a cork. He's caught by a fisherman and taken to a fish market, where his mother finds him, takes him home, and reunites him with his body, which, luckily for Otho, has been kept in a cool, dry place. The blue, black, and orange relief prints provide heft for the story. The borders and images outlined in thick black lines entice children from page to page while the seriocomic style adds buoyancy. The black cover with a die-cut center square framing Otho's pumpkinhead sets the stage perfectly. The message about individuality will bypass kids, but they'll be intrigued with the quirky, imaginative misadventure. Forget the logic, this story grows on you. Julie CumminsCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved