From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2–With color photos that equal any painting for artistry of composition and sensitivity, Robbins has created a book that is certain to become an autumn favorite. Without naming the season, it launches into a description of autumn as …that time of year when…, clearly and poetically evoking the crisp, cooler days with the leaves …splashing their color on the ground…. The author documents the life cycle of the pumpkin with close-up, naturalistic photos and clear, simple text. He discusses the wide variety of pumpkin colors and sizes, from the palm-sized types to those weighing more than 1000 pounds. Basic instructions are included for carving a jack-o-lantern, with adult help suggested. The next year's crop, ensured by the pumpkins and their seeds left to rot in the field, is the focus of the last spread. Will Hubbell's Pumpkin Jack
(Albert Whitman, 2000) covers similar ground, but is told as a story, and has colored-pencil illustrations. Reading both books makes a great lesson in comparing and contrasting, as well as in botany and in the joys of the season.–Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ
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From the irresistible, eye-grabbing front cover, a photographs of a wagon filled with pumpkins, to a close-up shot of a pumpkin stem on the back cover, Robbins' salute to this squash glimmers as brightly as a jack-o'-lantern. His spectacular color photographs juxtapose scenes framed in white borders with full-bleed close-ups. The left side of one spread, for example, shows a hand holding seeds, while the right pictures a farmer planting them. Using artfully contrasting proportions and dramatic page compositions studded with vivid orange color, Robbins creates a visual narrative of a pumpkin's life cycle--from seed to sprout to flower to fruit to holiday symbol. Instructions for making a jack-o'-lantern are included. Showing pumpkins from tiny to gigantic (one weighing more than1,000 pounds), this record of a favorite American vegetable wins a blue ribbon. Julie CumminsCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved