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Rosco The Rascal Visits The Pumpkin Patch Paperback – September 8, 2014
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Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite, September 2016
Rosco The Rascal Visits The Pumpkin Patch by Shana Gorian is a fun chapter book celebrating Autumn. Rosco, a lovable and mischievous German Shepherd puppy, joins his family on their annual visit to the pumpkin patch. Rosco swears he'll be good on his very first trip to pick a pumpkin. But how good is good? It is very hard to remember to be good with so many new sights, smells, and sounds! Join Rosco as he meets his first grumpy goose, a couple of Halloween bullies, and an elusive bunny. When Rosco gets separated from his family deep within a corn maze, he learns that he is braver than he ever knew. Rosco also learns that, no matter how small a person may be, with a little courage and teamwork, even little people can do big things!
I loved reading this book. It was a cute story and the characters were relatable. The adventures Rosco experiences and the trouble he got himself into made for funny moments. Rosco The Rascal Visits The Pumpkin Patch by Shana Gorian has hidden story gems; lessons on bullying, standing up for what is right, unselfishness, and teamwork. I loved how family members James and Mandy pulled together in a crisis and helped save a little boy at their own expense.
It is the perfect book for children ages 6-9. It has enough pictures to keep the younger reader interested. Its short chapters were long enough to make the young reader feel accomplished in reading them, yet short enough to keep the reader's interest. I liked how the author included a lesson in the story. I hope to read more Rosco the Rascal books in the future.
About the Author
Shana Gorian, originally from western Pennsylvania, lives in Southern California with her husband and two children, and the real Rosco, their German shepherd. Shana and her family visit the pumpkin patch every fall in search of the perfect giant pumpkin.
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James and Mandy McKendrick visit the pumpkin patch with their parents and their fairly new-to-the-family dog. Rosco is a German Shepard and is a good dog in general, but he can get distracted easily. The McKendricks are known for their awesome Halloween pumpkin carvings. Mr. McKendrick always selects an overly large pumpkin at the patch, and the kids enjoy the petting zoo and corn maze.
This year the duo have convinced their parents they can manage the maze on their own. There are just two stipulations: they must stay together using the same punch-card, and Rosco must go with them. The deal is sealed and the kids set out only to find trouble deep inside the corn maze.
Rosco – an 85 lb. German Shepard, recently adopted, enjoys being off the leash, always gets up to some mischief
Mandy – 7 year old sister to James, likes the chickens,
James – 10 year old brother to Mandy, likes the piglets, doesn’t enjoy arguing with Mandy
Luke – 4 year old cutie in the corn maze
Their giant jack-o-lantern would be the jewel of the neighborhood, every year. Trick-or-treaters would marvel at the size of it. Dad always loved the compliments.
So this day was about more than just petting zoos and hay rides for the McKendrick family. It was about finding another outrageously large pumpkin in that patch. It was about art and tradition.
As the holiday approached, the whole block at home would be anxiously waiting to see what new creation Mr. McKendrick would come up with this year. And trick-or-treaters would come from far and wide to delight in the spectacle on Halloween night!
The Highs and Lows
+ Family. I love that this children’s story focuses on the positive values of family. I don’t think there are enough examples of this in reading as children outgrow picture books. This is the kind of family you want to live on your street, be your neighbor, help you out if you’re in a bind and list them as an emergency contact for your child’s school.
+ Values. When James and Mandy stumble upon Rosco and what he’s found in the maze, the siblings step up. They extend a hand, are kind and compassionate, and stand up for someone who has been wronged in the right way. Rosco also helped with that a bit.
The story is adventurous, exhilarating, and well written for the intended audience of about 6 to 10 years old. The characters will be loved by the readers and kids, both boys and girls, will adore Rosco as he and his human family visit the pumpkin patch.
I know that many families will not care about the content in support of Halloween in this particular book and their tradition of pumpkin carving, but I am aware that some families may be looking for a simple book celebrating the fall season exempt of Halloween and if that is the case then unfortunately you will be disappointed. There is a good deal of Halloween content ranging from Jack-o-lanturn carving to scary scarecrows and pranks in the corn maze, but as I said, most families won't be bothered by this content.
So in overall, I give Rosco the Rascal Visits the Pumpkin Patch 4 out of 5 stars and will definitely be keeping my eye out for other books in his series.
This review was originally published on Literature Approved ([...]).
This chapter book is targeted for children in the six to eight age range. Illustrations add charm to the story, but they are quite small in the kindle version The tale could be broken up into a classroom read aloud or independent reader for second or third graders. Nice change of pace from the more common Halloween spooky story for kids.