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The Runaway Pumpkin Hardcover – September 1, 2003
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-A story about an enormous pumpkin that gets out of hand. The Baxter boys make the mistake of cutting it from the vine before they have worked out how to get it safely home. With a repeated rhythmic chorus that kids will love to chime in on, the pumpkin makes its way through the hillside farm, scattering animals and Baxters in its wake. The family members finally manage to get it inside, and Granny cooks up a feast for Halloween supper. Schindler's gouache-and-pencil illustrations are amusing and rich in detail. Children will enjoy seeing the animals' reactions, as the out-of-control pumpkin wreaks havoc on sty and henhouse, and will also appreciate the family's inventive Halloween costumes. This is a fun read-aloud, without the dark overtones of so many of the holiday's stories, but it pays to practice the text once or twice as it can be a bit of a tongue-twister. At the end, readers are likely to be left with a longing for an appendix of Granny's recipes.
Jane Barrer, Washington Square Village Creative Steps, NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreS-K. Lewis, the author of Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo (1999) and My Truck Is Stuck (2002) offers another silly, rollicking action story for preschoolers. Rhymed couplets tell the tale: Buck and Billy Baxter and their little sister, Lil, are climbing a hill on Halloween when they happen upon an enormous pumpkin. The brothers Baxter ignore wise Lil's cautions and cut the pumpkin from its vine. Down the hill it tumbles, crashing through the family farm, finally coming to rest after Papa uses his tractor to dig a ditch to catch the gigantic squash. That night, the family gathers in costume to enjoy a smorgasbord of pumpkin treats, joined by the pumpkin itself, now transformed into an enormous jack-o'-lantern. The rhyme and rhythm occasionally feels forced, but Lewis' words capture the rolling pumpkin's "thumpin' bumpin'" rhythm, and Schindler's paintings extend the story's tall-tale humor with detail and action that's perfect for entertaining a crowd. An obvious choice for rowdy, fall story hours. Gillian Engberg
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