Holub (Scat, Cats!
, above, etc.) uses a rhyming, patterned text to follow a group of five young children experiencing the growth cycle with pumpkins, from planting seeds all the way through to jack-o'-lanterns, pumpkin bread, and seeds saved for next year's garden. The simple text at the 2.4 level uses a "this is the —" pattern throughout, with rhyming couplets that encourage prediction of closing words. The sequential storyline covers both the necessary elements of nature (tilled soil, water, sun, worms, and bees) and the work by gardeners required for growing healthy plants. Nakata's (Lucky Pennies and Hot Chocolate
, 2000) cheerful watercolors of round-headed children are charming and generally complement the text, but the color palate is not as bright as it should be to reflect the vibrant, bouncy rhymes, especially for a title that will be used for reading to a group, as well as by individual readers. Nonetheless, easy nonfiction titles about seed cycles are always in demand for first- and second-grade science lessons, and Holub's story will also be used for preschool or kindergarten story hours in October, when pumpkin stories are as popular as full-sized candy bars on Halloween night. (Easy reader/nonfiction. 5-8)Read full book review >