Kirkus Reviews QR Code
MYSTERY VINE by Cathryn Falwell


A Pumpkin Surprise

by Cathryn Falwell & illustrated by Cathryn Falwell

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-177198-9
Publisher: Greenwillow

Falwell’s latest introduces young readers to gardening. A young boy and girl work and explore their backyard garden from spring, when they plant the seeds, through summer, as they harvest the different vegetables, to autumn, when their mystery vine finally reveals its orange surprise. Rhyming verses describe their activities and the ripening vegetables: “First came lettuce, / crisp and crunching. / Bright green peas, / so good for munching.” The characteristically brightly colored collage artwork accurately reflects the shapes and colors of the growing plants, so children can easily recognize the plants for what they are, whether in the book or in their own garden rows. Backmatter includes pumpkin recipes, some gardening ideas and instructions for a paper vine to record books read. This is a step up in complexity from Jeanne Titherington’s Pumpkin, Pumpkin (1986), and, paired with Lois Ehlert’s Growing Vegetable Soup (1987), it’s a great choice to help prepare children for the fun and fruitfulness of gardening. (Picture book. 3-7)