PUMPKINHEAD

One thing you can say about Pumpkintown: Everyone has squash for brains. Young Pumpkinhead, who lives in Pumpkintown with all the other pumpkinheads, gets to wondering: “Does everyone in the world have a pumpkin head?” All of the townsfolk figure that’s probably the case, but then no one in town has ever been outside of town. All except Pumpkinhead’s mother, who, by telling Pumpkinhead that the answer to that question is a mystery, sets the lad on his quest of discovery. He takes to the road to learn the truth. That first night, so as not to lose his way in the morning, he removes his head before he goes to sleep and points it in the direction he wants to go when he wakes. Two mischievous squirrels overhear Pumpkinhead talking to himself about this stratagem and when he falls asleep, they give his head a half turn. When Pumpkinhead takes off in the morning, he’s heading home, though he doesn’t know it, and sure enough he comes upon a town like Pumpkintown, just like Pumpkintown. After talking with the townsfolk, who assure him that they are all pumpkinheads (his parents included, since they don’t recognize him), he heads back the way he came to tell his neighbors the news. He bunks under the same tree he had the night before, gets the same treatment from the squirrels, and winds up back home, yet again, with news of a world full of pumpkinheads. Bright with folly and tomfoolery, Kimmel’s tale has universal application and is ideally depicted by Haskamp’s crew of amiably clownish pumpkinheads. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-890817-33-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2001

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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TO MARKET, TO MARKET

A marketing trip from Miranda (Glad Monster, Sad Monster, p. 1309) that jiggity jigs off in time-honored nursery-rhyme fashion, but almost immediately derails into well-charted chaos. The foodstuffs—the fat pig, the red hen, the plump goose, the pea pods, peppers, garlic, and spice—are wholly reasonable in light of the author's mention of shopping at traditional Spanish mercados, which stock live animals and vegetables. Stevens transfers the action to a standard American supermarket and a standard American kitchen, bringing hilarity to scenes that combine acrylics, oil pastels, and colored pencil with photo and fabric collage elements. The result is increasing frazzlement for the shopper, an older woman wearing spectacles, hat, and purple pumps (one of which is consumed by her groceries). It's back to market one last time for ingredients for the hot vegetable soup she prepares for the whole bunch. True, her kitchen's trashed and she probably won't find a welcome mat at her supermarket hereafter, but all's well that ends well—at least while the soup's on. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-15-200035-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1997

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