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PUMPKINHEAD by Eric Rohmann


by Eric Rohmann & illustrated by Eric Rohmann

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: Aug. 12th, 2003
ISBN: 0-375-82416-2
Publisher: Knopf

Creating thick-lined color woodcuts even simpler than the Caldecott-winning art of My Friend Rabbit (2002), Rohmann follows an unusual lad—or part of him, anyway—on an adventure-filled odyssey. Young Otho is normal enough, except that he was born with a pumpkin for a head. One day while out playing, his noggin is snatched away by a bat, who eventually drops it into the ocean, where it’s swallowed, then spit up, by a fish, netted by a fisherman, and purchased at last by Otho’s mother. She reattaches it to his body (which had been kept safe “in a cool, dry place”), and gently warns him to be more careful in the future, for “you know the world will always be more difficult for a boy with a pumpkin for a head.” Maybe Otho could get some pointers from Arthur Yorinks’s It Happened in Pinsk (1983). Decidedly offbeat, but Rohmann is plainly having as much fun as readers will as they watch Otho’s expression change as he rolls helplessly from one hazard to the next. (Picture book. 7-9)