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by Jan Thomas, illustrated by Jan Thomas

Age Range: 2 - 4

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-169284-0
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Thomas is back with another slapstick adventure featuring Duck, Mouse and Pig (The Doghouse, 2008; A Birthday for Cow, 2008).

Duck finds a pumpkin and begins turning it into a jack-o’-lantern. In the process, Duck tumbles inside and ends up with the pumpkin stuck on his head. Duck tries to get help from Pig and Mouse, but they mistake him for a “PUMPKIN MONSTER!” Now Duck thinks there is a Pumpkin Monster and begins running. Mouse and Pig in turn believe the monster is chasing them, and they “Quick! Hide behind the barn!” Duck cannot see where he is going and runs into the barn, smashing the pumpkin to pieces. Mouse and Pig emerge from their hiding place and proclaim, “LOOK! Duck battled the Pumpkin Monster and WON!” Duck is confused but pleased with himself and decides to celebrate by making a jack-o’-lantern. The last page shows poor Duck—can you guess?—stuck inside his carved pumpkin with Mouse and Pig wondering where Duck is. Bright cartoon illustrations coupled with white speech balloons effectively tell this slight, silly tale of one mishap leading to another and another, but this lacks the manic energy of Thomas’ other outings.

In the crowded field of Halloween picture books, this unfortunately falls flat. (Picture book. 2-4)