A class trip to the pumpkin patch is enlivened by a contest to identify and acquire the biggest, smallest, prettiest, ugliest, and best all-around pumpkins.
Froggy’s excited. So excited he makes up a song and teaches it to his friends: “Pumpkins, pumpkins, / muffins and pie! / Pumpkin faces / lighting the sky!” (Readers can sing along for the three reiterations, but they’ll have to make up the tune.) But while children will clearly understand Froggy’s excitement, they will surely call out the unsafe and even mean behaviors exhibited by Froggy and his classmates. On the bus, many students bounce or kneel with no apparent reprimand. When they arrive, Froggy strikes off alone while his classmates await direction from their teacher back on the bus. Travis takes the pumpkin Max had wanted (but couldn’t lift) for his own (“Step aside!” he says, though Travis doesn’t seem too put out), and Froggy rudely leapfrogs over his classmates to get to his choice. Finally, after Froggy just barely reaches the bus with his large pumpkin, his classmates and even his teacher laugh at him and his embarrassment when he drops it and it smashes. (Froggy is as clumsy as ever in this 28th outing, and frankly, the shtick is getting old.) Froggy gets the award for ugliest pumpkin (though he’s shown with an intact one at the end), and all the kids sing on the way home. Remkiewicz’s watercolors reflect the text, bringing out and visually expanding on the lack of cooperation among the students.
Pick a pumpkin (and a different book) instead. (Picture book. 3-7)