THE PUMPKIN MAN AND THE CRAFTY CREEPER by Margaret Mahy
Kirkus Star

THE PUMPKIN MAN AND THE CRAFTY CREEPER

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

Concocted with Mahy's usual incisive wit, a tall-tale concerning the sort of character that charmingly insinuates itself on the unwary, then makes life miserable with demands and threats. The lovely intruder here is a sinuous, many-headed plant whose several petulant faces resemble morning glories; her hapless victim is nice Mr. Parkin, who is passing harmlessly by with a wheelbarrow of soil intended for the more amiable pumpkins he favors when the importunate plant creeps out from under neighbor Lily Rose Willowherb's spiked gate and climbs aboard. Once home and properly potted, the plant shows its true colors, demanding entertainment--only a full orchestra can keep it from withering away. Luckily, Lily Rose comes to the rescue: she knows the plant is really "tough as old boots" and "practically a weed": it's Mr. Parkin who is "too soft and sensitive for a plant like this," and she sensibly rescues him by dragging it unceremoniously home. To those attuned, the satire here cuts with rapier precision, but Mahy's use of language is so deft and good-humored that her tale will also be read as more lighthearted hyperbole. Illustrator Craig nicely extends the characterizations, adding plenty of amusing details and a concerned bird and cat. Wickedly pointed; thoroughly amusing. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: May 27th, 1991
ISBN: 0-688-10347-2
Page count: 32pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1991




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