THE PUMPKIN RUNNER by Marsha Diane Arnold

THE PUMPKIN RUNNER

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

Noting her story’s origins in the true tale of a 61-year-old Australian farmer who beat much younger runners in a 542-mile race from Sydney to Melbourne in 1983, Arnold (The Chicken Salad Club, p. 808, etc.) pens a folksy, aw-shucks piece. Joshua Summerhayes, unlike other ranchers, relies on his feet instead of a vehicle to check on his flocks. He attributes his endurance to the home-grown pumpkins he consumes. When a flier about a $10,000 racing prize blows across his porch, Joshua borrows a friend’s jeep and loads it up with pumpkins, his dog, and Aunt Millie, and heads for the starting line. At first onlookers laugh at Joshua’s overalls and boots, but as he gradually overtakes all the other runners, their laughs turn to cheers. Sneed’s drawings are done in a midwestern vernacular style, with the undulating rhythm of Thomas Hart Benton. They place this legend of a long-distance, Down Under runner somewhere between a tall tale and a picture-perfect front-porch anecdote. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-8037-2124-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1998




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