Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Rick Walton & illustrated by Delana Bettoli

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-053409-5
Publisher: HarperCollins

Mrs. McMurphy, who lives by herself “on a farm at the edge of the woods,” finds her routine interrupted four days before Halloween by “a large pumpkin with a wicked, wicked grin sitting in the hall by her front door.” The pumpkin greets her, “My mouth is here. I speak to you. When my teeth are here, I’ll eat you!” Mrs. McMurphy dispatches the pumpkin with wit and aplomb, but it returns daily until Halloween, when children in costume receive slices of warm, sweet pumpkin (!) pie. Repetition, cumulation, and predictability are the perfect ingredients for a great read-aloud. Children will delight in the ways that Mrs. McMurphy tries to get rid of the pumpkin, and enjoy repeating the pumpkin’s daily threat. Bettoli fills her cheerful gouache and acrylic illustrations with interesting details, including the antics of a cat and a mouse, animals in the borders, and calendar pages for the days leading to the holiday, making this a perfect little-bit-but-not-too-scary Halloween treat. (Picture book. 3-8)