PUMPKINS! PUMPKINS!
The primary focus of the books listed below is pumpkins. Some may contain limited references to Halloween jack-o-lanterns.

 

Arnold, Marsha Diane.  The Pumpkin Runner.  Illus. by Brad Sneed.  Dial, 1998.  Gr. 1-4
A tall tale of sorts set in Australia and based on a race won by a 62-year-old farmer who builds his strength by eating all sorts of pumpkins concoctions.

Bauer, Joan.  Squashed.  Putnam, 2001.  Gr. 6-9
Ellie wishes her pumpkin would add another 200 pounds so it will win the Rock River Pumpkin Weigh-In, but frost and pumpkin thieves threaten her chances.

Bunting, Eve.  The Pumpkin Fair.  Illus. by Eileen Christelow.  Clarion, 1997.  Gr. K-2
Rhymed text relates the many different kinds of events and foods at the town’s pumpkin fair, where a good time is had by all.

Burckhardt, Ann L.  Pumpkins.  Bridgestone, 1996.  Gr. 1-4
Nonfiction about the basics of growing pumpkins.

Cooper, Helen.  Pumpkin Soup.  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998.  Gr. K-2
Duck, Cat, and Squirrel each have specific jobs in making the “best you ever tasted” pumpkin soup. When Duck decides he’d like to try a different job, a battle ensues and he leaves. The other two rethink their attitudes as they search for missing Duck, and all’s well that ends well. Great read-aloud with luscious paintings to pore over. Recipe included. See sequels: A Pipkin of Pepper and Delicious!

Cuyler, Margery.  The Bumpy Little Pumpkin.  Illus. by Will Hillenbrand.  Scholastic, 2005.  Gr. K-2
Littlest sister Nell chooses a lumpy, tiny pumpkin instead of the large smooth ones chosen by her sisters. They dismiss her choice, but her animal friends appear and help her carve a fabulous face. Great read-aloud about individuality and a triumphant young child.

Dillon, Jana.  Jeb Scarecrow’s Pumpkin Patch.  Houghton Mifflin, 1992.  Gr. K-3
The crows have chosen Jeb’s pumpkin patch as the site of their annual harvest party, much to his dismay. Fortunately, Jeb has a plan to save his pumpkins.

Duke, Kate.  Ready for Pumpkins.  Knopf, 2012.  Gr. K-2
A classroom gerbil has the opportunity during his summer "vacation" to plant some pumpkin seeds he squirreled away during the first graders' seed-planting project. Charming, humorous watercolor illustrations highlight this delightful read-aloud.

Esbaum, Jill.  Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie.  National Geographic Children’s Books, 2009.  Gr. K-3
From seed to pie, full-color photographs and a lively text celebrate the irresistible pumpkin!

Farmer, Jacqueline.  Pumpkins.  Illus. by Phyllis L. Tildes.  Charlesbridge, 2004.  Gr. 2-5
Easy-to-read text tells a bit of history of pumpkins, how they are grown, their nutritional value, and how they are used. Recipes, pumpkin trivia, the word “pumpkin” in different languages, and resources included.

Ghigna, Charles.  Oh My, Pumpkin Pie! (Step into Reading-Level 2).  Illus. by Kenneth Spengler.  Random House, 2005.  Gr. K-1
Description of all kinds of pumpkins and what can be done with them in a simple, rhyming text.

Gibbons, Gail.  The Pumpkin Book.  Holiday House, 1999.  Gr. 1-3
Information about growing pumpkins, some history, and facts.

Hall, Zoe.  It’s Pumpkin Time!  Illus. by Shari Halpern.  Scholastic, 1994.  Gr. K-1
Simple text and painted collage illustrations relate how pumpkins grow, from seeds to jack-o-lantern.

Holub, Joan.  Pumpkin Countdown.  Illus. by Jan Smith.  Albert Whitman, 2012.  Gr. Pre-2
Rhymed text and colorful illustrations tell the countdown adventures (from 20 to one) of a classroom of children on a field trip to the pumpkin patch.

Hubbell, Will.  Pumpkin Jack.  Whitman, 2000.  Gr. 1-3
Large, colored pencil illustrations complement a fiction story in which a jack-o-lantern decomposes to become another pumpkin plant within the time span of one year.

Kennedy, Marlane.  Me and the Pumpkin Queen.  Greenwillow, 2007.  Gr. 4-6
Mildred remembers how much her mother (who has died) liked the pumpkin festival and is determined to grow giant pumpkins in hopes of winning a pumpkin weigh-in. Details about growing pumpkins in this family story.

King, Elizabeth.  The Pumpkin Patch.  Dutton, 1990.  Gr. 1-4
Text and full-color photographs describe the growth of pumpkins from seeds to harvest.

Kroll, Steven.  The Biggest Pumpkin Ever.  Illus. by Jeni Bassett.  Holiday House, 1984.  Gr. K-2
A field mouse and a house mouse each have big plans for the same pumpkin. When they discover they both want the pumpkin, but for different reasons, they decide to work together to grow the biggest one ever.

Levenson, George.  Pumpkin Circle.  Photos by Shmuel Thayer.  Tricycle Press, 1999.  Gr. 2-4
Rhymed text and fabulous full-color photographs follow the life cycle of a pumpkin from seeds to harvest and back to pumpkin again.

McDonald, Megan.  The Great Pumpkin Switch.  Illus. by Ted Lewin.  Orchard, 1992.  Gr. 1-3
Exquisite watercolor paintings illustrate this historical tale of a neighborhood peddler (the “potato man”) who helps two boys when they accidentally smash a prized pumpkin.

McKy, Katie.  Pumpkin Town.  Illus. by Pablo Bernasconi.  Houghton Mifflin, 2006.  Gr. K-3
Humorous collages illustrate this clever tale of five brothers who accidentally scatter hundreds of pumpkin seeds over a small town, resulting in the houses being covered by leaves and vines the following year. When they solve the problem, they are rewarded with watermelons, leaving the story open-ended.

McNamara, Margaret.  How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?  Illus. by G. Brian Karas.  Schwartz & Wade, 2007.  Gr. K-3
A multicultural cast of children are challenged by their teacher to guess how many seeds are in each of the three pumpkins he brings in. The smallest, and least confident, student guesses correctly. Math concepts (counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s) and science facts about pumpkins are part of the story.

McNamara, Margaret.  The Pumpkin Patch (Ready-to-Read, Level 1).  Illus. by Mike Gordon.  Aladdin, 2003.  PreK-1
A text for beginning readers tells about a trip to a pumpkin patch by a first grade class, in which a little girl chooses a small one that turns out to be a great pumpkin pie.

Miller, Edna.  Mousekin’s Golden House.  Simon & Schuster, 1990 (reprint).  Gr. K-2
A pumpkin that has passed its purpose as a jack-o-lantern and is beginning to deteriorate is the perfect house for a field mouse.

Minor, Wendell.  How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow?  Nancy Paulsen, 2013.  Gr. K-3
In this imaginative look at pumpkins, giant jack-o-lanterns pose in, on, or next to famous U.S. landmarks. The gorgeous paintings will delight readers. Appended pages offer size facts about the places visited.

Moulton, Mark.  The Very Best Pumpkin.  Illus. by Karen Good.  Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster, 2010.  Gr. K-2
A boy tends a lone pumpkin growing in a meadow and gives it to a shy new neighbor. The next year, they grow a pumpkin together. Watercolor illustrations portray a lovely autumn setting for this friendship story. Information about growing pumpkins is woven in to the tale.

Pfeffer, Wendy.  From Seed to Pumpkin.  Illus. by James Graham Hale.  HarperCollins, 2004.
Gr. K-3
Directions for roasting pumpkins seeds and a science experiment supplement this easy-to-read text about growing pumpkins.

Ray, Mary Lyn.  Pumpkins.  Illus. by Barry Root.  Harcourt, 1992.  Gr. 1-3
Hoping to save a field from developers, a man grows and harvests a huge crop of pumpkins and sends them all over the world. Contains some math concepts.

Robbins, Ken.  Pumpkins.  Roaring Brook, 2006.  Gr. 1-4
Color photographs, many of them close ups, enhance a straightforward nonfiction text about the life cycle of a pumpkin and facts about different colors and sizes…a visual feast!

Rockwell, Anne.  Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night.  Illus. by Megan Halsey.  Walker, 1999.  Gr. K-2
Paper collages illustrate this story about choosing a pumpkin that is just right and how it may be used.

Savage, Stephen.  Ten Orange Pumpkins: A Counting Book.  Dial, 2013.  Gr. Pre-2
Gorgeously illustrated countdown of disappearing pumpkins.

Schaefer, Carole Lexa.  Snow Pumpkin.  Illus. by Pierr Morgan.  Crown, 2000.  Gr. K-2
When it snows in October, some friends choose a pumpkin that is peering out of the snow and use it for a snowman’s head.

Schwartz, David M.  Rotten Pumpkin: A Rotten Tale in 15 Voices.  Photographs by Dwight Kuhn.  Creston, 2013.  Gr. 2-5
Fifteen organisms describe their role in the decomposition of a jack-o-lantern. This graphic book is perfect for science classes in units on the natural flow of life cycles. Includes glossary and teacher's guide. Get ready for the "e-w-w-ws."

Sloat, Teri.  Patty’s Pumpkin Patch.  Putnam, 1999.  Gr. K-2
This alphabet book with a rhyming text tells what a busy place Patty’s pumpkin patch is as she plants pumpkins and watches them grown.

Spurr, Elizabeth.  Pumpkin Hill.  Illus. by Whitney Martin.  Holiday House, 2006.  Gr. 1-3
Seeds from a plump pumpkin that broke off the vine result in an enormous number of roly-poly pumpkins that roll down a hill, inundating a sleepy little town. All’s well that ends well, however, as the townsfolk find uses for the pumpkins. Great use of verbs and plays on words.

Titherington, Jeanne.  Pumpkin Pumpkin.  Greenwillow, 1986.  PreK-1
Lovely colored pencil illustrations complement a text of just a few words that tells of a little boy who watches his pumpkin plant grow.

Van Nutt, Julia.  Pumpkins from the Sky?  Illus. by Robert Van Nutt.  Doubleday, 1999.  Gr. 1-3
Everyone in Cobtown is getting ready for the Harvest Festival, but a fallen tree is blocking Aunt Heddy’s pumpkin patch. The festival won’t be the same without the pumpkins. All is saved when piles of pumpkins miraculously appear in her backyard, but…how did they get there?

Wallace, Nancy Elizabeth.  Pumpkin Day!  Marshall Cavendish, 2002.  Gr. 1-4
A rabbit family visits a pumpkin farm to select pumpkins for eating and decorating and in the process, learn how pumpkins grow. Facts and riddles are scattered throughout the cut-paper collage illustrations.

White, Linda.  Too Many Pumpkins.  Illus. by Megan Lloyd.  Holiday House, 1996.  Gr. K-3
An old woman who has disliked pumpkins ever since she was a child finds herself with an abundant crop and figures out a variety of ways she can give them away.

Yacowitz, Caryn.  Pumpkin Fiesta.  Illus. by Joe Cepeda.  HarperCollins, 1998.  Gr. K-3
Vivid oil paintings illustrate this story of Foolish Fernando who tries to copy Old Juana’s highly successful pumpkin-growing techniques, only to fail when he does not realize how hard she works to take care of them.

Zagwyn, Deborah Turney.  The Pumpkin Blanket.  Tricycle Press, 1997.  Gr. K-2
In a lyrical text, complemented by watercolor and colored pencil illustrations, a little girl sacrifices her beloved blanket so that it can protect pumpkin plants from a frost.

Check school and public library shelves for nonfiction books about pumpkins published in library editions.

Other Resources:
Gillis, Jennifer Storey.  In a Pumpkin Shell.  Storey Communications, 1992.
More than 20 pumpkin projects for kids, including growing pumpkins, cooking, art, and games.

“Princess Scargo and the Birthday Pumpkin.” Rabbit Ears video, 1996.
In this Native American legend, Princess Scargo saves her people from a drought by sacrificing the tiny fish that live in her prized carved birthday pumpkin.

Weblinks:

Find pumpkin facts, crafts, recipes, songs, poems, games, and growing tips at these sites.
Pumpkins & More  from the University of Illinois Extension
The Pumpkin Nook
The Pumpkin Patch

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