The Vanishing Pumpkin
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The Vanishing Pumpkin

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  149 ratings  ·  35 reviews
In this appealing, participatory, fast-paced story, a 700-yeard-old woman and an 800-year-old man go out to the patch to get a pumpkin to make a pie--only to discover that their pumpkin's been snitched. A good bet for Halloween story hours.--School Library Journal. Full color.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published August 22nd 1996 by Puffin (first published 1983)
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I love every single thing about this book. It's a classic for dePaola--before he was famous and I am enamored of the colors and compositions and I also love the story. And the phrasings. It's funny and it's about the best creatures of Halloween. And the cloth binding under the dust jacket is lavender.


Sarah Montambo Powell

I love to read this one to my kids and they love it too! Not only do I get to say fun words like rapscallion and varmint, there are funny, unexpected twists - like when the old woman and the old man took off down the road as fast as a 700-year-old woman and the 800-year-old man could. In fact they fairly flew! Highly recommended for ages 3-9!
I likedhow the auther kept adding on the charicters.

It was great...
Jennifer Velez
This is a great Halloween book. This book is about a 700 year old woman and a 800 year old man who lost a pumpkin. They went around searching for their pumpkin around their house. They didn't find it so they go out and ask different people they encounter if they have seen a pumpkin. No one has seen the pumpkin, until they find the Wizard, he had the pumpkin. He had a made a Jack-O-lantern out of it and also made a Pumpkin pie, and they all ate the pie. I think I could use this book in the classr...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This had the feel of a folktale, but there was no note in the book indicating that it was based on one. It's an odd story about a 700-year-old woman and an 800-year-old man looking for their stolen pumpkin. I don't know why Johnston made them so old, except to emphasize by their age that they're supernatural and magical. I like the way Johnston told the story, and the way she presented the dialogue. Nevertheless, it was odd. An ok read for Halloween.
Ashley Wampler
The Vanishing Pumpkin is a cute Halloween book! An old man and woman realize that it is Halloween, and they want to make a pumpkin pie from the pumpkin that they have been growing. However, the pumpkin is gone! They begin to search for it, and ask all sorts of Halloween creatures where it is. No one knows. Then they meet a wizard who has made the pumpkin into a Jack O Lantern. He did however, make them a pie and they all eat it together!
A 700-year-old woman and an 800-year-old man discover that it's Halloween, the perfect day to bake their pumpkin into a pumpkin pie. They rush out to their garden but the pumpkin is gone. They ask all kinds of spooky creatures if they've seen the pumpkin but they have no luck. Can a 900-year-old wizard help them find their pumpkin?

Tomie dePaola's famous illustrations are a perfect fit to Tony Johnston's fun, repetitive, interactive text.
This was an amusing tale, if not a little repetitive. I liked seeing what the old man and old lady did to anyone they thought had taken their pumpkin. The ending was a bit of a letdown, but I still liked the book. I might recommend.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
Priscilla Schelling
This story was the third grade classroom favorite of my teacher at the elementary school. I really enjoyed how the third graders picked up on the impossibility of there being a 700 year old woman and 800 year old man who can fly. Their interest was perked and then the teacher used this great Halloween story for a story map to practice summarizing.
This book is surprisingly clever, written with some nice humorous twists that credit the author's imaginative skills quite well. As a Halloween picture book they don't get much better than this one; in particular, the interactions between the various "ruffians" and the very, very old man and woman is funny to read.
Kristin Lee
I LOVED this book when I was growing up. I like that it starts out saying, "There was a 700 year old woman. There was an 800 year old man." It just shows the humor that is throughout the story. This is a great book to read to children around Halloween. The illustrations are good throughout the book too.
An 800-year old man and an 700-year old woman discover that their pumpkin has been "snitched" and set off in search of it, interrogating whomever they meet along the way. My favorite of the characters they encounter is the rapscallion, who bears a strong resemblance to a Jawa from Star Wars.
Fun book about a hundreds of years old couple whose pumpkin goes missing. In setting out to find who snitched it, they encounter several characters on whom they play Halloween tricks on (in the name of finding the pumpkin, of course). My kids (9, 6, 3 years) thought it was hilarious.
Deborah Harris
Dec 30, 2013 Deborah Harris added it
Shelves: a29, ar-2
AR Quiz No. 145819 EN Fiction
Accelerated Reader Quiz Information IL: LG - BL: 2.4 - AR Pts: 0.5
Accelerated Reader Quiz Type Information AR Quiz Types: RP
A fun, silly tale with a rewarding, pumpkiny ending. Would have been nice if the humans weren't all white (although the wizard might have been, green?) and if the folks they meet on the trail weren't all males, but you know the drill.
Oct 11, 2009 Barbara rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: young children, aged 4 to 9
Shelves: children-s-books
Brought this library book over to my dtr's and "we" all read it before dinner. My 8 year old granddaughter read it although there were some "new' words--"ghoul" "rapscallion". The repetition makes it fun fro litle ones.
The old man and old woman investigate a missing pumpkin and run into 3 suspects including a wizard who pleasantly surprises them all. Wonderful illustrations by Tomie dePaola make the story even more fun to read!
Kids like this book with such fun and unusual characters. I have been reading it to school kids for years. The book hooks them, from the first time they hear the old man wondering where his pumpkin went, "Snitched!"
A wonderful Halloween story. A 700 year old woman and 800 year old man want their pumpkin to make a pumpkin pie, but someone stole it. The chase is on the track down their pumpkin!
Maren Prestegaard
I liked it. An old book but love the expressions "Great Snakes!" And the silliness of it all (the rapscallion and the 800 year old man).
Need to read again.
Horace Mann Family Reading Challenge
This book is about this vanishing pumpkin. A 700 year old man and a 600 year old women are trying to find a pumpkin. A.P.
Oct 31, 2011 Junessa rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: 3rd Grade and younger
Engaging story with classic halloween characters - ghoul, rapscallion, wizard. Nice read aloud book.
Killam Elementary
Where did that pumpkin go? The kids absolutely loved the old lady and man, who fairly flew.
Bright, cheerful illustrations kids will like. Quite a silly story, and VERY silly characters.
There are a couple things I liked about this picture book, but overall it was a fail for me.
I really like this quirky little book. It's fun to read out loud and Sam requested it quite a bit.
great story. i think z should read for firelight fright. can't say pumpkin or would read myself.
Ever wonder what a rapscallion looks like? Read this one and laugh.
37 months - a bit too repetitive for me but O enjoyed it.
I hope you can make this book vanish before you read it.
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Tony Johnston has written many acclaimed books for young people. She and her husband lived in Mexico for fifteen years, where they raised their children. She now lives in San Marino, California.
More about Tony Johnston...
The Quilt Story Bone by Bone by Bone Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea: A Fairly Fabricated Story of a Pair of Pants My Abuelita

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