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How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? (Mr. Tiffin's Classroom Series)
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How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? (Mr. Tiffin's Classroom Series)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  411 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Here is an adorable picture book for curious kids, which explores skip counting and estimation in a fun pumpkin-themed classroom experiment.

"How many seeds are in a pumpkin?" Mr. Tiffin asks his class as they gather around the big, medium, and small pumpkins on his desk. Robert, the biggest kid, guesses that the largest one has a million seeds; Elinor, sounding like she kn
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published July 10th 2007 by Schwartz & Wade
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Pumpkin Soup by Helen CooperHow Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamaraPumpkin Jack by Will HubbellToo Many Pumpkins by Linda WhiteThe Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
Picture Books About Pumpkins
2nd out of 100 books — 10 voters
Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnellBalloons Over Broadway by Melissa SweetA Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts AstonRedwoods by Jason ChinAn Egg Is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston
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65th out of 274 books — 81 voters

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Community Reviews

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Oct 01, 2012 Dolly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fantastic story! Exactly the kind of book I look for when I want to read with our girls. It had an interesting plot, but incorporates elements of math and science, too, without being boring or too didactic. We loved it. It's a great book to read at the beginning of the school year, as pumpkins are coming into season.

This story was selected as one of the books for the October 2012 - Harvest-Time and Pumpkins reads at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
Crystal Marcos
My daughter and I read How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? today. The book was interesting enough to hold her 3 year old attention span. Of course, it featured pumpkins and contains a little boy's name from her new favorite show. She even listened to the pumpkin facts at the end of the book which I found very interesting. My daughter is the opposite of Charlie, always the tallest. Her cousin is very small for her age, always the smallest. It was something my daughter could relate too. I think the messa ...more

The smallest boy in class sometimes feels, well, small. When his teacher brings three pumpkins to class and asks the class to guess how many seeds are in each pumpkin, of course everyone guesses that the big pumpkin will have the most seeds. But, as the little boy discovers, sometimes the smallest things hold the greatest surprises.

I really wanted to like this one more, but somehow it just didn't totally engage me. I do appreciate the lessons in the story, both scientific and personal.
Educational, colorful, and fun, all my kids enjoyed this one. We had fun guessing which pumpkin had the most seeds, and counting by 2's, five's, and 10's. We even pulled out a calculator to do some of the math. It was fun and educational! Great book!
Alexis Levine
I love books like these. They're great for math lessons when comparing big, medium, and small as well as short, tall, and tallest. Also, it'd be a great book to read before Halloween time and to have the children guess how many seeds are in the pumpkins then to split up the seeds and have each child count the ones in front of them. After they count their handfuls they can add each students outcome up and discover how many seeds are actually in the pumpkin then compare the numbers the students gu ...more
The Library Lady
This has math concepts, size concepts, the sometimes-its-not-so-bad-to-be-small lesson AND it taught me how to pick a pumpkin with the most seeds! This is too complicated for pre-schoolers, but this would be great in an early elementary school classroom, or to read with a child of that age.Teachers, get this book and get ready to go out and buy some pumpkins!
This book is wonderful. It's great for a math lesson on comparing and contrasting sizes such as small, medium, and big or short, tall, and tallest. Students are able to practice their counting by counting the pumpkin seeds. It's a great book to read during the Halloween holiday or Fall season. It can also be used to teach a science lesson on pumpkins, their appearance and how they grow. It can also be used to teach a lesson on the student's 5 senses while they observe the pumpkin and their seeds ...more
Abby Spiel
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin is a short, fun picture book that can be used as a great holiday season book or an informational book. Mr. Tiffin brings three pumpkins to class, all having a different size. He asks his class to guesstimate the amount of seeds in each pumpkin and the class responses with answers that relate to the size of the pumpkin. Naturally, they believe that the largest pumpkin has the most seeds and the smallest pumpkin has the least. The students gut the pumpkins, separate the ...more
Rebecca Ashley Teague
This story is about a class of ten students who are given three pumpkins of different sizes. They are asked how many seeds are in a pumpkin. The children in the story estimate then take the seeds out of each pumpkin. They decide what method they should use to figure out how many seeds there are. The characters in the story count the seeds using different methods (skip counting by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s). Then the children realize that the smallest pumpkin had the most seeds and the teacher explains t ...more
Tricia Douglas
A very well-done seasonal book for Halloween or Thanksgiving that children will enjoy. Not only is there science involved, but math and problem solving. I wish I had had this book when I was teaching my third graders. This book was one of several for the Goodreads October picture book bookclub.
Wendy Nelson
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara
McNamara, Margaret. (2007). How many seeds in a pumpkin? New York: Random House.

WINNER 2007 Christopher Award
NOMINEE Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices
NOMINEE Kentucky Bluegrass Award
WINNER IRA Teachers' Choices

Category: Picture Book Soak

As a potential school library acquisition, this book knocks it out of the park. First, it targets a fall/holiday theme, but not the typical witches/bats/jack-o-lantern tropes found in so many Halloween books. The gouache, acrylic, and pencil illus
Ashley Thorpe
I absolutely loved this book! I loved that one item or the back ground was orange at one point. This made the color flow easier and made it easy to connect with the book. As well, I loved how the text was simple and the front cover was inviting. It made you want to jump into the book and see what it was about. The fact that the mentioned that "size doesn't matter" make me smile because some kids in the classroom don't feel great when they are the smallest in the class and they feel not as smart. ...more
Jenny D
Jun 23, 2011 Jenny D added it
Shelves: ece-6391-6392
This would be a good book to read to students shortly before Halloween, when there are a lot of pumpkins. Students often assume that what looks the biggest will be the largest in all terms of measurement (e.g. the heaviest and the oldest). This story can help change some of students’ misconceptions in terms of measurement. This books lends itself well to a class activity just like the one in the book. Find 3 pumpkins, and have students hollow them out and collect the seeds (supply newspaper and ...more
This book illustrated several concepts. I thought it was neat. It approached fairness and kindness by kids lining up in a certain order, and not fighting about it being a contest. It also taught about math and how to count by 2's, 5's, and 10's. It taught an interesting science fact about pumpkins. We were instructed in my class today that it may be a good book to use during a themed unit, especially in the fall or around Halloween. It was interesting for children and adults alike.
I really enjoyed this book. I thought this book did a good job of showing that being the smallest is not always the worst. It did a good job of showing different ways to count lots of items. I think this book is really good for children about 1st grade-2nd grade and older. They count pumpkin seeds in the book and I think that would be fun to do with an older class of 3rd-4th graders.
I loved this book because not only did it teach a lot about pumpkins it also taught that people can be something even if they don't feel it at the time. Like how the boy was sad he was so short but in the end he found that it wasn't a bad thing like how the smallest pumpkin held the most amount of seeds. This is a very cute book and has an awesome mathematical concept.
Bailee May
This book was great! It incorporated math by counting the pumpkin seeds. There are different ways to count so you were able to see the many ways to count. Different counting styles work better for different kids. I would definitely use this book in my future classroom. It also tells a story that sometimes the smallest things are the ones that have greater value.
Best for kids ages 3 and up.
Early Literacy Skills: Print Motivation, Narrative Skills
Includes Counting Skills.

From cover:
"How many seeds in a pumpkin?" Mr. Tiffin asks his class.
Robert, the tallest kid in the class, bets that the biggest pumpkin has the most. One million seeds! Elinor, who always sounds as if she knows what she's talking about, is sure that medium pumpkin has five hundred seeds. And Charlie, the smallest kid, doesn't have a guess. What will Mr. Tiffin's class discovery when the
The book is about a little boy who is made fun of in class constantly and during a lesson the children learn that visuals can be deceiving and that people will always have misconceptions. The lesson focused around counting seeds and it turns out that the biggest pumpkin which was thought to have the most seeds has less seeds than the little one. This would be a really great book to use in a class or group setting to talk about the damages that misconceptions can cause and how appearances can be ...more
Taylor Owens
As I read this book I kept thinking how fun it would be to bring it into the classroom. In the book the class goes through a simple scientific process. I also liked how the book went over different ways to count the pumpkin seeds. It would be so fun to read and then actually do the experiment with your classroom!
Amanda Eastmond
The reason I gave this book such a high rating is because the children I will be working with in the life skills classes would really enjoy carving pumpkins during Halloween and this is a great way to show them different ways of counting (by 2's, 5's and 10's). I thought it was cute
I think that this book would be so fun to use in the classroom. Not only does it teach math concepts and estimation, but it is actually a cute story and it could be turned into a great activity with pumpkins. With this book we learn how to figure out how many seeds are in a pumpkin just by looking at it!
Charlie is the smallest child in class. He loves his teacher but hates that they always line up shortest to tallest or tallest to shortest, because he is always shortest. One day his teacher brings in 3 pumpkins: Big, medium and small. The class predicts how many seeds are in each one. Then they scoop out the seeds, and count them (by 2's, 5's and 10's). The smallest one has the most seeds. Their teacher, Mr. Tiffin, tells them that sometimes small things have a lot going on inside. I enjoyed th ...more
Alissa Sparks
This book is one of my favorite Halloween books because it is a way students can learn to count by 2s, 5s, and 10s. It also teaches that it does not matter who counts faster or more, it is not a competition (unless the teacher wants his/her own class to have one).
3.75 Stars This a good Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving book. I put a Halloween sticker on it even though it isn't really about it!!

I like the moral, and the math and the pumpkins. Fun to read but as a math project and I like the information in the back!
I loved this book! I thought it had a lot of great teaching ideas for children to use especially around Thanksgiving time! I think that counting pumpkin seeds is a great way to teach numbers. I also think its a great way to teach about estimations as well!
Fun story about a class science experiment to see which of three different-sized pumpkins will have the most seeds. There are well-integrated lessons about counting, analyzing pumpkins and not judging things based on size in the book.
Oct 30, 2014 June rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pumpkin and size requests
Recommended to June by: Children's Book Group - Goodreads
Charlie is the smallest in his class. His teacher brings in 3 pumpkins. The children guess how many seeds each will have. The children count the seeds by 2's, by 5's, and by 10's. I really like Charlie's observation at the end. "Small things can have a lot going on inside them." I also like the fact that Charlie's teacher is a man. Pumpkin facts are included at the back of the book. 11/9/12

This wasn't the first choice for my first grade classes, but the got into trying to guess how many seeds wo
This book is very clever in teaching estimations to children. One of the themes in this book is that size can be misleading. I like that the teacher teaches the students how to find a pumpkin that would have more seeds.
Mar 31, 2014 Cory rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: march
This was a good book, but I was sad for the little boy that had to do his count by himself. I think that this book is cool to show how math and counting in intervals can be counted. I though this was a good read.
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Margaret McNamara is the Christopher Award–winning author of more than two dozen books for young readers, including the Robin Hill School series. The Fairy Bell Sisters series is inspired not only by her love of the classic sisterhood novel Little Women but by her own experiences growing up with older sisters (and a baby brother). Margaret and her family live in New York City, but they spend part ...more
More about Margaret McNamara...
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