111th out of 343 books — 353 voters
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by Ken Robbins
From late summer to Thanksgiving, pumpkins are everywhere, a symbol of fall and a reminder of the holidays to come. In this handsome book, Ken Robbins—widely known for his sumptuous photo-essays on subjects ranging from trucks to tools to autumn leaves—portrays the pumpkin from seed, to sprout, to flower, to fully fledged fruit, and back again. Instructions are given to (s ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published August 21st 2007 by Square Fish
(first published 2006)
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Using photos from nature, this book gives a simple description of the life of a pumpkin from seed to harvest, as well as describing both culinary and cultural uses of the pumpkin. This book would be appropriate for an early reader, may need some assistance with words like "cornstalk", "positively", and "gigantic", and "thousand", etc.
Here's the life-cycle of the pumpkin, including those that get chosen to be Jack O'Lanterns. While I admire Robbins' photography skills, I felt this book was less successful than Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden though the photography itself is arguably superior. First, Robbins' prose is not as inviting/interesting and, secondly, a few of the photographs are just too scary for young children, IMO. The scene with the ghoulish trick-or-treating faces reminded me of Death Eaters or Dementors f ...more
Excellent example of narrative non-fiction. Seems almost a relief to have a non-fiction book that provides adequate detail without the use of access features that are almost taking over the nf genre! Expressive writing, "patchwork of pumpkins", 'positively huge" and 'splashing their color" makes this a great read aloud. Full page photos on right hand side compliment the text, however, one must notice that one layout reverses with the full page on the left-great to have students ponder this break ...more
Dec 02, 2008 Lauren rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
The photography in this book is beautiful. This is a great nonfiction choice for story time as it simply explains the life cycle of a pumpkin. The directions to carve a jack-o-lantern and the explanation that kids dress up for Halloween, near the end, are a bit tedious, but you can always improvise during those parts in the story. I also felt the bit about the seeds dying and the rotting pumpkins being eaten by animals was a little too depressing for my kids, so I left out a part or two there as ...more
Nov 06, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it
Ken Robbins' photographs enchant me with each of his books. The text of pumpkins is a very straightforward discussion of the life of a pumpking, from seed to jack o'lantern. What makes an average book better, though, are the photographs, which are what will make me keep looking for his nonfiction titles for my 4-year-old son (and the older kids, too).
So much potential: the storyline takes us from seed to plant to pumpkin and back to seeds.... but there are several pictures related to Halloween that make this book downright scary. The tone and feel of the rest of the book is very preschool-kindergarten friendly until the Halloween pictures, so they felt off to me.