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Perfect Pumpkin Pie

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  237 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
When he was alive, Mr. Wilkerson was an ill-tempered, disagreeable, sour, and impatient old man. Once he died, he got better.
But not much.
Now he is back and very, very hungry.
When Jack and his grandma move into the old Wilkerson house, they find out just how hungry, and why.
At least they think they know. It has something to do with pie.
A perfect pie.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (first published September 6th 2005)
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Erin Sterling
Nov 23, 2009 Erin Sterling rated it really liked it
A fun story about a grumpy old man who dies while eating pumpkin pie and comes back to haunt the new residents with a chant for more pumpkin pie! The expressions are priceless and the text a bit wordy, but it adapted really well to a story.

** This is a story I adapted and retold and would definitely do again! It’s perfect for an elementary school audience, but could be used for any audience, depending on how you spin it.
Melanie Atkinson
Feb 19, 2012 Melanie Atkinson rated it it was amazing
I have three little boys (ages 7-3) who are pretty darn sheltered and they LOVE this book. I know some parents are worried about the content (a grumpy pie-obsessed old man dies and is buried in his backyard. After the next the family moves in, he haunts them when they put a pie on the windowsill and won't stop coming back until they make a perfect pie) and if you think about it too much, it is a little gruesome. However, in the proper context with the fun and engaging illustrations, the ghost's ...more
Megan Boomgarden
I was excited to read this book becuae i love pumpkin pie but once i read the first few pages, i was surpirised by the context. it is about an old grumpy man who dies before he gets to eat a piece of pie and then haunts the house until the new owners make him the perfect piece of pumpkin pie. I thought the storyline a somewhat creepy but there are a lot of positive elements to the book as well. the style of he text is very entertaing and visually interesting. The size and boldness of the words c ...more
Sep 22, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books-jp
If you can muster up a just back from the dead pie-lovin' ghost voice, this is the book for you. Perfect to read to school age children who are sure to find it just spooky enough and definately funny enough. (Younger children may find this too frightening and will miss the fine humor). The demanding old crabby ghost, disconcerting with a fork stuck in his head, demands a perfect pumpkin pie - and Grandma is up for the challenge, dialing down the scary factor with her no-nonsense tone as she show ...more
Mar 09, 2015 Autumn rated it it was amazing
K picked this book up from his school library.

This is a weird but funny story about a man who dies and his wife buries him in the pumpkin patch. When a young boy and his grandmother move into the house and start baking pies Mr. Wilkerson comes back and wants one last perfect pumpkin pie before he dies. It is a rhyming book that is funny and will keep the little ones going oh my when will he just die and quite eating pie. The pictures could be considered creep especially Mr. Wilkerson but they we
Oct 30, 2014 Patti rated it it was amazing
Another one of my All-Time Halloween Favorites! I just finished reading “Perfect Pumpkin Pie” to my granddaughter’s 3rd grade class and it was so much fun! The rhyming ghost and his unceasing quest for perfect pie is pure entertainment! The illustrations are hilarious! Watch for new details every time you read it.

Ohhh and Grandma - she is GOOD! The kids loved her! No sassy ghost is gonna get past her!

We finished the perfect pumpkin pie story by tasting pumpkin ice cream. So much fun! “Perfect P
Edward Creter
Denys Cazet is a treasure and this book is a Halloween treat. An old man has died from a bad pumpkin pie, and has returned from the grave to exact his REVENGE: he requests (and not too kindly) a perfect pumpkin pie, or the haunting will continue. (I thought continuing sagas like Friday the 13th were scary enough by virtue of the sequelization alone.) He has become a PIEtergeist! With a LUST for CRUST! Hope you like your PIE SQUARED!!!!
Oct 06, 2013 Dianna rated it liked it
I would have given it two stars but my 3 year old son liked it so much I bumped up the rating. It's a story about a grumpy, old man that is really mean and disrespectful to his wife. He ends up dying and haunting the house where he lived. He's then a ghost that loves pumpkin pie and promises to haunt the house until he gets the perfect pumpkin pie. Although the rhyming words and pictures are a plus, the negative story for children will make me choose other fall favorite readings.
Shelley larson
Nov 22, 2009 Shelley larson rated it it was ok
When he was alive Mr. Wilkerson was pretty much a jerk. He bossed his wife around, until one day he dies while eating a piece of her pumpkin pie. After his death Mrs. Wilkerson sells the house and is never heard from again. When new owners move in, Mr. Wilkerson begins to haunt the house until they make him a perfect pumpkin pie. The illustrations were great, but the story itself was stupid.
Genre: picture book
Copyright: 2005
Nov 29, 2012 Kristen rated it really liked it
A patron recommended this to me--she said her daughter just loved it, especially the refrain: "Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkin pie. Must have some before I die." And I enjoyed it, too. It's a bit creepy, with a ghost and some gruesome art, and a bit long, so I wouldn't read it to preschoolers, but it would be great for grades 1-3, I think. I also liked how no-nonsense the Granny was about the ghost--that dialed back some of the scare factor.
Emily Northcutt
Nov 16, 2012 Emily Northcutt rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all-time favorite fall read-alouds. I had a teacher request it for her class and since I have not read it in a couple of years, I was happy to dust it off. My K-3 audience enjoys that it is "scary" because there is a ghost in the story, but they love the silly rhymes he speaks in even more. The parallel structure of the story allows them to make predictions about what will happen next. Highly recommended!
Mar 06, 2016 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Halloween book; scary stories
(8yrs +) I found this just a bit creepy but I think that kids who like scary stories will love it. Cazet's art is "perfect" for this story but will be too much for some, even though Grandma's calm attitude defuses a bit of the intensity! Definitely not for young children...

I think that this is the best Halloween story (new for me, although originally published in 2005) that I have read in a while.
Oct 24, 2012 Kadee rated it it was amazing
A Halloween favorite. Every year we check it out. Just say the word pumpkin pie and the kiddos might start saying "Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin pie I must have some before I die". At first I think the kiddos may have been scared but Brigham used some fun voices and made if fun and quickly became a favorite and not so scary.
An interesting twist on the typical ghost story with the ghost and his repeated chant. I love the grandmother in the story. She's full of spunk. I liked the story overall. It made me laugh a bit. But the pictures had a sort of light-hearted grotesqueness to it. As much as I can't help saying "ew" once in a while, I think the K-4 audience would love it.
Pamela Powell
Dec 01, 2014 Pamela Powell rated it it was amazing
As an elementary school librarian, this book gets more requests than any I've read aloud. I've read this one each Halloween season for about six years and the students start asking me as soon as school starts if I'll read it again this year. We do a thorough lesson on fiction before reading it to make sure no one has bad dreams! ;) A definitive hit with my students, K-5.
The Brothers
Feb 19, 2016 The Brothers rated it really liked it
Shelves: baking, ghosts, halloween, pies
A grumpy man dies before he can eat his pie (apparently his only joy on this earth is pie) and when a grandma and a little boy move into his old house, he "haunts" them until they can produce a pumpkin pie that meets his picky expectations.

Weird and slightly gruesome illustrations. Makes me want pie though.
Nov 10, 2009 Joann10 rated it liked it
I didn't like this book, but the kids loved it. A man dies eating pumpkin pie and, if he smells pumpkin pie, returns on Halloween the look for the "perfect pumpkin pie." I thought the illustrations were too gruesome for my preschoolers--my 3 year old was afraid of this, but the 4 year old and olders wanted it read again and again.
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Mr. Wilkerson loves pumpkin pie. His wife makes him pumpkin pie on Halloween but he dies before he can eat it. Mrs. Wilkerson sells the house to Grandma and Jack. Mr. Wilkerson's ghost haunts Grandma and Jack on Halloween...he's hungry for pumpkin pie.

Not as scary as it sounds, kids will love reading this hauntingly funny story. Illustrations remind me of Catrow's work, quirky but fun.
Skylar Burris
Sep 21, 2010 Skylar Burris rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
This is a story about a jerky, old man's ghost who won't leave a boy and his grandma alone until he gets the perfect pumpkin pie. I can't quite put my finger on why, but I rather liked it. I think it's one of the better Halloween picture books we have read this season, but it does seem to be a genre with slim pickings.
Mar 15, 2008 Melinda rated it it was amazing
I didn't actually want to get this book from the library... but the kids wouldn't give up. So we took it home. The pictures looked so gruesome- but after reading the book (adding some creepy gruff voices) it became a fast hit in our family. It is very catchy. We bought it this past Halloween because the Library where we live didn't have it.
I will buy this for the school library. The students will love the old man's refrain about pumpkin pie. It will be a great story-time selection. Personally, I did not care for the illustrations quite as much as the story line. They were too busy for me. Perhaps that is more a function of my exhaustion than reality.
Oct 04, 2012 Ellie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-mom-shelf
This book actually helped my son get over his fear of ghosts. Having a story where a ghost could be a silly impertinent old man (who was read to him with a silly grumpy voice) who only wants pie, well. . . it made ghosts something safe to joke about. He has wanted me to read it over and over again.
Nov 06, 2010 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fun and spooky story to read aloud with children. It's not too scary, especially with a no-nonsense Grandma who won't put up with ghostly foolishness or rudeness. But I still would recommend reading it during the day to avoid the middle of the night bad dreams.
A funny story about a pie-obsessed old man who dies and haunts the pumpkin patch near his house in search of the perfect pumpkin pie. Great grumpy, old-geezer voice for the ghost: “I knows me pumpkins, so’s you better comply and make me a perfect pumpkin pie.”
Thanks to Allen Reichert for recommending this humorous ghost story! The illustrations are wild, but I think it would also make a great storytelling selection without the book. Also, now I want pumpkin pie.
Emily Pinnick
Dec 05, 2012 Emily Pinnick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
This book was really cute. It would be a good one to use around Halloween, as it talks about a ghost that comes back to "haunt" a young boy and his grandmother. This does a good job of making ghosts not seem as scary, and it is just a fun read.
Ashley Courtemanche
Oct 07, 2008 Ashley Courtemanche rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone, early childhood teachers
i really love this book. its not like most childrens books because it has death but its still a great book. i really like the pictures, i think the book has a funny twist too. i think everyone should read it.
Oct 24, 2012 Jeanine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Hilarious, smart, creepy and wonderfully illustrated!! Enjoyed hearing my 3rd grader read this out loud to his little sister this am while I was scrambling eggs.
Apr 23, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: books-2010
Is it just me or did Mrs. Wilkerson murder her husband and bury him in the garden? This is one twisted kid's book.
The cutest book and I am not sure if its just because I love pumpkin pie.. Read it! Good word choice, slight repetition and funny ending.
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