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The Ugly Pumpkin

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  950 ratings  ·  143 reviews
No one wants to take home the Ugly Pumpkin. Sure, he doesn't look like any of the other pumpkins, but why does everyone have to tease him so much? The poor, lonely pumpkin goes in search of a place where he'll fit in - and finally discovers the truth about who he is and where he belongs.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 18th 2005 by G.P. Putnams's Sons
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  950 ratings  ·  143 reviews

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Cute retelling of 'the Ugly Duckling' with pumpkins and squash. This book also spans Halloween and Thanksgiving so it's great for both seasons.

Poor Pumpkin doesn't get to go home for the Halloween season and it despairs. It feels so ugly and seeks somewhere to belong. Then it meets other weird looking squash and finds a place where it belongs at the Thanksgiving table. Great story.

Of course, this is the crazy kind of character my nephew loves and he gave this book a 5 stars. He thought it was c
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People with identity confusion
Recommended to Kirk by: I suspect Satan planted a seed of insanity in my wife's head, for she's been bringing home a lot of books like these as of late . . .





That about sums this one up, but I'll provide a rationale:

The Ugly Pumpkin is a (non) harrowing tale about a squash who thinks its a pumpkin trapped in the body of a squash. Nobody gives two shits about his plight, and he suffers abuse at the hands of an old crab apple tree. Nobody gives much of a shit about that, and you won't either. At least the author gave us a heaping pile to compensate for the apathy of the characters in the book. That's the redeeming factor.

In the end, the ugly pumpkin f
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My daughter and I read this every Halloween and I think it is simply the most adorable book for children!
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love this book, I read it to my kids every Halloween and we keep it in our bin with all of our Halloween decorations, so it is a book that they look forward to reading all year when we pull out the Halloween stuff. After we read this book, my kids and I decided that when we go pick out pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, we always try to find the ugliest pumpkin we can find to buy and take home with us, because even the ugly pumpkins have a place in our home ;)
Life Between Coffee Spoons
May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this during a Thanksgiving-themed storytime and the kids seemed to like it. There wasn't much to foster interaction, but the pictures were interesting and kept their attention. There is also enough humor to keep kids amused. Some of it is a little darker, so it may not be for all audiences, but my group ranged from ages 1 to 11.

As for use during storytime, it was fairly easy to read aloud and at an angle. I was able to play up their confusion about why we were reading a book that seemed t
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I was looking for good Halloween books and happened across this one. Though there seems to be a Halloween vibe, it makes mention of Thanksgiving and is more of an autumn book than any specific holiday.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
An ugly pumpkin is bullied until he discovers he's a squash.
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
M. Night Shyamalan would be jelly of that plot twist!
Aug 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
So if the skeleton and trees knew he was really a squash, would they have been nice to him?
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Pumpkin-Themed Picture-Books for Autumn
"I am the ugly pumpkin, / as you can plainly see. / Of one hundred thousand pumpkins, none are quite like me." And so begins this rhyming tale of a disconsolate squash who imagines that he is an ugly pumpkin, and becomes progressively more dejected when no one selects him as jack-o-lantern material at Halloween. Then he discovers a garden of other squashes, realizes who he is and settles in for a happy Thanksgiving feast with his new friends...

Clearly inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's classi
Stacy Renee  (LazyDayLit)
This is a touching story about an ugly pumpkin that never gets picked to be a jack-o-lantern. He's tired of being teased and tricked so off he goes to find his place in the world, leaving October behind and heading into November where he finds where he truly belongs and celebrates Thanksgiving with a group of great new friends.

The Ugly Pumpkin reminds me so much of Hans Christian Andersons' 'The Ugly Duckling' has important themes about kindness, self-esteem, and finding where you fit in. I thin
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poor pumpkin doesn't look like others and feels left out, lonely and at odds with others "like" himself. Though you may think of this as a book for Halloween it actually goes deeper into Fall with a surprise and very satisfying ending, for the pumpkin as well as readers. Quite delightful.
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Ugly Pumpkin waited all of October to be picked and taken home by someone, but no one wanted an ugly pumpkin. He was ridiculed and picked on by the other pumpkins, and mistreated by the apple trees for being ugly. In his sorrow he took refuge in a garden from the rain, and discovered something very interesting.
Chris Fox
Sep 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
(Books for Early Readers)

At first I didn't know what to expect with this book. It started with a pumpkin who was misshapen and didn't know who to hang out with, he just couldn't find the right group. Everyone he tried to hang out with or befriend started by giving him some hope, but ended up making fun of him for his odd shape. This continued for some pages and became somewhat redundant, struggling to get across what the theme was until the very end. The end of the book is what brought my enjoym
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was sweet and my students loved it!

This book was recommended to me by another teacher blogger who used it for a writing activity in her classroom. I decided to check it out and see if it was legit, and it was!

This was the story of an "ugly pumpkin" who waits and waits in the pumpkin patch for someone to pick him for Halloween. Instead of getting picked, he gets teased because of how ugly he is. So he leaves and ends up in a garden of squash. It's then that he declares, "Oh my gosh, I'm
Zinzan Zhao
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
i read this book because it looked appealing

this book fits under the category a picture book.

the ugly pumpkin is about a pumpkin that is really thin and is ridiculed by the other fatter pumpkins because he isnt fat like them. one day the ugly pumpkin decided to run away from his bullies during his escape he runs into some other people who also mock him for not being a fat pumpkin until he stops running and wanders into a garden which he finds other ugly pumpkins. thats when he realizes that he
Sonia Reppe
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I loved this tale of this ostracized, down-and-out gourd living a hardscrabble life, trying to catch a break and fit in somewhere, (the pumpkins reject him because he's not round) and at the end he finds his place. But I have a problem with the ending. (view spoiler) ...more
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was so cute, my children loved it and best of all it was about finding your path in life and fitting were you are accepted. My oldest son has autism so he loved that this "pumpkin" or so he thought starting out was so lonely he just wanted to have friends and belong. He wondered why he wasn't like the others and then he found out that there were others just like him and he was beautiful because he was a squash. My son could relate to this story in so many ways, recommend this book for ...more
Oct 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A fun twist on the Ugly Duckling story that is told in rhyme! The pumpkin protagonist goes through a sad fall of being rejected by jack-o'-lantern carvers and autumn-leaf peepers, only to discover by Thanksgiving that he's not so ugly after all. My only gripe with this book is that the pumpkin looks very forlorn indeed in many illustrations, which might make some toddlers and preschoolers at storytime feel uneasy or upset. I cut out the verse about the pumpkin crying all alone. Otherwise, this i ...more
Edward Creter
This cute story is a Halloween take on the Ugly Duckling tale of Hans Christian Andersen with a twist of squash! An ugly pumpkin wants to be with farm friends, which is admirable, but like the guy in the Good Samaritan tale, everyone passes him by...until the pumpkin ends up with the squash, falls for a female squash, and celebrates Thanksgiving, which, to be honest, is a better holiday for him than something which honors Vampires, Ghosts and Goblins. Even has a hidden message you must find to a ...more
Rosa Cline
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a great story to teach little guys about self esteem and 'finding yourself' Based very loosly on the famous "Ugly Duckling" this is a very nicely written story. My nearly 4 year old granddaughter said "oh he's sad" and then at the end "He's Happy!" and she giggled and smiled. So this story is full of emotions. The pumpkin can't find a new home and is over looked and called names by many during Halloween. He starts trying to find his home and time rolls over in November he eventually finds a ...more
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
The Ugly Duckling story is re-imagined with gourds and a hipper attitude. An ugly pumpkin, picked over for more attractive jack-o-lanterns, feels despondent. Then he wanders into another garden and discovers--"Oh my gosh! I'm a squash!"

The fall theme and bright illustrations will make this one a seasonal hit. Although, I will say, none of the page illustrations are quite as good as the cover.

Veg*n family note: The groovy gourds and seasonal produce will be appealing to plant-based families, but
Maddi Holmes
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would recommend this book for the primary grades, second through third grade. I would categorize it as modern fantasy.

This book is adorable. My mom recommended it to me, and I almost didn't read it. I judged the book by it's title, and thought that it would be mean. Since my mom told me to, I read it anyway. I am really glad that I did, because it was actually really cute. It is a great fall book and can teach students to be kind. It also promotes individuality. We shouldn't change to fit in.
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, 2017
The ugly pumpkin is sad because he doesn’t look like the others and no one picks him to be their Halloween pumpkin. After being picked on by a skeleton and a tree, he has a good cry in he rain, then stumbles upon a group of squash. The squash look like him, and he realizes “oh my gosh I’m a squash”. The squash accept him and they all sit down to eat Thanksgiving dinner together.
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, 2017
This book is fantastic!
Our poor character is an Ugly Pumpkin and doesn't exactly have a place in the world.
Highly recommended if you've ever felt out of place.
Both classes got this book this week. And both of them figured it out before we got to the end.
Katie Easter
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Genre: Fantasy
Grade Level: preK-2nd Grade

This children's fantasy is the perfect read for young children in the fall. The story has morals and life lessons within the boundaries of a cute story. The children will learn valuable lessons while almost not even realizing it!
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really cute story perfect for reading aloud about a pumpkin that believes he is ugly until one day he finds out who he truly is and where he belongs.

11/4/19 Used again for storytime about Thanksgiving
Christine Grant
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: storytime
Thanksgiving 2017. "Ugly Pumpkin" finds himself an outcast until he finds his place in the world. This book is a sad commentary on accepting people who are different from them. Still the book is engaging and provided discussion about how to treat others.
Abbie Gerig
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-lit
Genre: Traditional Literature
Grades: Pre K-5

This was a neat halloween twist on the Ugly Duckling story. I should have made the connection to that story before the ugly pumpkin was revealed to be a squash the whole time, but I liked being surprised.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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My name is dave horowitz. I grew up in Smithtown, New York in the 1970s. Instead of paying attention in school I drew pictures of my teachers. Then I went to a famous art college in Rhode Island and studied coloring.

In 1992 I graduated and went to Oregon to play drums and drink coffee. Then I moved to New York City and worked next door to the Twin Towers. Then I learned how to climb rocks and got

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