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The Picture-Book Club > October 2012: Discuss Our "Harvest-Time and Pumpkins" Club Reads HERE

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message 1: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Oct 01, 2012 06:52AM) (new)

Kathryn | 3725 comments Mod
This October we'll enjoy stories about Harvest-Time and Pumpkins! Here are the picture books we'll read together:

Pumpkins: A Story for a Field

We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?

Raccoons and Ripe Corn

Autumn Story

Sixth/Alternate:
A Pioneer Thanksgiving: A Story of Harvest Celebrations in 1841 (this one looks marvelous but a bit long for a picture book; 48 pages with "chapters" and it includes crafts as well as the story. Just FYI for those seeking only shorter picture-books.)

I hope all our interested members are able to get copies of these and will join us for our discussion come October! :-) I'm already seeing really cute pumpkins in the stores and am trying to hold out buying any for decorating until then, LOL!


message 2: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3725 comments Mod
I've already read two and am able to get all of the others this month, hooray!

I did want to mention that I read (and loved!) Autumn Story a few years ago and feel it is probably most appropriate for the older picture book crowd. The story is getting to be rather "vintage" and is a bit longer than many of the picture books today.


message 3: by Manybooks (last edited Sep 19, 2012 06:51AM) (new)

Manybooks | 3725 comments Kathryn wrote: "I've already read two and am able to get all of the others this month, hooray!

I did want to mention that I read (and loved!) Autumn Story a few years ago and feel it is probably most appropriate ..."


I just realised that Autumn Story is actually available at the library. When we read Spring Story, I had to do an ILL request, but actually, all of the other books in the series seem to be available. Now, why would the library have most of the books of the series, but be missing the one about spring?

I had to do ILL requests for We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season and Raccoons and Ripe Corn (the latter looks really promising and if the book had been available at the library, I probably would have voted for it, but my policy is to only nominate books and vote for books I know are available at my local library).


message 4: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3725 comments Mod
I'm glad you can get the books, Gundula! That is definitely odd that your library was missing "Spring Story." Maybe someone borrowed it and never returned it? Anyway, looking forward to reading these! I agree, they all look great.


message 5: by Tricia (new)

Tricia Douglas (teachgiftedkids) | 312 comments I can't believe that I'm only familiar with one out of the five. And I know I had a lot of autumn/Thanksgiving type books in my classroom. I have them all on order and can't wait to start reading them. Great choices.


message 6: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 3725 comments Kathryn wrote: "I'm glad you can get the books, Gundula! That is definitely odd that your library was missing "Spring Story." Maybe someone borrowed it and never returned it? Anyway, looking forward to reading ..."

Yeah, but one of the books is being mended the other one seems to be missing, oh well, but maybe they will find it before the beginning of the month.


message 7: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 3775 comments Mod
Well, I'm going to have to get Winter Story, it's the only book by Barklem in my library system. The two nonfiction titles (How Many Seeds and Pioneer) are non-circulating and from other libraries in the system, so I've not much hope for those. But I've ordered the other three! :)


message 8: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 3775 comments Mod
Oh, and I def. look forward to one of you reporting *why* the pumpkin that had the most seeds does so, as one of the reviewers of How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? reports that one can choose a pumpkin that will have more seeds.


message 9: by Tricia (new)

Tricia Douglas (teachgiftedkids) | 312 comments Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "Oh, and I def. look forward to one of you reporting *why* the pumpkin that had the most seeds does so, as one of the reviewers of How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? reports that one can choose a pumpkin ..."

Cheryl, I wish I had had this book when I did the same thing with pumpkins in my classroom. However, I only used a very large pumpkin and a small/medium one, not three. I remember the smaller pumpkin having more seeds for some reason. I didn't know about the lines on the pumpkins signifying how many seeds might be inside. So maybe I'll try this little test with my grandsons now that I'm no longer in the classroom. I did like the book - for a teacher it covered many things besides estimation - counting by twos, fives, etc. I used to also extend my lesson by having the children estimate the circumference of the pumpkins and the weight. I supposed that would have made a much longer book!!! I'll be anxious to hear other comments on this topic and book too. Overall, I liked it and will see what my grandsons think of it.


message 10: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Marcos (CrystalMarcos) | 477 comments I got two of the books on loan from library, Autumn Story and How many seeds in a Pumpkin? Can't believe it is already time to read these books. Pumpkins everywhere. =)


message 11: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3725 comments Mod
Crystal wrote: "Pumpkins everywhere. =)"

Hooray! :-) Although, yes, scary how time flies!!!


message 12: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 3775 comments Mod
" I didn't know about the lines on the pumpkins signifying how many seeds might be inside. "

Ah, tx Tricia, I had no idea about that either. I hope someone tests it, or better yet understands how it works! (It's not feasible for me to test it this year. :(


message 13: by Dolly (new)

Dolly (dollymart) | 250 comments We can get all of the books this month except for Autumn Story. We've read Spring Story, though, so I think we have an idea what the story would be like. We are looking forward to reading the rest.


message 14: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 3725 comments Dolly wrote: "We can get all of the books this month except for Autumn Story. We've read Spring Story, though, so I think we have an idea what the story would be like. We are looking forward to reading the rest."

I thought I was boing to be able to get Autumn Story, but all of the library copies are missing, sigh.


message 15: by Jessika (new)

Jessika (jessilouwho22) Oh, I loved Autumn Story. Can't wait to chat with you all about it!


message 16: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Oct 01, 2012 06:55AM) (new)

Kathryn | 3725 comments Mod
Happy October!!! Are any of you having fall weather yet (or, at least, those of you in the Northern Hemisphere who can expect it?) We're supposed to have a record of about 100 degrees today, but I already decorated for the season so my house is autumn-y even if Mother Nature isn't quite in accord yet.

I'm so excited to read this month's selections and discuss with all of you! I've actually already read two. Autumn Story I loved so much the first time that I checked it out from the library again for this month and hope I have time to read it.

I also previously read We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season and I enjoyed it. Here were my thoughts:
A nice non-fiction picture book explaining how the seasons progress (with the tilting of the Earth) with emphasis on how the seasons affect crops, then proceeding with special emphasis on harvest-time and the various harvest festivals and traditions present in cultures from many thousands of years ago to present-day. Included are such harvest celebrations as Jewish Sukkot and southern Indian Pongal. The back matter offers an experiment you can do to test whether the sun really does rise due East on the equinoxes, how to make an African harvest mask, recipe for "equinox" corn muffins, and more. The accompanying illustrations are pleasant but nothing really distinctive and the text is adequate and engaging enough but nothing really outstanding.
I'm giving this book four stars because I think it succeeds at what it sets out to accomplish, though I was only so-so about the result so probably only a three star book as far as how much I "liked" it. I would say it's more suited as a springboard for classroom exploration of autumn than the sort of book kids will want read and re-read at bedtime.


message 17: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3725 comments Mod
Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "Oh, and I def. look forward to one of you reporting *why* the pumpkin that had the most seeds does so, as one of the reviewers of How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? reports that one can choose a pumpkin ..."

Oh, darn! I already returned my book to the library. Well, I think it has something to do with the pumpkin that has been on the vine the longest has the most seeds, and also something about the dark lines on the pumpkin--more dark lines equals more seeds. Can anyone who still has the book confirm that, please?

Anyway, I enjoyed the book if not wildly so. Here is my review, 3.5 STARS:
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. Children might enjoy the seed-counting activity during Halloween; it could make a fun little side-project when you carve that next Jack O'Lantern.


message 18: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 3725 comments Raccoons and Ripe Corn is the first book I have read and reviewed so far this month.

One autumn night, when a local farmer's corn is ripe and ready to be harvested, a family of raccoons sneaks into the field to feast on the ripe bounty. The raccoons spend the night in the cornfield, hurriedly rushing back into the woods come dawn.

I think that the strength of Raccoons and Ripe Corn are the descriptive, evocative (simply glorious) illustrations. Not only are they incredibly, wonderfully detailed and realistic, Jim Arnosky has also managed to absolutely and completely capture both the mannerisms and the facial expressions of the raccoon family (I have watched raccoons feasting on corn, on vegetables and the like on my own property, and the antics of the raccoons depicted in Raccoons and Ripe Corn are basically identical).

Although I most definitely was and continue to be utterly enthralled with and by the illustrations, I cannot really say that I was/am similarly "wowed" by the text; the narrative just feels rather mundane and lacking, especially when juxtaposed against the evocative, lively depictions of the frolicking, busily feasting raccoons. While I have no problems, no issues with the fact that the text is meant to be simple, the narrative is not only plain and uncomplicated, it also somewhat lacks description and substance; it is an adequate, but for all intents and purposes rather pale, distant reflection of the illustrations. In fact, while I could well imagine the illustrations without the text (and actually believe that Raccoons and Ripe Corn would be better and more versatile if used as a wordless picture book), I certainly could not imagine the text, the narrative without the accompanying artwork.

I also have to wonder wether it might have been worthwhile for Jim Arnosky to at least mention, to at least point out that a family of raccoons invading a cornfield would more than likely not exactly be appreciated by the farmer (who is, after all, counting on harvesting and marketing his/her crops). This information would not necessarily have needed to be part of the story itself, but an author's note, pointing out that raccoons can be quite destructive at times, would have been a welcome addition (and perhaps a starting-off-point for further discussion, especially when reading this book with/to slightly older children).


message 19: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Marcos (CrystalMarcos) | 477 comments 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 message of big things can come in small packages was delivered in a subtle way. We are going to the pumpkin patch this Saturday so it is the perfect time to learn about pumpkins. I can also share my new found knowledge of picking the sweetest pumpkin or the one with the least or most seeds. We liked the illustrations and found them cute. I really like how the book was designed with text and illustrations to show the examples. I will be reading this to my daughter's two younger cousins before we head out to the pumpkin fields. I would like to revisit this book when she is older and let her do the experiment in conjunction with reading the book. Thanks again to the group for another perfect pick for the season! Excited to be participating again.

I also recently found this, we are attempting to make a Harry Potter pumpkin for Halloween. Wish us luck! =) http://pinterest.com/pin/453879087158...


message 20: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Marcos (CrystalMarcos) | 477 comments Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "" I didn't know about the lines on the pumpkins signifying how many seeds might be inside. "

Ah, tx Tricia, I had no idea about that either. I hope someone tests it, or better yet understands how..."


I didn't know either. You really do learn something new daily. =)


message 21: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3725 comments Mod
Crystal wrote: "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..."

Very cool! I'm so glad your daughter enjoyed the book so much and I hope you have a great time at the pumpkin patch. LOVE the HP pumpkin, by the way ;-)


message 22: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Marcos (CrystalMarcos) | 477 comments Kathryn wrote: "Crystal wrote: "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 litt..."

Thank you. I'll post a pic if I manage to get it to look like Harry. =)


message 23: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 3725 comments To those of you who live in Canada (like me), HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!


message 24: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Marcos (CrystalMarcos) | 477 comments Gundula wrote: "To those of you who live in Canada (like me), HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!"

Happy Thanksgiving! (From WA State) =)I didn't realize it was celebrated in Oct for you. You learn all kinds of things in this group!


message 25: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 3725 comments Crystal wrote: "Gundula wrote: "To those of you who live in Canada (like me), HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!"

Happy Thanksgiving! (From WA State) =)I didn't realize it was celebrated in Oct for you. You learn all kinds of ..."


My wild turkeys are in hiding this weekend.


message 26: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Marcos (CrystalMarcos) | 477 comments Gundula wrote: "My wild turkeys are in hiding this weekend."

I don't blame them. ;)


message 27: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 3725 comments Crystal wrote: "Gundula wrote: "My wild turkeys are in hiding this weekend."

I don't blame them. ;)"


Me neither!!


message 28: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3725 comments Mod
Gundula wrote: "To those of you who live in Canada (like me), HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!"

Happy Thanksgiving!!! :-D Are you having suitably autumny weather?


message 29: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 3725 comments Kathryn wrote: "Gundula wrote: "To those of you who live in Canada (like me), HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!"

Happy Thanksgiving!!! :-D Are you having suitably autumny weather?"


Thanks!! I'd like it a bit chillier, but the colours are gorgeous this year!!


message 30: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 3725 comments I am kind of torn about Pumpkins: A Story for a Field.

When an old man realises that a lovely country meadow across from his residence is for sale and likely to be bought by urban developers, the man (who loves this very field, but does not have the financial means to purchase it) decides to raise money by seeding the meadow with pumpkins. Will his endeavour be successful? Will he be able to grow enough pumpkins, and then sell enough pumpkins to save his field, to purchase his meadow so it can be safeguarded from the threat of urbanisation?

While I especially appreciate the ecological message of Pumpkins: A Story for a Field and generally enjoyed the storyline, I do think that some of the more the fantastical elements introduced during the final segment of the narrative (the magic carpets, that the old man phoned every kingdom, every congress, every nation about selling, shipping his harvested pumpkins) rather take away from both the general story as well as the message of sustainability, keeping meadows natural, using nature and natural products to thwart urban sprawl (I certainly enjoyed the beginning of the book much more than the end, the fantastical elements seem a trifle tacked on, almost like a deus ex machina, so that the old man can get his pumpkins shipped and sold worldwide). I would still highly recommend Pumpkins: A Story for a Field, as I realise that my criticism of the narrative, the story is probably more of a personal quibble (and that most children will more than likely just enjoy the story as a story, not noticing, not caring for and about the combination of realistic and fairytale-like elements, and wether this has been successfully achieved).

I guess one can probably also say that the entire narrative is, in fact, a bit surreal (seeding a field with pumpkins and then actually growing and harvesting hundreds of thousands of them is also rather fanciful and unrealistic). For me personally, though, while the first section of Pumpkins: A Story for a Field at least seems probable and potentially realistic, some aspects of the final segment seem both highly improbable and strange (especially the magic carpets, which really do not fit into the story all that well, which really have no reason for even appearing in the text).

Barry Root's illustrations are quite lovely (they are bright, descriptive and provide a successful mirror of and compliment to Mary Lyn Ray's text). The only minor issue I have is with the fact that so many of the illustrations depict trucks, planes, ships and the like, which kind of lessens the ecological message of Pumpkins: A Story for a Field (I would definitely have appreciated more illustrations of pumpkins and less depictions of modern technology).


message 31: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 3775 comments Mod
Love the HP pumpkin, Crystal!

I grew up with farmers so I agree racoons are not always welcome. Unless one is a hungry pioneer of course. I should be able to read that book first.

Meanwhile, We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season is another one of those books 'more appreciated than enjoyed' - at least for me. Nice illustrations in a folksy style reminiscent of Lois Lenski, good science and a global perspective of different cultures - but for some reason I didn't smile while I was reading it or want to share much of it.

I did like the bit about foxes burying a cache - I never realized they did, and it's neat to think about dogs burying bones just as their ancestors did, in their own harvest tradition....


message 32: by Emily (new)

Emily | 34 comments I read "How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin" today and loved it!! Nice to have facts about pumpkins along with an actual fiction-type story. The author nicely slips in the idea of Charlie being sensitive about his height with the lesson on pumpkins and the seed counting. The illustrations were cute too...fun and cartoon-like.The smallest pumpkin ended up having the most seeds because it had been on the vine longest; the teacher could tell because it was a darker color and had more lines (I didn't know that!). At the end the teacher tells Charlie "Small things can have a lot going on inside them"...very cute. I love the kids' facial expressions too. I also liked Charlie's Pumpkin Facts, especially #7. A fun book and activity to use in the classroom.


message 33: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3725 comments Mod
Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "Meanwhile, We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season is another one of those books 'more appreciated than enjoyed'--at least for me"

I find that to be the case with most of Wendy Pfeffer's books, Cheryl. I'm very glad they exist as I do think they are educational but I'm always craving something a bit more... creative or engaging or, I don't know, *something*, after I finish them.


message 34: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3725 comments Mod
Gundula wrote: "I am kind of torn about Pumpkins: A Story for a Field.

When an old man realises that a lovely country meadow across from his residence is for sale and likely to be bought by urban developers, th..."


I haven't read that one yet, Gundula, so I'll wait to read your review until I have. Thanks for posting!


message 35: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3725 comments Mod
Emily wrote: "I read "How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin" today and loved it!! Nice to have facts about pumpkins along with an actual fiction-type story. The author nicely slips in the idea of Charlie being sensitive a..."

Glad you liked it :-)


message 36: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 3725 comments Kathryn wrote: "Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "Meanwhile, We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season is another one of those books 'more appreciated than enjoyed'--at least for me"

I find that to be the case wit..."


I also find that the illustrations generally don't really work all that well. They usually seem more suited for younger children, while the texts seem more suitable for older children (I actually think the books would work better with different, more age appropriate illustrations).


message 37: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Marcos (CrystalMarcos) | 477 comments Emily wrote: "I read "How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin" today and loved it!! Nice to have facts about pumpkins along with an actual fiction-type story. The author nicely slips in the idea of Charlie being sensitive a..."

I felt pretty educated when we recently went to the pumpkin patch and I let everyone know about what I learned in the book. =)


message 38: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Marcos (CrystalMarcos) | 477 comments Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "Love the HP pumpkin, Crystal!

"


I got the pumpkin home and started to paint on his hair and we noticed Harry Pumpkin has a nose. It's perfect! My daughter did a great job picking it out. I will wait closer to Halloween before carving it. It has been so warm here. Odd for PNW but I'll take it!


message 39: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 3775 comments Mod
Oh, good science about the seeds on a pumpkin, and good lesson about small being a good thing - thanks everyone for sharing; I feel almost as if I had read it.

I agree with all of you who have said that the illustrations in Raccoons and Ripe Corn are special. The flap of my copy clarifies that the intent is to be observational, like a naturalist, not interpretive, like an educator. So, in that way, it works. But I do think children should know other things about raccoons, too. Destructive to crops, and to suburban trash cans, often carry rabies, make good eatin' - they are interesting critters.


message 40: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 3775 comments Mod
I agree that the magic carpet and all the trucks, etc, of Pumpkins: A Story for a Field detract from the message. Of course we know right from the start it's a fantasy because of the bad science: hills are eroded mountains, they do *not* "grow up" to be mountains!

I want to give it three stars because it's pretty and has a nice idea, but I just can't suspend disbelief. And when I was a child I would have been very angry at the author for mixing up fantasy and reality like that.


message 41: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 3725 comments Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "I agree that the magic carpet and all the trucks, etc, of Pumpkins: A Story for a Field detract from the message. Of course we know right from the start it's a fantasy because of the bad science: ..."

If the mixing of fantasy and reality had been smooth, the story might have worked better, but it felt choppy and clumsy.


message 42: by Jessika (new)

Jessika (jessilouwho22) Gundula wrote: "I am kind of torn about Pumpkins: A Story for a Field.

When an old man realises that a lovely country meadow across from his residence is for sale and likely to be bought by urban developers, th..."


I just finished reading this, and I have to agree, the fantastical elements sit weirdly with me. I think the purpose of it was to make the more "grown-up" ecological/sustainability issues "easier to grasp" for children, it just wasn't quite what I was expecting. And why is it necessary to make something easier for children to understand or to make it more entertaining? I think if this story was one or the other, either a realistic story or a fantasy, I would have enjoyed it more. Just too much going on at once, I think.


message 43: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 3725 comments Jess wrote: "Gundula wrote: "I am kind of torn about Pumpkins: A Story for a Field.

When an old man realises that a lovely country meadow across from his residence is for sale and likely to be bought by urba..."


I think we often underestimate and undervalue children and their intelligence. You know, as a child, while I did like fairy stories, a choppy and clumsy story like Pumpkins: A Story for a Field (with fantastical elements superimposed over a realistic or at least a potentially realistic story) would have felt annoying, even insulting to me.


message 44: by Manybooks (last edited Oct 11, 2012 10:21AM) (new)

Manybooks | 3725 comments Abigail wrote: "Although I agree with all of you, in finding that the fantastical elements in Pumpkins: A Story for a Field - the flying carpets, the hundreds of thousands of pumpkins in one field - sit awkwardly ..."

I did not really mind that the old man used the field to raise money (I guess it should have bothered me more, but I am so annoyed with urban sprawl in general that this part of the story not only did not bother me all that much, but that I kind of liked the fact that the old man made use of a field he wanted to buy, a field destined for urban development to specifically fight urban development, I liked the irony of it).

I do think you have a point with the cultural assumptions of the author, and I actually have changed my own review to incorporate this. I have to admit though that the assumption that others around the world might not know what a pumpkin is, did not set off major alarm bells at first (maybe because when we immigrated to Canada from Germany in 1976, I actually did not know what a pumpkin was, neither for food nor for Halloween decoration).

Another thing that (after thinking about the book for a few days) I find kind of strange and a bit off is that while the author obviously meant this book to be one with an ecological message, there sure is a lot of modern technology mentioned and used (especially to ship the pumpkins worldwide). There also seem to be more illustrations of trains, planes, ships and trucks than of pumpkins, than of nature (which, in my opinion, also tends to lessen the ecological message of the book).


message 45: by Jessika (new)

Jessika (jessilouwho22) Gundula wrote: "Jess wrote: "Gundula wrote: "I am kind of torn about Pumpkins: A Story for a Field.

When an old man realises that a lovely country meadow across from his residence is for sale and likely to be b..."


I agree, we do underestimate children a lot of the time. Kids know and "get" more than we think they do.


message 46: by David (new)

David | 101 comments Raccoons and Ripe Corn has been a favorite of mine for some time - I have used it in toddler and pre-school storytimes, especially when I needed a "short" book. I especially appreciate the detailed illustrations, clearly showing corn tassles, husks, cornsilks, and kernels. I enjoy the other details such as a milkweed seed, caterpilar, beetle, ducks, bat, owl, spider, mouse, birds, deer and the expressions of the raccoons.

Having grown up on a farm, the raccoons and their late night feast are shown very realistically. My father, as a child, tried to keep raccoons as pets, which did not end well. We suffered raids as shown in the book, often just the night before the corn seemed ready to pick. Since we raised the sweetcorn for our own use, Dad's philosophy was to try to raise enough for both the raccoons and ourselves. Sadly raccoons usually don't eat an entire ear but go through the patch sampling a bit and then moving on.


message 47: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Marcos (CrystalMarcos) | 477 comments David wrote: "Raccoons and Ripe Corn has been a favorite of mine for some time - I have used it in toddler and pre-school storytimes, especially when I needed a "short" book. I especially appreciate the detailed..."

I haven't read the book. I enjoyed reading your insight and comparison on actually events from your past. I can just picture your dad trying to tame a raccoon.

Years back, I moved into an apartment and my new neighbor clapped his hands and low and behold a family of raccoons appeared behind our patios. They clapped their little hands and he tossed them pieces of bread. I never saw anything like it before or after. Living in the PNW, I have run into a couple nasty raccoons at night. I believe the mother had poor eye site so food wasn't easy for her to get.


message 48: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Oct 15, 2012 08:41AM) (new)

Kathryn | 3725 comments Mod
***Just a reminder that today is the last day to vote to select the books for November's "Classic Picture Book Characters" theme. If you plan to participate, please vote here:
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...

Thanks!***

I apologize for my lack of comments--this past week/weekend have been very busy. I hope to respond soon. It looks like I won't be able to get Pumpkins: A Story for a Field, after all, so I look forward to reading the comments!


message 49: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 3725 comments Kathryn wrote: "***Just a reminder that today is the last day to vote to select the books for November's "Classic Picture Book Characters" theme. If you plan to participate, please vote here:
http://www.goodreads..."


I wonder if you would have liked Pumpkins: A Story for a Field more than I did (I really don't think you're missing much).


message 50: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments I read How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? with my children tonight. They enjoyed making predictions about how many seeds there would be (they guessed between 500-700, so they were a bit high...almost double the actual amount). They thought the big pumpkin would have the most and were suprised and interested to find out that the number of lines tells you the number of seeds. I knew that from reading others' comments here, but hadn't known that until reading it here.

I enjoyed the pumpkin facts, the classroom connections you could make (skip counting, estimating, etc.) and the lesson that Charlie learns. I love that the teacher is portrayed as a caring, intelligent individual that teaches them life lessons along with the math and science.

Autumn Story was wonderful, just like Spring Story. I really like the illustrations. Such a cute, sweet book. My children also really liked it.

I am like many of you. I didn't particularly enjoy Pumpkins: A Story for a Field. I definitely felt the mix of fantastical and reality didn't mesh very well... Other than that, I had a hard time pinpointing exactly why I didn't care for it, but I think you've raised some great points regarding the problems with it. But my kids and I didn't really care for it.

I cannot get Raccoons and Ripe Corn, unfortunately.

I will read We Gather Together in the next couple of days.


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