Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Runaway Pumpkin

What a perfect day for Perfect Picture Books!

It’s gray and rainy out, still pretty with all the fall foliage, but a nice to day to curl up with a good picture book πŸ™‚

Since it’s October and I’ve got pumpkins on the brain, today’s choice is a tons-of-fun pumpkin real-aloud!

Title: The Runaway Pumpkin
Written By: Kevin Lewis
Illustrated By: S.D. Schindler
Orchard Books, 2003, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-6

Themes/Topics: thinking ahead, consequences, language fun

Opening: “Once upon a hill,
when the wind blew with a chill
wandered Buck and Billy Baxter
with their baby sister, Lil.
And there, upon that hillside,Β 
growing orange, fat, and fine,
the budding Baxters found a pumpkin
on a twisty, twirly vine.”

Brief Synopsis: One Halloween, Buck, Billy and Lil Baxter find an enormous pumpkin. Β The boys take one look and have to have it. Β Without thinking about how they’ll get it home safely, they cut the pumpkin from its vine. Β Off it goes, gathering speed, busting through fences, scattering farm animals, with the Baxters right behind it. Β How will they stop it, and what will they do with all that pumpkin?

Links To Resources: plant a pumpkin seed and grow a pumpkin of your own!, bake pumpkin seeds, take a trip to a pumpkin patch, try out some pumpkin recipes – pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, Creative Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Recipes, Healthy Pumpkin Dessert Recipes, Classroom Activities for The Runaway Pumpkin, draw a picture or make a collage of a jack-o-lantern, make up a story about another over-sized vegetable or fruit that gets away.

Why I Like This Book: This story does carry a message about the consequences of not thinking ahead, but mostly I like it because it’s flat out fun πŸ™‚ Β Haven’t we all been captivated by something which causes us to leap before we look? πŸ™‚ Β The pumpkin is impressively gigantic. Β It takes off down the hill with the little Baxters in its wake. Β As it wreaks havoc on the countryside, the text bounces along in fun rhyme that kids love to join in on: “‘Round and ’round/across the ground/makin’ a thumpin’ bumpin’ sound/came that thumpety/bumpety/thumpin’/bumpin’/round and roll-y/RUNAWAY PUMPKIN!” Β See? Β Fun! πŸ™‚ Β Also a good pick for Halloween πŸ™‚

For the complete list of books with resources, please visitΒ Perfect Picture Books.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Β And PPBF bloggers, please leave your post-specific links in the list below so we can all come visit you! πŸ™‚

51 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Runaway Pumpkin

  1. patientdreamer says:

    Your runaway pumpkin story sounds like a hoot! We have also taken on the American Halloween tradition with some pumpkin cutting, but mostly kids love to dress up and go trick and treating. Weather here is still wild and woolly at the moment, so hoping it will calm down in a week so we can look forward to summer… hehe! Enjoy your weekend Susanna

  2. Laura Marcella says:

    This book looks adorable!! I love holiday-themed picture books for kids. My favorite Halloween books when I was a kid were The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat and There's a Witch Under the Stairs by Maggie Smith.

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura M

  3. Rhythm says:

    I really like the rhyming story! I seem to remember reading a story once about a giant runaway potato. I like pumpkins and potatoes and would be happy for either one to land in my yard. I'll have to look for this one. Thanks!

  4. Joanna Marple says:

    This looks a rollickin' fun fall tale, though the meter feels a little off in the seventh line to me. I know that's very subjective!! The rhythm of the thumpin and bumpin sound awesome though.

  5. sue heavenrich says:

    A runaway pumpkin – what an imaginative idea. My pumpkins never get THAT large (of course, they are New England Pie Pumpkins & meant to be 1-pie big). This is definitely the time to be thinking about pumpkin farms and pies and pumpkin tossing contests and roasting seeds…

  6. Beth Stilborn says:

    Now I'm hungry for pumpkin delights! This book sounds like great fun, Susanna. My pick this week is an unusual take on a number of fairy tales.

  7. Patricia Tilton says:

    A Halloween story with a lot of humor. The cover is so engaging too — beautiful. Kids will have fun turning the pages and wondering what happens next. As a kid, growing or picking your pumpkin from a farm was always a favorite thing for me and my siblings. We each got our own.

  8. Rosi says:

    I love funny stories that teach a good lesson. That is so hard to do well. I will definitely check this one out. Thanks for telling me about it.

  9. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    I am SO happy to be back with PPBF! I truly missed it. This looks like a great autumn tale, Susanna…I know Jeremy would LOVE it.:)

  10. Tracy Campbell says:

    Sounds like a perfect rhyming book. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Susanna. Hey, I see below my comment, Vivian has surfaced. HI VIVIAN, glad you're back.

  11. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Yes,Tracy, I was drowning in boxes and bubblewrap.:) I've come up for some air and will try to get back to my normal blogging/commenting in the next couple of weeks.

  12. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I love autumn, Diane, but I don't like winter and am jealous that you are just at the front end of summer when ours is over!!! Good luck with the wild and wooly weather and have a lovely weekend! πŸ™‚


  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    My kids all loved the Berenstain Bears! My husband hates them with a passion and makes endless fun of them by thinking up inappropriate titles which I will not mention here because this is a kid-friendly blog πŸ™‚ There are a lot of great Halloween books though, aren't there? I also love Room On The Broom and The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid Of Anything! πŸ™‚

  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks, Jarm πŸ™‚ I had to remind myself it was October πŸ™‚ I had another book in mind too, and then thought “wait a minute! the other one can wait!” Looking forward to seeing what you chose this week!

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    It's funny you should mention the potato, Rhythm! I thought of a book about a potato when I was writing up this review. It was called Jamie O'Neal (or O'Rourke – I can't remember) And The Giant Tatie or something like that. I can't remember if it ran away, though… I think it might have πŸ™‚


  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    See? This is what's so great! I learn something new all the time around here! I had no idea there were pumpkins that were designed to be one pie big! And I live in New York – so not that far out of New England! πŸ™‚ I have never successfully grown a pumpkin, though. Giant zucchinis yes, but they don't roll πŸ™‚


  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know… I love things made out of pumpkin…. I feel a few pumpkin-oriented WYRI treats coming our way in the next couple weeks instead of chocolate πŸ™‚ Looking forward to your pick – sorry I ended up being off-line all day yesterday… best laid plans πŸ™‚


  18. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    That sounds like so much fun, Pat! I was telling Sue (below… or above.. however this comment line works!) that I've never managed to successfully grow a pumpkin. But I've been to lots of pumpkin patches to pick them with my kids. And the piece I wrote to get into the Institute of Children's Literature was called Pumpkin Sunday – about going pumpkin picking πŸ™‚


  19. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know – I love reading everyone's picks! Of course, it makes me want to read all those books immediately… I should do PPBF in the library πŸ™‚ Although our library is teeny and most books have to be ordered from other libraries which takes a few days so maybe I should just move in there πŸ™‚

  20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    And didn't I just see a picture of you and Jeremy in a pumpkin patch??? Perfect timing πŸ™‚ Can't wait to see your pick this week. Sorry I'm behind in visiting and commenting – I ended up going to Boston yesterday so no work at all got done! πŸ™‚

  21. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Susanna…we are less than an hour from Boston! I know there is a meeting between us somewhere in the not-to-distant future.:)

  22. Janet Johnson says:

    This sounds like the perfect book for October! I must find this one. Thanks for always sharing such great books. πŸ™‚

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