Hello again! Hope everyone is getting geared up for the most wonderful time of the year! Halloween! For this entry I’ve selected a wonderfully illustrated tale about The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz.
“I am the ugly pumpkin, as you can plainly see. Of one hundred thousand pumpkins, none are quite like me.” And so begins this tale of a pumpkin who is trying to find a home, but no one will take him in. Everyone wants the other pumpkins in the patch, not a skinny pumpkin who is so sad. This “ugly pumpkin” travels through the month of October into November, and just as he thinks things can’t get any worse, a sudden discovery shows him that he has been wrong all along. He is not what he thinks he is. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, you’ll have to read the book to figure out what the “ugly pumpkin” really is! Think “The Ugly Duckling” for gourds.
This wonderfully written book is all in rhyme. You can feel the angst and worry of this pumpkin as he keeps hoping that someone will take him home and make a proper pumpkin out of him. The prose really give this pumpkin his character, they are a separate entity to the illustrations.
The illustrations, themselves, are stand alone artworks. They are beautifully done in (mostly) primary colors. The changing of the seasons is beautifully depicted as well as the close-ups of the pumpkin during his lowest and highest hours. I love the subtleties of the ugly pumpkin, once he realizes (and the reader realizes) what he is. It is fun to go back through the book and really look at the pumpkin. You will wonder how you missed it all!
A fun tale to read out loud, particularly for older elementary school children. Younger children may not get the subtle difference between what the ugly pumpkin actually is compared to what he thinks he is. I hope you understood all of this, just like the book it will probably make more sense once you read The Ugly Pumpkin.
Author: Dave Horowitz
Age: 2nd-5th Grade (younger children may not understand some of the subtleties in this work).
Publisher: Puffin Books, New York, New York