How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow? – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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Jacket How Big Could Your Pumpkin GrowTitle: How BIG Could You Grow Your Pumpkin?

By Wendell Minor

Published by Nancy Paulson Books, 2013

Ages: 2-5

Themes: pumpkins, monuments,  USA history,

Opening Lines: 

At the pumkin farm, we pick the perfect pumpkin.                                                             Some are little,                                                                                                                  some are big,                                                                                                                      and some are GIANT-sized.


This is a festive fall concept book for preschoolers. This is a celebratory and creative book about the pumpkin its folkloric evolution and its potential! Giant pumpkins have become the norm at country fairs. Who knew? I certainly didn’t, that the latest trend is to carve out this giant gourds into racing boats to be paddled across country ponds! But Wendell Minor doesn’t want the reader to be limited by present uses of the humble pumpkin, he exhorts children to stretch their imaginations and come up, along with Wendell, with some humungous ideas for ginormous pumpkins set in famous locations across the United States. A bulbous pumpkin lantern competes with a Carolina lighthouse. A jumbo cowboy pumpkin sprouts up amongst the Texan oil wells. The pumpkin grows bigger and bigger with each page until, well, you’ll need to buy the book to see!

Why I like this book:

Wendell Minor dedicates this book to “Young pumpkin lovers who dream big,” For a book aimed at preschoolers, I find it has great depth as well as splendidly rich autumnal scenes.  A pumpkin is a perennial favorite at this time of year in the classroom and this flight of the imagination takes readers to well-known locations such as The Grand Canyon and the Capitol Dome, and to the local pumpkin festival and roller coaster. There are a plethora of synonyms for BIG, which children will love to learn and add to and they will discover a sense of outlandish scale as these immense pumpkins dot landscapes familiar to them. 
As you will have read in the interview I did with Wendell Minor on my blog this week, he does in-depth research as both an author and illustrator of picture books. This is no exception and a double page spread of the facts and locations linked to his imaginings in this story, provide cool facts for children.


Book Trailer.

This lends itself naturally to an art activity where the children illustrate their own outsized pumpkin in some local or distant location!

See how many synonyms for big the class/child can come up with.

I personally would love to visit a New England Pumpkin Regatta. Anyone who does, please post photos for us!

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

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8 Responses to How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow? – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Julie says:

    Smashing pick! We just brought home a bunch yesterday.

  2. Out of all of the Halloween books I’ve seen, this one is my favorite. You just want to grab it off the shelf and hug it. The cover is beautiful! But, I especially how he engages young minds to think outside of the box in the ways a gigantic pumpkin can be used. Liked the book trailer.

  3. I know they have contests in New Hampshire for the biggest pumpkin grown each year. A friend of mine won this year, and the pumpkin was hundreds of pounds! Amazing!

  4. Sounds super, Joanna. This would be great for carving ideas for the pumpkin competition.

  5. Cathy says:

    Oh, we just missed the regatta in Damariscotta Maine!
    We could have met Hazel for lunch, toured the alewife smokehouse. 🙂

    Cute book concept, and nice review.

  6. Erik - This Kid Reivews Books says:

    What a cool book! I am always amazed at HUGE pumpkins. It is incredible how big they can get! I like the idea that the pumpkins appear in different places around the country. 🙂

  7. Bobbi Miller says:

    Wendell Minor is such a national treasure. This is one of my favorite books of his (although, I tend to say that of all his books).

  8. I missed this when it was posted. ‘Glad I noticed it now.Thanks!

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