Too Many Pumpkins: 04/13/11
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White was one of my wishlist books, and a rare picture book to have made it on the list. I typically only add longer books to the list. The how and why of this book being on the list is beyond my memory, but I'm glad it was.
The book opens with Rebecca Estelle gardening and watching with disdain as the pumpkin truck rumbles by. She detests pumpkins from her childhood where for a month she and her family had been forced to eating nothing but pumpkin dishes when money was tight. Things go amiss when a large pumpkin rolls off the truck and smashes to pieces at the side of Rebecca's yard.
My children and I know from experience just how easily pumpkins can grow. We had one take root in our composter one year and spread pumpkin vines all over our balcony garden. We even got a couple tiny pumpkins for all its effort.
So immediately both kids could guess where the story was going. Rebecca Estelle having a nice yard and garden has unwittingly provided the perfect place for a wayward pumpkin to take root. Everything she does to avoid having pumpkins grow in her yard only makes things "worse."
In the end Rebecca Estelle learns to come to terms with pumpkins, though she still doesn't want to eat them. They do, however, provide a way for her to reconnect with her community.
The illustrations that accompany the story are wonderful and take the "too many" to its logical extremes. There are pumpkins in a rocking chair, on the porch, and in all sorts of other unusual places. It's worth stopping to take it all in and to talk about all the places pumpkins could end up growing.