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By: Jacqueline Farmer / Illustrated by: Phyllis Limbacher Tildes

Pumpkins: The world's most versatile fruit.

This Spanish language edition of the popular Pumpkins is sure to please!

People have enjoyed pumpkins for thousands of years. Ancient seeds have been discovered in caves in Mexico. Native Americans revered pumpkins as a gift from God. Patuxet chief Squanto taught the Mayflower survivors how to plant pumpkins, helping them survive another winter.

Readers will learn the auspicious history of the pumpkin as well as the many different varieties, how to grow them, nutrition facts, and how to carve pumpkins for scary Halloween decorations.

Also included are stories of pumpkin lore, recipes, pumpkin trivia, and suggested further reading and websites. Young readers will gobble up this fun resource about everyone's favorite fall fruit!

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Jacqueline Farmer, author

Jacqueline Farmer is the author of Bananas! and O Christmas Tree. She lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Read more about Jackie.

Phyllis Limbacher Tildes, illustrator

Phyllis Limbacher Tildes has written and illustrated many books for children, including Animals Black and White and Animals in Camouflage. She lives in Savannah, Georgia.

Read more about Phyllis.

Awards & Honors:


  • Ohio Farm Bureau Award for Children's Literature
  • IRA Children's Book Award Notables


Editorial Reviews:

NSTA Recommends

In Pumpkins, the perennial fall fruit--from red, white, or blue to the Atlantic Giant-is pictured in all its glory. The author identifies the scientific classification of pumpkins and their historical significance. It will be a great reference for elementary teachers, especially those who incorporate "pumpkin science" or "pumpkin math" into their fall curricula.

Students will learn about the life cycle of a pumpkin from carefully planted seed to vine, flower, and fruit. The process is beautifully illustrated, and students will be amazed to learn that a pumpkin is actually a berry.

The author traces the history of the pumpkin back thousands of years, and students will grow to understand their importance as food and medicine in the Americas. Although pumpkins were an essential food source for early American settlers, nine out of ten of today's pumpkins are carved into jack o' lanterns rather than eaten.

The author shares two stories about the origin of carving pumpkins and includes directions for creating a jack o' lantern with an adult's help. There are even recipes for pumpkin-maple pie and toasted pumpkin seeds! Pumpkins is a wonderful resource for an elementary classroom, and I will be sharing it with my class this season. The book may be used as a read-aloud or for independent reading. A list of additional books and websites will provide readers with even more learning opportunties.

School Library Journal

In a conversational style, Farmer relates facts, history, legend, and growing tips about one of the favorite fruits of fall. In addition to the de rigueur instructions on pumpkin carving a (and safety) and seed toasting, the author includes the word for the berry in other languages, a brief list of pumpkin world records, and recommended readings and Web sites. The serviceable watercolor-and-pencil illustrations feature a multicultural cast of bright-eyed, slightly stiff young children; the art is surrounded by plenty of white space. More detailed than Gail Gibbons's The Pumpkin Book (Holiday, 1999) and less poetic than George Levenson's Pumpkin Circle (Tricycle, 2004), this holiday patch of pumpkin facts will find a place in collections looking for material for Halloween and harvest time.

Bay Views

Containing pumpkin lore for primary grades, this will be in demand in October and November, and teachers will find it useful. A solid supplement to Gail Gibbons' The Pumpkin Book (Holiday, 1999) and George Levenson's Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden (Tricycle, 1999), the watercolor and pencil illustrations give this a picture book appearance at first glance. But it is factual, with information on growing pumpkins, the tradition of jack-o-lanterns, recipes, and list of related websites.

Jacqueline Farmer pays tribute to fall's favorite fruit in Pumpkins. Like seeds in the familiar, fat Halloween staple, this book is stuffed with fun facts. Kids learn how to carve their own jack-o-lanterns and that this spooky symbol came out of an Irish folktale about a foolish man and his candle-lit turnip. They can follow a seed from planting to growing to deliciously filling a piecrust (recipe included). They can even call pumpkins by their names in other languages: the Italian zucca, Mexican calabaza, or (my favorite) the Swedish poompa. Watercolors by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes capture the charm and many functions of this popular fruit.

NSTA Reports

In Pumpkins, author Jacqueline Farmer identifies teh scientific classification of pumpkins and their historical significance. K-4 students will learn about the life cycle of a pumpkin from planted seed to vin, flower, and fruit. A list of additional books and web-sites can provide readers with even more learning opportunities. NSTA Recommends reviewer Judy Kraus says that this book is "a great reference for elementary teachers, especially those who incorporate 'pumpkin science' or 'pumpkin math' into their fall curricula."


ISBN: 978-1-57091-558-1

E-book PDF
ISBN: 978-1-60734-325-7
For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Spanish Language Edition
ISBN: 978-1-57091-696-0

Ages: 5-8
Page count: 32
8 1⁄2 x 11

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