cover image Pumpkin Magic

Pumpkin Magic

Ed Masessa, illus. by Nate Wragg. Cartwheel, $6.99 paper (32p) ISBN 978-1-338-56332-0

After “moonbeam magic lights a spark,” a front porch jack-o’-lantern leaps to life and dashes to a field filled with pumpkins that, likewise suddenly animated, begin to cavort gleefully. Spunky rhymed couplets by Masessa and luminescent cartoons by Wragg spotlight their boisterous antics, including spitting pumpkin seeds at bull’s-eyes (“Seeds are flying, targets hit./ How far can a pumpkin spit?”) and tossing messy concoctions (“Goopy mud pies taking flight./ Naughty pumpkins shout ‘Food fight!’ ”). Readers meet some outlandish jack-o’-lanterns: one wears underpants, one has five eyes, and another sports a cascading beard. At daybreak, the pumpkins parade back to the tale’s opening setting, each perching on a porch to wait patiently for the next evening, when “the moonbeams shine just right...// And pumpkins romp all through the night.” This slim but energetic caper will tickle fans of Snowmen at Night. Ages 3–5. (July)