cover image How to Help a Pumpkin Grow

How to Help a Pumpkin Grow

Ashley Wolff. Beach Lane, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-1934-5

An anthropomorphic, farm-dwelling dog is an eager pumpkin gardener in this rhyming picture book by Wolff. “Dig it./ Spade it./ Seeds to sow.// Keep seeds warm,/ Protect from snow./ I want to help a pumpkin grow,” the book begins in staccato rhythm. The bandana-wearing dog soon realizes that a seemingly hungry crow merely wants to assist. “You want to help a pumpkin grow?” becomes the refrain, as the dog recruits new animal friends—the crow, a rabbit, duck, and goat—and their diligence helps the pumpkins flourish. Wolff’s richly colored, opaquely textured art, rendered in acrylic gouache, showcases the animals’ cooperation: the rabbit eats weeds, the crow holds the hose in its beak, and more. Set in a farmyard world in which levels of anthropomorphism vary (the dog wears accessories and stands upright while the unclothed goat pulls a cart on four legs), this welcoming tale serves as warm encouragement for collaboration. Ages 4–8. (July)