PUMPKIN SHIVAREE

Rick Agran, Author, Sara Anderson, Illustrator , illus. by Sara Anderson. Handprint $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-59354-006-7

Halting phrases and clunky illustrations compromise this cycle-of-life story in which a pumpkin narrator goes from sprout to compost. After "Bugs and bees pollinate. Pistil and stamen. Flower then fruit," harvest time arrives ("She's pulling my slippy/ slurpy insides out./ Warm hands./ My tummy feels funny"). The carved pumpkin waxes philosophic as costumed revelers gather: "Three lives I've had,/ .../ silver seed, little pumpkin, jack-o'-lantern./ .../ Tonight we are all someone new." With their unmediated, high- voltage colors, Anderson's (Hey Diddle Diddle) paper collages seem mismatched with Agran's (Crow Milk) personified account of passing seasons. Brown and Egielski's Fierce Yellow Pumpkin (reviewed above) follows much the same plot but with more childlike glee. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/04/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
Genre: Children's
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