cover image Rotten Pumpkin: A Rotten Tale in 15 Voices

Rotten Pumpkin: A Rotten Tale in 15 Voices

David M. Schwartz, photos by Dwight Kuhn. Creston (PGW, dist.), $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-939547-03-3

What’s scarier than a grinning jack-o’-lantern? How about what happens to it after Halloween? Schwartz’s upbeat prose poems are written from the perspectives of 15 scavengers, insects, and molds that aid in a gourd’s decomposition, which Kuhn captures in gruesomely vivid photographs. As the pumpkin transforms from a crisp orange specimen to a blackened, sunken puddle of mush, the speakers include a mouse, “black rot” mold, and a fly (“You’re gonna love hearing how I eat. I vomit on the pumpkin flesh. My vomit dissolves pumpkin nutrients so I can lap them up”). The inventive concept combines a Halloween theme with science that readers can easily replicate—if they have the stomach for it. Ages 4–12. (July)