cover image The Ugly Pumpkin

The Ugly Pumpkin

Dave Horowitz, . . Putnam, $15.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-399-24267-0

Pumpkin pickers pooh-pooh the orange, barbell-shaped "ugly pumpkin" in October. Fortunately, November brings the lonesome veggie some new friends and an epiphany ("O my gosh/ I'm a squash"). Horowitz's (Soon, Baboon, Soon ) mixed-media illustrations of the gawky hero—who stands on Mr. Peanut legs, in elfin booties—are a trifle awkward, but expressive hand-lettered pages convey strong emotions. This seasonal entry ends with an unexpected "Happy Thanksgiving!" Ages 4-up. (Aug.)