cover image The Happy Pumpkin

The Happy Pumpkin

DK, illus. by MacKenzie Haley. DK Children, $6.99 (16p) ISBN 978-0-7440-3383-0

A round, smiling jack-o’-lantern with red spectacles grows worried as his fellow patch companions—each with a scary visage—get picked on Halloween. But in being himself, the friendly-faced pumpkin is in for a wonderful surprise. A contrasting font emphasizes certain descriptors, and enthusiastic speech bubbles (“My eyes are so scary!”) add interest to the simply worded text (“Who wanted a happy pumpkin for Halloween?”). A warm autumnal palette highlights gently expressive characters, including people with differing skin tones. Perhaps unusually, everyone in town does their pumpkin shopping at the last minute, and all the pumpkins “still waiting in the field” already sport carved faces, but the board book’s message is still worth imparting: “We always shine our brightest when we are just who we are.” Ages up to 3. (Aug.)