cover image Pumpkin Countdown

Pumpkin Countdown

Joan Holub, illus. by Jan Smith. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-6660-2

A class of children who are prone to speaking in rhyme visit the pumpkin patch in a story that counts down from 20— and presents multiple counting opportunities on each page. Throughout, Holub rhymes the characters’ lines with their names (“ ‘Eighteen kids get on our bus,’ says Russ.... ‘Look! Fifteen Pumpkin Street,’ reads Pete”). Smith’s brightly colored paintings fill the pages with activity and objects to count: 13 diverse types of pumpkins sit in a row as the children approach the farm, and a corn maze features 10 scarecrows (in addition to the 20 students trying to find their way out). It’s a lively portrait of pumpkin-picking season, whose educational value is boosted by assorted facts about pumpkins that appear on the endpapers. Ages 4–7. (July)