Runaway Pumpkins, by Teresa Bateman/Illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman, (Aug. 2020, Charlesbridge), $16.99, ISBN: 978-1580896818
A school trip to the pumpkin patch goes awry when all but one of the pumpkins fall through a loose hatch… but the townspeople and the kids are determined to look at the bright side in this sweet Fall story, originally released in 2018. The story, written in rhyming verse, captures the excitement of a class trip, including the bouncing bus and the excited kids. The illustrations capture the crisp Fall feeling, with orange, yellow, and occasionally, green trees and a darkening blue Fall sky. Kids imagine creating all sorts of jack-o-lanterns with their pumpkins in an amusing spread, with all sorts of pumpkin faces and the children dreaming them up. When the escaped pumpkins are discovered, the kids salvage the remaining pumpkin and focus their attention on it, while the townspeople who’ve discovered the broken, banged up pumpkins in their yards decide to show kindness to the children, and surprise them with a veritable pumpkin feast at the harvest fair. Kids look on in hungry astonishment at pumpkin soup, pie, even ice cream and barbecue, earning the cutest line in the book, “Our pumpkins are back, but they came in disguise!” A recipe for caramel frosted pumpkin cookies at the end lets readers and their grownups experience some of the fun.
A fun Fall readaloud for preschoolers and Kindergarteners, have plenty of pumpkin coloring sheets ready. There are some great ones on The Spruce Crafts and First Palette, and Education.com has some really great activities, including a dress-up pumpkin and paper bag Jack-o-Lantern.