This is the third in the terrific In the Garden series of nature stories featuring a small boy and girl. In this book they plant a seed to grow a pumpkin for Halloween and anxiously watch for signs of growth. Things go well initially with root and shoot emerging, but before long the children start growing impatient. Will its fruit be ripe and ready in time for the celebration? Youngsters, like the two characters, can follow the squash’s growth through the summer when there’s an abundance of flowers and bees, butterflies and other insects visit the vine’s bright yellow blooms.
Eventually after weeks and weeks, almost all the flowers die off, but at the base of one female flower, the children spy a small green swelling. Not a pumpkin but a potential one. To their delight the fruit swells, absorbing both water and sunshine, but it’s a fair while before it starts to change from green, to first yellowy and then – joy of joys – that bright orange of ripeness. Harvest time at last! Just in time for Halloween – hurrah!
Beautifully illustrated, with just the right amount of detail in both words and pictures for pre-schoolers. Slightly older children will be able to try reading it for themselves; and I’m certain that both listeners and readers alike will be eager to try growing their own pumpkin seeds.