The Bumpy Little Pumpkin

Last updated Friday, October 6, 2006

Author: Margery Cuyler
Illustrator: Will Hillenbrand
Date of Publication: 2005
ISBN: 0439528356
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2006

Synopsis: From School Library Journal: It's Halloween, and the three siblings are looking for pumpkins to carve into jack-o'-lanterns. Little Nell's selection is deemed too small and ugly by her sisters. Not to be deterred, Little Nell enlists the help of Reindeer, Hare, and Bear Cub and creates a special jack-o'-lantern that can proudly take its place on the porch. As BIG Mama says, Jack-o'-lanterns come in all shapes and sizes! Reminiscent of Charlie Brown's devotion to his scraggly Christmas tree, Little Nell's story is just as satisfying, stressing the worth of a child's handiwork and the value of creating.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you have older brothers and sisters? Do they tell you what to do? Do you like it and do you listen?
•  Have you ever been to a pumpkin patch or seen a big group of pumpkins? Were they all the same shape and size or was each different?
•  Have you ever carved a pumpkin?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What is an ?opposite?? What is the opposite of big? What is the opposite of skinny? What is the opposite of smooth?
•  How do Nell?s sisters talk to her? How does it make Nell feel?
•  Was the pumpkin ugly to everyone?
•  How do Nell?s friends talk to her? How does it make Nell feel?

Craft ideas:
•  Make your own size pumpkin using a paper lunch bag and newspaper. Draw a pumpkin face on the lunch bag. Fill the lunch bag with crumpled newspaper to your desired size/shape. Tie the top of the lunch bag with string. Lunch bags, newspaper and string provided.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!