October 07, 2019

Pumpkin Orange, Pumpkin Round

Written by Rosanna Battigelli
Illustrated by Tara Anderson
Pajama Press
978-1-77278-092-5
24 pp.
Ages 3-6
September 2019

Get ready for some Halloween festivities with Pumpkin Orange, Pumpkin Round and engage young children in the Halloween holiday with only the fun and delight, and none of the fear or creepiness so pervasive in the celebrations of older trick-or-treaters.

Whether you're a parent or teacher, you'll know of the annual October visit to the pumpkin patch to pick out a perfect pumpkin or two for Halloween night.  In lively rhyming verse of two word phrases that always begin with the word "pumpkin", Rosanna Battigelli welcomes the reader to participate in the sensory experience of that pumpkin path visit  and the subsequent carving of the jack-o'-lantern (instructions for "You Can Carve a Jack-o-Lantern Too!" are included on the endpapers), without the travel or the mess.
From Pumpkin Orange, Pumpkin Round by Rosanna Battigelli, illus. by Tara Anderson
From Pumpkin Orange, Pumpkin Round by Rosanna Battigelli, illus. by Tara Anderson
Then, just as so many children will be doing on October 31st, the felines of Pumpkin Orange, Pumpkin Round prepare for their costumed foray into the neighbourhood for a bit of trick-or-treating.
Pumpkin mask,
pumpkin dare,
pumpkin candy,
pumpkin scare!
From Pumpkin Orange, Pumpkin Round by Rosanna Battigelli, illus. by Tara Anderson
Finally they return home to a snack, a story and bed.

So many children love Halloween for the dress-up and the candy but little ones rarely get into the scary aspects of the day and, for those many children, Pumpkin Orange, Pumpkin Round is a perfect holiday read. Its light rhyme will get children repeating the text, first predicting and ultimately reading, with its metrical melody of syllabic fun. Rosanna Battigelli has pitched her first picture book perfectly for the very young, ensuring a fun read that invites them to take on their own reading.

Illustrator Tara Anderson's bio shares that she has cats at home and perhaps that explains why she knows these feline wonders so well, anthropomorphizing them into playful children of diversity. They vary in colour and size, expression and activity and present the enjoyment of a special day spent with family and friends. Her artwork, coloured pencil and acrylic glaze on watercolour paper, emphasizes the bright oranges and complementary purple of the pumpkins and the night, exuding playfulness and caring. Her characters are adorable, the days and night comforting, and the action enthralling.

Young children may not know that costumes and jack-o'-lanterns were originally used to ward off spirits on All Hallows' Eve but they do know the joy of pumpkin picking and carving and dressing up and procuring oodles of candy and, with Rosanna Battigelli and Tara Anderson's picture book, they can do so on many nights before and after October 31st.
From Pumpkin Orange, Pumpkin Round by Rosanna Battigelli, illus. by Tara Anderson

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