Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pumped Up Pumpkins: How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow? by Wendell Minor


Well, if you can get your heavyweight pumpkin from farm to fair site, there are some grand pumpkin festivals afoot in the fall.  With some of these ginormous gourds weighing in at over 2000 pounds, that's a lot of pumpkin pies and pumpkin lattes in the raw, so to speak.

One big festival even features a regatta of kids paddling boats carved from ginormous pumpkins, across a lake.

But this is a big country, with some BIG famous places. Could a giant pumpkin add something special to those sites?

In author Wendell Minor's imaginative geographical fantasy, How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow? (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2013), there are many famous landmarks that might profit from a really big pumpkin to add to the attraction.

And at this point Minor dons his artist's beret and lets his imagination loose.  How about a huge, brightly-lighted pumpkin head helping the famous North Carolina lighthouse light the night? Maybe a gigantic pumpkin would feel right at home next to the Capitol dome? Or consider a humongous pumpkin smiling at at a rocket on the launching pad at Cape Canaveral, or perhaps one resting solidly on the Brooklyn Bridge.  A very, very large pumpkin could even cut the world's tallest roller coaster, Kingda Ka in New Jersey, right down to size.

From filling up the Grand Canyon to filling in for a president at Mt. Rushmore, there is a giant pumpkin for  every landmark, or at least fourteen of them, all of which have thumbnail photos and information entries in the appendix in Minor's see-the-USA tour. Vivid full-bleed illustrations combine our most popular seasonal vegetable with a tour of America's scenic places, making How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow? a triple-threat book which combines two civil holidays and fourteen public places in one handy picture book. Booklist's reviewer says, "Minor’s watercolor-and-gouache paintings are well composed, richly colored, and (best of all) just plain fun. With a text that asks leading questions, this picture book makes a fine, imaginative read-aloud choice.”

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