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Pumpkins Storytime

We had a short-ish storytime this week due to my illness-ravaged vocal chords. Thanksgiving is coming up, and while I’m not about to trot out the Pilgrims and Indians, I thought the impending pumpkin pie gorge-a-thons were the perfect reason to talk about that most venerable gourd, the pumpkin.

We read:

Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson

Finding fun nonfiction picture books can sometimes be tough, and picture books that use photography instead of illustration often bomb, but this look at the life cycle of a pumpkin is a winner. It’s written in rhyming verse, but it’s loooong for little ones, so I read the verse at the most important parts and just explained other pages. The macro photos are excellent and captivating.

Interactivity factor: Low

Mystery Vine by Cathryn Falwell

Reminiscent of Zoe Hall, this book is about two gardening siblings who wait all through the summer growing season to find out what will come from that mystery vine (spoiler: it’s pumpkins.)

Interactivity factor: Low

Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas

Duck wants to carve a pumpkin, but he winds up falling in and getting stuck! When he asks Cow and Mouse for help, all they see is a pumpkin monster. Silliness ensues.

Interactivity factor: Low if you read it straight, high if you invite the kids to act out the story, which involves a lot of running away.

Flannelboard: Little Fly from last year’s Pie Storytime

Action Rhyme:

Pumpkin Prepositions

The pumpkins are here; the pumpkins are there.
The pumpkins, the pumpkins are everywhere.
The pumpkins are up; the pumpkins are down.
The pumpkins, the pumpkins are all around.
The pumpkins are in; the pumpkins are out.
The pumpkin, the pumpkins are all about.
The pumpkins are low; the pumpkins are high.
The pumpkins, the pumpkins all say, “Good-bye.”
Source: Concord Public Schools
Craft: Inside a Pumpkin
We have a pumpkin die with our Accucut machine, so we used paper pumpkins to make a craft similar to this one at All Kids Network. You can find many different pumpkin crafts online, but this one reinforced the pumpkin life cycle message from Pumpkin Circle.
How It Went
It seems like the storytimes that make me think, “Oh, wow, I hope this isn’t boring to the kids” often tend to go over best. From an adult point of view, a whole storytime about where pumpkins come from seems pretty dull, but preschoolers are still learning how plants work. For them, the idea that different sizes of pumpkin have different sizes of seed is new and surprising. Of course, adding a funny Jan Thomas book always helps, even if it does focus on the more Halloween-y aspect of pumpkins. Actually, many other great pumpkin books exist, but most of them do lean heavily toward the topic of Halloween, so I left them out since we are past this year’s Halloween.
Next week: Nothing! It’s Thanksgiving, so we’ll take the week off from programming. The week after that, Houses and Homes!

One response »

  1. Pingback: Pumpkins Storytime 2014 | Storytime Hooligans

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