Pumpkin Town

Pumpkin town: or nothing is better and worse than pumpkins by Katie McKy, illustrated by Pablo Bernasconi.

Jose and his family grew pumpkins of all sizes.  They would take the pumpkins to market to sell, but the best pumpkins would be saved for seeds.  Then the worst of the seeds were dumped over the hill and forgotten about.  But the seeds landed on the town at the bottom of the hill, falling into straw roofs, gardens and flower pots.  And then they did what seeds tend to do, they grew.  The townfolks have no idea what to do about all of the pumpkins that they find themselves surrounded by, but when Jack looks down at the very orange town from the top of the hill, he knows just what to do. 

This is a perfect fall tale that will have children anticipating the amusement to come as the seeds fall down on the town.  The illustrations are modern collages of clipped images, fabrics, and wild hair that lend even more excitement to the story. The twist at the end is marvelous fun, and will have children asking for teachers, librarians or parents to read it all over again.  Exactly what we all want in a picture book.

This book will be welcomed in schools where a pure autumnal harvest tale is more acceptable than Halloween stories.  It may be a little long for preschoolers, but older children in Kindergarten and first grade will appreciate the humor and illustrations more anyway. 

More Time Spent with Today's Children

The New York Times has a surprising story: Married and Single Parents Spending More Time With Children, Study Finds, that shows that today’s parents may work more outside of the home, but they spend more time with their children than any other time in the last 40 years!
I post this here, because though our lives may be busier, we still see families making time to bring small children into the public library. My concern is that when those children enter school, the public library becomes less of a destination for the family. Now that we know that parents are spending more time with their children, not less, we can start to focus more on how to draw those families in.
How do we remain a destination for elementary age children? We know that we have the materials that interest them. We know that when they come through the doors we can lead them right to books that will wow them. But how do we get them through those doors, and more importantly, how do we get their parents to spend their precious time with their children AT THE LIBRARY?