Cover image for Pumpkin shivaree
Pumpkin shivaree
Agran, Rick.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Brooklyn, N.Y. : Handprint Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 32 cm
A pumpkin tells its life story, from seed to flower to jack-o-lantern and back to seed again.
General Note:
Adapted from the poem, "Shivaree, " in collection, Crow milk, published by Oyster River Press, Durham, N.H. in 1997.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.6 0.5 75637.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Childrens Area-Holiday

On Order



In the spring, a small silver seed is planted in the garden. By fall, it's a full-grown pumpkin on a long vine. The careful and accurate depiction of the development of a pumpkin - from seed to sprout to flower to fruit - is followed by a description of a wonderfully raucous Halloween romp so full of life and fun that the reader feels like the guest of honor!
The lyrical text by poet Rick Agran provides the perfect basis for Sara Anderson's clear, colorful cut-paper art, also used to brilliant effect in Hey Diddle Diddle, A Felt Read-And-Play Book . Pumpkin Shivaree brings to young readers not only solid information and the sense of a rollicking good party, but it also helps to convey the excitement that is generated over and over by Halloween, one of children's favorite holidays.

Author Notes

Rick Agran lives on the edge of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. He has taught writing courses for artists all over New England. Garrison Keillor first read the poem "Shivaree" from Rick Agran's Crow Milk poetry collection on Public Radio Internationa

Sara Anderson is a versatile designer and children's illustrator. Alongside her work on children's books, she has also designed fabric, ceramics, and furniture for clients as diverse as MoMA and Crate and Barrel from her studio in Seattle. Her previous boo

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Halting phrases and clunky illustrations compromise this cycle-of-life story in which a pumpkin narrator goes from sprout to compost. After "Bugs and bees pollinate. Pistil and stamen. Flower then fruit," harvest time arrives ("She's pulling my slippy/ slurpy insides out./ Warm hands./ My tummy feels funny"). The carved pumpkin waxes philosophic as costumed revelers gather: "Three lives I've had,/ .../ silver seed, little pumpkin, jack-o'-lantern./ .../ Tonight we are all someone new." With their unmediated, high-voltage colors, Anderson's (Hey Diddle Diddle) paper collages seem mismatched with Agran's (Crow Milk) personified account of passing seasons. Brown and Egielski's Fierce Yellow Pumpkin (reviewed above) follows much the same plot but with more childlike glee. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-The art stars in this seasonal mood piece, while the overweening poetics of the narrative meander like a pumpkin vine. "I started as a little silver seed," begins the oft-told life-cycle story, and, as is expected, it is a silver seed that survives the frenzy of Halloween and its aftermath, promising another season of pumpkins to come. Anderson's palette of brilliant greens, glowing oranges, purples, and blues seems borrowed from Matisse for the occasion, and her cut-paper art is similarly inspired, appropriately autumnal and rustic. The pictures are eloquent on their own. The text includes upsets such as the hapless pumpkin's persecution by fauna and weather, and its disturbingly gruesome evisceration, described in the victim's voice: "she thumps my belly like a baby drum.opens her jack-o'-lantern knife. pulling my slippy slurpy insides out. Warm hands." Fresh copies of such storytime standards as Jeanne Titherington's Pumpkin, Pumpkin (Greenwillow, 1986), George Levenson's Pumpkin Circle (Tricycle, 1999), or Will Hubbell's Pumpkin Jack (Albert Whitman, 2000) may be preferred.-Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Old Greenwich, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.