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Library : Book Reviews > The Biggest...

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever
By
Steven Kroll 
Illustrated By Jeni Bassett

Review by: Deborah Beebe

     This heartwarming seasonal tale is set in a tiny town of mice; it reflects the qualities of nurturing, growth and friendship.
     One day Clayton, a cozy house mouse, discovers a tiny green pumpkin in the garden. Gazing at the green growth, Clayton dreams of it growing really, really big. He ventures on to the excitement of winning the town pumpkin contest with his prized pumpkin!
     Later, that very same day, Desmond, a charming field mouse, comes upon the very same tiny green pumpkin, that had been discovered by Clayton in the garden earlier that day. As Desmond looks at his discovery he thinks perhaps it could grow into the biggest jack - o - lantern in the neighborhood!
      By day Clayton begins to care for the little pumpkin with extra water and fertilizer to ensure for a large pumpkin in the fall. By night, Desmond nurtures the tiny pumpkin with manure and plenty of water. The pumpkin soon begins to grow, and grow, and GROW........ By day, Claytonís family comes to admire the rapidly growing pumpkin with great anticipation and delight! By night, Desmondís family gathers around the great pumpkin in awe of itís growth in such a short amount of time.
      As the summer passes and becomes early fall, Clayton knows that the pumpkin will soon be turning to a yellowish - green color and then to a wonderful pumpkin orange. Clayton also pictures the pumpkin to soon be bigger that his house!
     Soon the nights begin to cool down in mouse town. Clayton, concerned about an early frost decides to cover the pumpkin with blankets to keep it protected. Standing on a mouse ladder, humming a little mouse tune, Clayton begins to cover his beloved pumpkin. Now, Desmond, also foreseeing the signs of an early frost, fills his mouse wagon with all of the blankets he can find. While singing a little mouse song, he begins the task of covering the gigantic pumpkin.
     A short time later, Clayton hears a
noise and stops his humming, at the same time Desmond hears a noise and stops his singing. As each of the mice tip - toe toward the direction of the sound they heard......... BUMP......the two mice bump heads and fall to the ground!
      Laughing, they discover their shared love of the huge pumpkin that they had each cared for since the beginning of summer. Clayton and Desmond decide to share in the excitement of their magnificent pumpkin.
      Did Clayton and Desmond succeed in getting their pumpkin to town for the pumpkin contest?
      To enjoy the charming illustrations that lead to the glowing conclusion of this story, read it to your favorite 3 to 6 year olds this Halloween season.

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