Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pumpkin Baby


Yolen, Jane. 2009. Pumpkin Baby. Illustrated by Susan Mitchell. Key Porter Kids.

It had to grow on me a little, but by the third time through I had begun to see some charm in Jane Yolen's Pumpkin Baby. Here's how it starts,

When I was three years old,
old enough to know better,
Mama took a ripe pumpkin
from Auntie May's patch of land.
When Auntie May jokes that the mother is "gonna get a baby that way from all those seeds. A pumpkin baby." Our child narrator begins to imagine what a pumpkin baby would look like, be like. We read,

I thought about a pumpkin baby.
Would it be orange on the outside?
Would it be too heavy to pick up,
too round to run and play with me?
Would I,
could I,
ever love a pumpkin child?


Anyway, our story goes on with more instances and imaginings. Our narrator imagines not only a pumpkin baby but a cabbage baby and a stork baby as well. When the narrator finally gets a real baby (a little brother), we see that in a way some of the imaginings were correct. (The baby may not be orange and round, but it is too heavy to pick up and too young to play with, etc.)

This is a book about loving siblings. In this case, a big sister and a little brother.



© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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