Jack-o’-lanterns are imagined in all different shapes and styles celebrating Halloween.
“October is here. It’s time to pick a pumpkin! / On Halloween, every pumpkin becomes a pumpkin head,” the story begins, each double-page spread showing uniquely carved faces and fanciful arrangements. Each sentence or two of text describes the illustration opposite simply and without much flair, but its straightforwardness really doesn’t matter. Minor’s illustrations are stunning, speaking for themselves. Some are haunting, like the impressively realistic deer skull, shadows cast by the antlers at play on the wall, a grimacing pumpkin perched on top. Others evoke quintessential autumnal feelings, like the clapboard-sided house decked out with pumpkins, a wide full moon set behind it, bats fluttering by. Details abound: Individual blades of grass look caught midbreeze; misty gray clouds form a backdrop for tiny tombstones; nail heads are visible in the split of wood grain around a window. The illustrations read spooky rather than cute but are nevertheless still age appropriate. A pale silhouette of a jack-o’-lantern floats behind each block or line of text, a nice touch that adds depth without detracting from the focal illustration. Truly, grab this one just to linger over the incredible art on each page.
The spooky realism of the illustrations will make this an instant Halloween favorite.
♦ The Halloween season brings with it pumpkins that will eventually become pumpkin heads of all shapes and sizes. They appear se pumpkin heads everywhere, even floating in the sky. They like to play dress up, and you might find one pretending to be a cowboy or a snowman or even a witch! Some of the pumpkins have jobs like scaring crows away or greeting trick-or-treaters. Wherever they’re found, they wish visitors a happy Halloween. The illustrations are the star of this work. Gouache watercolors highlight the different types of pumpkin heads and their unique facial expressions. Readers will love looking at the pumpkins and might even gain inspiration for their own seasonal pumpkin carvings. A dark and autumnal palette perfectly captures the mood of the Halloween season. Striking, detailed art and the simple sentence structure makes this a great read-aloud or a possible solo read for emerging readers. VERDICT Gorgeous artwork and pumpkin heads abound in apicture book that’s sure to entertain children, especially fans of the season.
—School Library Journal, starred review