cover image Runaway Pumpkins

Runaway Pumpkins

Teresa Bateman, illus. by Stephanie Fizer Coleman. Charlesbridge, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58089-681-8

A class field trip to the local pumpkin patch has an unexpected—and tasty—ending in this seasonal romp. Once their bus unloads at a farm, “Students run and point and call./ It’s turned into a free-for-all!” Their carefully selected squashes loaded into the bus’s lower storage bins, the excited children scamper on board for the bouncy ride back to school, visions of jack-o’-lanterns in their heads. But unbeknownst to the passengers, “latches holding hatches tight/ were almost fastened,/ but not quite,” leaving the prized pumpkins crash-landed in a quiet cul-de-sac. Bewildered but undaunted, kids and teachers jointly decorate the lone large remaining pumpkin and take it to the harvest fair, where the mystery of their disappearing pumpkins is solved in delicious fashion. Coleman employs a spectrum of evocative autumn colors in cheerful illustrations, and Bateman’s jaunty rhymes help convey the crisp air of a festive fall day. Ages 3–7. [em](Aug.) [/em]