Too Many Pumpkins
by Linda White & Megan Lloyd

Rebecca Estelle had to eat too many pumpkins when she was growing up because her family was very poor. Now, as an adult, she hates pumpkins and never wants to see a pumpkin ever again.

Then one day, when a truck overloaded with pumpkins drives by her house and drops a pumpkin in her yard (the illustration shown above), Estelle is beside herself. 

She determines that she won't touch it, won't even look at it. She'll just cover it with dirt and never think about it again. Imagine her surprise the next fall when her yard is full with pumpkins!  What will she do?

This is a fun book to read during the autumn and is also helpful when teaching about plants and seeds to young children. And, of course, it makes for a great Halloween book.

In fact, School Library Journal ended it's review of the book by calling it "an ideal harvest/Halloween read-aloud."  And funny thing...Booklist and Kirkus ended their reviews with almost the exact same sentence! (Kirkus: "A fine harvest and Halloween story." / Booklist: "An excellent fall read-aloud.")

Too Many Pumpkins Reading Levels

Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 2
Grade Level Equivalent:   3.9
DRA Level:  20
Lexile Measure:  770L
Guided Reading Levels:   L

See Inside Too Many Pumpkins

Below is a spread from inside the book, shown here to give you an idea of the illustration style and a rough idea of the amount of text per spread. This spread takes place immediately after Rebecca Estelle sees a pumpkin fall out of a truck and into her yard. Since she hates pumpkins, she says: 'Well, I won't touch it," Rebecca Estelle insisted, getting her shovel from the barn. / "And I won't look at it," she added as she shoveled dirt on top of the pumpkin pieces. / "I won't think about that pumpkin ever again," she declared. And she didn't, until..."

Too Many Pumpkins Activity

Immediately after reading the book, we do a fun, hands-on "pumpkin investigation."  To do this, you will need to have each child bring in a pumpkin, or somehow get a class set (without breaking the bank!) Then, spread them all out around you before reading this book. It makes the "too many pumpkins" storyline come to life. :)

Then, we do this super fun pumpkin activity that has kids weighing pumpkins, counting the pumpkins' lines, seeing if the pumpkins will float or get moved by a stream of air from a hair dryer...

Each child gets their own little booklet to fill out about what they discover about their own pumpkin.  We found this activity on teacher Cara Carroll's teaching blog, The First Grade Parade.  You can find the write up and print out here:  pumpkin-themed classroom activity   We do the activity essentially the way she describes, except we don't cut into the pumpkins like she does (because we promise parents that the pumpkin will get sent back home in tact).

(We definitely recommend you buy the $3 Teachers-Pay-Teachers packet that she is selling!  It's the booklet mentioned above, and it helps provide structure to the activity).

If you are looking for a book about pumpkins, there's TON of them!  Makes sense... kids love all things Halloween, including pumpkins!  To see more pumpkin books at Amazon, click the images below or click here.