Lucy Ruth Cummins

Book - 2018

A stemless pumpkin that yearns to be a Halloween jack-o-lantern watches sadly as all of the other pumpkins in the shop are chosen.

Saved in:

Children's Room Show me where

0 / 3 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room j394.2646/Cummins Due Oct 10, 2023
Children's Room j394.2646/Cummins Due Oct 15, 2023
Children's Room j394.2646/Cummins Due Oct 12, 2023
Picture books
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers [2018]
First edition
Physical Description
48 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Ages 4-8.
Main Author
Lucy Ruth Cummins (author)
Review by Booklist Review

As orange as . . . a traffic cone! As big as a basketball! Round! Nearly perfect! BUT it sports only a stump, not a stem. Poor little Stumpkin. As days pass, customers buy every pumpkin on the store's shelf, confusing a scurrying black cat. Flash over to the black and gray buildings of the city: most windows have jack-o-lanterns displayed. When all the others are sold, only Stumpkin remains, dejected and unwanted, while the puzzled cat takes up a seat next to it. On Halloween eve, the shopkeeper scoops up the stemless pumpkin. The next pages are totally black. Is Stumpkin gone forever? No! White triangles appear on the next two spreads and eureka! Stumpkin the jack-o-lantern sits in the shop's window with its cat friend. Gouache, pencil, ink, and brush marker illustrate each double-page spread in black, gray, and orange, while people and objects appear as black silhouettes against white backgrounds, highlighting the orange pumpkins' expressive faces. Clear pictures and simple text pack an emotional punch for the revitalized misfit.--Gepson, Lolly Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Stumpkin is a beautiful pumpkin, "as orange as... an orange! As big as a basketball! Round!" All he lacks is a stem-but people want stems on their Halloween jack-o'-lanterns. Cummins (A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals) paints Stumpkin looking concerned as, one by one, the other pumpkins are bought, carved, and displayed in apartment windows facing the store. Even the warty gourd gets bought. Stumpkin's philosophical attitude softens the sting ("'The gourd?' thought Stumpkin, 'I guess that's that'"), and the portrayal of buyers as silhouettes helps, too-readers don't see the customers' faces or hear what they say. Stories about being left behind usually include just enough distress to set the stage, but here the ordeal continues for many pages, heightening the story's stakes as Halloween looms large. Amid the black-stroked subway signs and storefronts of a cozy Brooklyn block, Stumpkin survives his ordeal, and a final, brilliantly inventive visual sequence reveals what it's like to be a jack-o'-lantern from the inside out. Ages 4-8. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-What does every self-respecting pumpkin aspire to be? A jack o' lantern, of course. Stumpkin is big and round and "-orange as a traffic cone"; he's full of -promise, except for one minor flaw-he has no stem. Still, as Halloween approaches, he sits expectantly on his shelf outside a bodega waiting for someone to take him home, carve him up, and place him in their window. One by one, the windows in the building across the street fill up with smiling jack o' lanterns as the number of pumpkins on display in front of his shop dwindles. Finally, "Two were left on the shopkeeper's shelf. A boy came. And when the boy left.Stumpkin remained. The gourd?? Thought Stumpkin. I guess that's that." What will become of this poor, stemless pumpkin? After a tense few pages featuring a prominent trash can, a spread of pure black and some mysterious triangles, the shopkeeper comes up with the perfect solution. The illustrations, rendered in gouache, pencil, ink, and brush marker, feature a palette of black, white, orange, and a touch of green, while the people are all represented in black silhouette. Baby carriages, dogs on leashes, subway stations, streetlights, and fire hydrants capture a busy urban neighborhood. -VERDICT A perfect holiday read-aloud for city kids and -country dwellers as well.-Barbara Auerbach, -formerly at New York City Public Schools © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Horn Book Review

As, one by one, his fellows (even the gourd!) at a big-city neighborhood market are sold, a stemless pumpkin worries that nobody will appreciate his many other jack-o'-lantern-worthy qualities. Warm, gently funny text and friendly mixed-media illustrations leave no question that everything will work out for the insecure but lovable pumpkin. Orange and green accents pop amid the muted setting on creamy paper. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

A stemless pumpkin who isn't chosen gets the best Halloween of all. On the shelves outside a shop in a busy city, a shopkeeper makes a display of orange pumpkins and a single yellow gourd. They are all sizes and shapes and have lovely stems, save for one. Poor Stumpkin worries that, despite his good qualities, his stemlessness will prevent him from becoming a jack-o'-lantern like all the other pumpkins that go home with customers to decorate the windows across the street. On Halloween night, he alone is left (even the gourd went home with someone!). So the shopkeeper scoops him up. The spreads that follow are marvelous, wordless creations that will delight young readers: A black spread is followed by one with an orange-rimmed white triangle on the verso, then one with similar triangles on both pages. "Stumpkin wouldn't be getting a window. And he wouldn't be getting a new home. // He already had a home." The final page shows Stumpkin as a jack-o'-lantern back on the shelves with the shopkeeper's friendly black cat. Though undoubtedly feel-good, the book may leave readers wondering exactly what it's saying about Stumpkin's physical irregularityis it some kind of disability metaphor? The city sights, people, and animals other than the cat are all black silhouettes, keeping the focus on Stumpkin. Kids may choose differently at the pumpkin patch after reading this tale, though any deeper message may be lost on them. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.