This summer, to our delight, we found a treasure in our backyard. The treasure did not come in a golden box or buried bag. No, it came in the form of a small, green sprout. Our son discovered the first one, and we put a marker next to the tiny, delicate green leaves so we wouldn’t mow over it. Soon, one sprout became many, and we were certain that it was indeed a much desired pumpkin plant. The treasure multiplied, and the process of watching it grow has been delightful. Although our plant came by “accident” from the seeds gutting from our pumpkin last fall, Pumpkin Cat, shares a step-by-step plan for how to intentionally grow these treasures. Get out your shovel and dig into this adorable book.
Introducing Today’s Featured Friend: Pumpkin Cat
by Anne Mortimer
One morning in May, Cat wondered,
“How do pumpkins grow?”
“I know,” said Mouse.
“And I will show you how.”
As a team, Cat and Mouse worked together in their little garden. First, the flowerpots. Then, the soil. Cat used her claws to put holes in the soil and mouse planted the seeds. Next, the watering can, and then ten days later, two green leaves came up in each pot!
Together Cat and Mouse planted the seedlings outside and in a few weeks, “there were lots of big, prickly leaves and big, yellow, papery flowers covered in pollen.” By midsummer, the little fuzzy green pumpkins on each plant brought unwanted visitors: big, black crows.
Cat asked her usual question, “What now?” and Mouse responded, “We need to make a scarecrow.” So they did. By October, their big, orange pumpkins were ready to be picked. As a treat for Cat, Mouse carved a cat face in their pumpkin to wish her a “Happy Halloween!”
Anne Mortimer presents such a creative way to give gardening directions for growing pumpkins, all couched in the growing friendship between Cat and Mouse. Their teamwork makes the how-to method interesting, meaningful and sweet. Mortimer’s strong continuity, relatable themes, and adorable illustrations make this “how-to” book a “must-have”.
Remember to keep this book handy before Halloween as you’ll want to read it again in May to start your pumpkin planting!
Inviting You to Become FRIENDS with Pumpkin Cat:
Feel, Relate, Imagine, Explore, Navigate, Develop, Share
Select a couple of questions and activities to do with your kids or class:
F- How does it make you feel when you work together with a friend on a project?
R- Can you relate more to Cat, asking the questions and learning, or to Mouse, answering questions and teaching. When and what did you teach a friend? When and what did a friend teach you?
I- Imagine you could plant a pumpkin patch anywhere in your yard or even your house and it would grow beautifully: Where would you plant the seeds? Why?
Next, find a place that you can really plant the pumpkin seeds to grow and follow the “Instructions for Growing Pumpkins” at the end of the book!
E- Explore some pumpkin science: littlegiraffes.com/teaching-ideas/333/pumpkin-science-activities-lessons
N- Navigate through 40 pumpkin activities for kids until you find the right one for your family: handsonaswegrow.com
D- Develop a Harvest Sale: Teach your kids how to plan, organize, advertise, bake, and do the math of purchasing and pricing for the sale . . . and most of all, have fun! (I love seeing how their sale expanded from the first weekend to the second as they really got into it!)
S- Share a pumpkin with a friend- carve it, paint it, or even plant a pansy in it!
Illustrations by Anne Mortimer:
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Other Related Blog Posts:
Kidsbook Clip: “April’s Showers May Bring New Flowers . . .”, http://wp.me/p4m4Tu-9i
Planting a Rainbow, “. . . Bring May Flowers”, http://wp.me/p4m4Tu-90
The Curious Garden, “A Curious Way to Go Green”, http://wp.me/p4m4Tu-5l
Mortimer’s First Garden, “Waiting for a Miracle”, http://wp.me/p4m4Tu-51