Pumpkin Cat

Anne Mortimer
HarperCollins (2011)
ISBN 9780061874857

Reviewed by Madison Schlarman (age 5) and Mom for Reader Views (9/11)

Early one May morning, Cat wanted to know how to grow a pumpkin.  Mouse was happy to show him and started by collecting some flowerpots and adding soil. With each new step Cat asks “What now?”  Mouse happily shows him each step in the process as the seasons change and they watch the pumpkins grow from seed to full form, ready to pick and carve.  In a gardening story between unlikely friends, children are introduced to gardening as well as kindness and the art of working together.

Madison’s Thoughts:

“The cat wanted to know how to make pumpkins grow.  Cat found some pots.  He ‘digged’ in the soil and planted some seed and found little leaves that came up.  Crows came to eat the pumpkins so they made scarecrows so they wouldn’t come.  The pumpkins were little green things that grew and grew and grew into large orange pumpkins that they picked and made into jack-o-lanterns.  It was happy.  I liked it.  I like learning how things grow.  I would want to grow a pumpkin.”

Mom’s Thoughts:

“Pumpkin Cat” is a laid back, easy going story that teaches children how pumpkins grow and engages them in the process and steps it takes to make them grow.  For someone who is not a gardener, this book was interesting and understandable for all of us.  The kids were able to learn the process of planting, attending and growing a pumpkin.  It also teaches patience as they wait and kindness.  Since everyone knows cats and mice don’t get along, the book teaches acceptance to those who are different or who we may not like.  I was able to explain to my daughters the lesson of working together, even if we don’t necessarily get along with others.   Though this book is low key and quiet, it is educational and informative.  I love to read it to my girls before bed.  It is calm and relaxing yet interesting.  I would recommend “Pumpkin Cat” by Anne Mortimer.


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