Fall is right around the corner, which means there will be pumpkins just about everywhere. Whether you want to share books about the pumpkin life cycle, memorable pumpkin characters, or just want to embrace this season, here are some of my favorite pumpkin books for kids.
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Pumpkin Books for Kids
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?
“How many seeds are in a pumpkin?” Mr. Tiffin asks his class as they gather around the big, medium, and small pumpkins on his desk. Robert, the biggest kid, guesses that the largest one has a million seeds; Elinor, sounding like she knows what she’s talking about, guesses the medium one has 500 seeds; and Anna, who likes even numbers better than odd ones, guesses that the little one has 22. Charlie, the smallest boy in the class, doesn’t have a guess. Counting pumpkin seeds is messy business, but once the slimy job is done, to everyone’s surprise, the smallest pumpkin has the most seeds! As Charlie happily exclaims, “Small things have a lot going on inside of them.“
The first pumpkin Tim ever carved was fierce and funny, and he named it Jack. When Halloween was over and the pumpkin was beginning to rot, Tim set it out in the garden and throughout the weeks he watched it change. By spring, a plant began to grow!
The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin
bOne day in the pumpkin patch the strangest little pumpkin hatched…. Spookley the Square Pumpkin was different. All the other pumpkins teased him, until Spookley proved that being different can save the day!
Grab a free activity to pair with this book here.
Stumpkin is the most handsome pumpkin on the block. He’s as orange as a traffic cone! Twice as round as a basketball! He has no bad side! He’s perfect choice for a Halloween jack-o-lantern. There’s just one problem—Stumpkin has a stump, not a stem. And no one seems to want a stemless jack-o-lantern for their window. As Halloween night approaches, more and more of his fellow pumpkins leave, but poor Stumpkin remains. Will anyone give Stumpkin his chance to shine?
The Ugly Pumpkin
The Ugly Pumpkin has waited all through October for someone to take him home, but no one wants him. He doesn’t look like other pumpkins. So the lonely Ugly Pumpkin leaves the patch in search of a place where he’ll fit in. By the time Thanksgiving arrives, he discovers the truth about who he is–but it’s not what he expected!
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie
booPumpkins! Who can resist the sight of big, round, orange pumpkins ripening in a field? Children piling off school buses to pick one out. Carving out funny faces, smiles, or scary frowns to illuminate Halloween doorsteps. Making room for that last piece of pumpkin pie after a delicious Thanksgiving feast. In this book, pumpkins aren’t just a fruit, they’re a symbol, a scent, a flavor of the entire season.
The Pumpkin Book
In this book, children can learn about the growth cycle and many varieties of pumpkins, and even how to plant their own.
You can find resources to pair with this book here.
Deep in the woods in an old white cabin, three friends make their pumpkin soup the same way every day. The Cat slices up the pumpkin, the Squirrel stirs in the water, and the Duck tips in just enough salt. But one day the Duck wants to stir instead, and then there is a horrible squabble, and he leaves the cabin in a huff. It isn’t long before the Cat and the Squirrel start to worry about him and begin a search for their friend.
One pumpkin makes a tasty pie. Two pumpkins can be carved into grinning jack-o’-lanterns, and a couple hundred more make for a decent pumpkin patch. Gather one thousand pumpkins and you’ll have a grand fall festival. But what happens when a town has an accidental abundance of pumpkins?
The witch has grown the biggest pumpkin ever, and now she wants to make herself a pumpkin pie for Halloween. But the pumpkin is so big she can’t get it off the vine. It’s so big the ghost can’t move it, either. Neither can the vampire, nor the mummy. It looks as if there’ll be no pumpkin pie for Halloween, until along comes the bat with an idea to save the day. How can the tiny bat succeed where bigger and strong spooky creatures have failed? You’ll be surprised!
The Vanishing Pumpkin
bWhen a 700-year-old woman and an 800-year-old man want to make pumpkin pie on Halloween, they can’t find their pumpkin. “Our pumpkin’s been snitched,” cries the woman. And off they go to find it.
Too Many Pumpkins
bRebecca Estelle has hated pumpkins ever since she was a girl when pumpkins were often the only food her family had. When an enormous pumpkin falls off a truck and smashes in her yard, she shovels dirt over the pieces and forgets about them. But those slimy pumpkin smithereens sprout up in autumn, and Rebecca Estelle finds a sea of pumpkins in her garden.
Strega Nona’s Harvest
Strega Nona attempts to teach Big Anthony about gardening and the importance of order. But when Big Anthony does not follow her directions and tries to use her growing spell, his small vegetable patch turns into an unruly jungle! What will they do with all the extra vegetables?
From Seed to Pumpkin
boRead and find out about how pumpkins grow from a tiny yellow seed to a pumpkin in this colorfully illustrated nonfiction picture book. This book includes a find out more section with activities such as an experiment to show how plants use roots to drink water from the ground and a recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds. This is a Level 1 text in the Let’s Read and Find Out Science series.
Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden
This educational exploration of a pumpkin’s life-cycle is a must for any aspiring scientist or farmer! We can be sure of this: It’s a circle without end. It’s pumpkin seeds to pumpkins to pumpkin seeds again! This treat of a picture book comes cloaked in the colors of fall. Bouncy verse and glowing photographs show a backyard pumpkin patch move through its natural cycle-a bug’s eye and a bird’s high view of seeds sprouting, flowers blooming, bees buzzing, pumpkins growing . . .and then going back to earth.
How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow?
bEvery year, giant pumpkin contests take place at fairs across the country—the 2012 record-holder weighed over a ton! The latest craze is to carve the most enormous pumpkins into racing boats. But what’s next? Why not think really big? Award-winning artist Wendell Minor does just that as he imagines larger-than-life pumpkins decorating some of America’s favorite places—as immense as the Capitol dome, Mount Rushmore, the Brooklyn Bridge, even the Grand Canyon! This celebration of famous landmarks and landscapes plays with concepts of size and scale and is full of fun facts.
Pick a Pumpkin
Pick a pumpkin from the patch. Tall and lean or short and fat. Vivid orange, ghostly white, or speckled green, might be just right.
Readers will be happy to follow along with each step, from picking out the perfect specimen at the pumpkin patch (be sure to stop for cider and toffee apples) to carting it home, scooping out the insides, carving a scary face, and finally lighting a candle inside — savoring the familiar ritual of transforming an ordinary pumpkin into a one-of-a-kind glowing jack-o’-lantern.
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever
Once there were two mice who fell in love with the same pumpkin….Desmond the field mouse wants to carve the biggest jack-o’-lantern in the neighborhood with his pumpkin. Clayton the house mouse wants to win the Biggest Pumpkin contest with his. But when they discover that their choice pumpkins are actually the same one, Desmond and Clayton decide to work together to grow the biggest pumpkin ever!
The Roll Away Pumpkin
bOn a windy autumn day, Marla Little comes running down the hill, yelling, “Help! My giant pumpkin is rolling away! Onward it goes, rolling and turning, with no sign of stopping! Diddle-dee-doo! Oh, what shall I do?”
The Runaway Pumpkin
When Buck, Billy, and their little sister Lil spy the biggest pumpkin they’ve ever seen, they can’t resist. Buck and Billy try to roll the pumpkin down the hill to show everyone, but it’s too big! Before they know it, it’s bumping and thumping and rolling out of control down the hillside. It busts through Momma Baxter’s sty and makes her think of pumpkin pie. It knocks over Grandpa Baxter and makes him think of pumpkin soup. And when Poppa Baxter finally stops it in a pumpkin bed, all he can think of is pumpkin bread.
Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins
booWhen Sam stacks sixteen pumpkins into the wagon for his grandpa, they all fall out and roll away and finally land on Gramp’s kitchen floor. But together they find a way to use them by baking pie after pie for all the family.
Ready, Freddy! The Pumpkin Elf Mystery
Who is the Pumpkin Elf, and where is he? Freddy Thresher and the rest of his first-grade class follow clues to find a mysterious Halloween elf who comes to their classroom at night and plays tricks on everyone. The teacher says that the Pumpkin Elf will only leave treats if the class behaves. Can Freddy and his friends find the elf, mind their manners, and collect their pumpkin surprises?
You can find resources to pair with this book here.
Flat Stanley and the Missing Pumpkins
There are so many fun ways for Flat Stanley to help on his uncle’s farm in the fall. Being flat comes in handy when picking corn and even acting like a scarecrow! But when pumpkins begin to disappear right before the county fair, will Flat Stanley be able to help?
Be sure to check out these other fall-themed books:
Or try these fall writing crafts: