Mrs. McMurphy’s Pumpkin by Rick Walton. Illustrated by Delana Bettoli Mrs. McMurphy has a pumpkin problem. Each one of the four mornings before Halloween in this cumulative tale, a pumpkin shows up with additional features and threatens to eat her when it has its teeth. Though this threat might otherwise make the book a little scary for young readers, Mrs. McMurphy (who appears to live alone) never shows any fear. Instead, she politely but firmly tells the pumpkin to mind its manners and sends farther and farther away – even to the North Pole. Along the lines of (attempting to quote without the book here) “And what lovely ears they are! But I’m afraid no one is allowed on my counter.” The pumpkin, menacing as it is, doesn’t have a chance. I’ve never really gotten into Halloween books for kids, but this one is a charmer. Mrs. McMurphy’s kind, no-nonsense attitude is really funny, while at the same time offering a strong example of Independent Womanhood. The beautifully detailed, folksy illustrations make this a story to savor.
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