Pumpkins and Bones!

There’s a frost forecast for Michigan tonight. I picked the last green tomatoes this afternoon and admired the trees’ new cloaks of red, yellow, and orange. The weather has taken a decidedly fall turn, and I’ve got a couple of new seasonal picture books to share (thanks to Candlewick Press for the review copies!)

Patricia Toht’s Pick a Pumpkin is a fun rhyming picture book that starts at a pumpkin patch, continues to a carving festival, and ends with a Jack O’Lantern glowing on Halloween night. The book speaks directly to the reader/listener, instructing them in all the ways of pumpkin preparation.


I especially love the descriptions of the choices for the pumpkin carver to consider. Here’s my favorite, describing the options for the mouth:


A kiss. A frown.
A toothy grin.
A zigzag gap
cut long and thin.
A smirk. A snarl.
An eerie O.
Or pointy fangs,
all in a row.


Great rhymes, great language, and loads of fun! And the illustrations by Jarvis are captivating and kid-friendly.

Kim Norman’s Give Me Back My Bones is not specifically a Halloween tale, but would also be a great one to share this time of year. And shiver me timbers, this clever book combines a little skeletal science with a pirate’s rhyming tale! I adore the clever bony descriptions with pirate references in each stanza, and the penultimate rhyme scheme.

Consider the scapula:
Who can spot my shoulder blade,
my shrugging jacket-holder blade,
my shiver-when-I’m-colder blade?
Oh, scapula, come back!


I can imagine kids poring over the illustrations, spotting the missing bones, and having fun showing-off their new knowledge of bone nomenclature. And as a writer, I am inspired to emulate this rhyme scheme…. some day!

And now, to shift away from autumnal thoughts, I’ve got some exciting winter/spring news to share. My upcoming picture book, On a Snow-Melting Day: Seeking Signs of Spring got a starred review from Kirkus! I am thrilled, gob-smacked, flabbergasted, astonished, and amazed! Click here to read Kirkus’ puddle-wonderful words.

Be sure to visit Alphabet Soup where Jama is hosting the Poetry Friday party, and sharing a few poems from Charles Ghigna’s new book, Dear Poet.

34 thoughts on “Pumpkins and Bones!

  1. Thanks for sharing both of these fun Halloweeny books Buffy! I especially liked hearing about “Give Me Back My Bones” as this is the first I’ve heard about it, and I like the science snuck in there!

  2. Woo hoo! Great news on your new book. I love both of the books you shared but the bones one definitely has me wanting more.

  3. Lovely review of PICK A PUMPKIN and GIVE ME BACK MY BONES! You have great taste in books! Also sending my congrats and high fives on the great attention your new book is getting. Yay for you!

  4. Buffy, I thought I commented on your post but it must have not gone through. Congratulations on the great review of your book. There’s always another season to drool over poetry. As for the autumnal books you are reviewing, they sound wonderful. I particularly like the rhyme in Pick a Pumpkin and I am sure little ones will enjoy it too.

  5. Buffy, congratulations to you on your new book and the fabulous review? Did you take the photos in the books? Thanks also for sharing the poetry books that look like they would be great reads for my little granddaughter.

  6. Wowie! Congrats on the star review! That’s wonderful. These two books are simply adorable. And, they will get kids in love with reading in rhythm and rhyme. I’ve had a peek at Give Me Back My Bones and it’s good science-y fun.

  7. Congrats on the starred review — from Kirkus, no less, quite a coup!! Looking forward to reading the book next year.

    And thanks for sharing these new fall books. Haven’t seen Kim’s book yet, looks fabulous. 🙂

  8. Congratulations, Buffy! What a fabulous review! I can’t wait to get my hands on your book– It certainly sounds like its brimming with gorgeous illustrations and clever word play. Thanks also for sharing the other two books. I’m sure my kids would have had a blast searching for skeleton’s missing bones!

  9. CONGRATULATIONS, Buffy. Can’t wait to read your book. I know it will be wonderful and the starred review is perfect. I am sure it is so deserving and not a surprise. I was just at the HIghlights Poetry workshop with Rebecca Kai Dotlich and she was mentioning that you had taken her course. I know she is thrilled for you, too.

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