Mr. Pumpkin’s Tea Party (Erin Barker)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Mr. Pumpkin’s Tea Party by Erin Barker, a spooky and sweet counting book with a Halloween twist.

Mr. Pumpkin is having a tea party, a classy soirée with some ghoulish guests. Readers can count along as Mr. Pumpkin prepares the table, greets his guests and their delectable treats, and enjoys an evening of mingling, snacking, and entertainment.

Adorable. Mixing elements of the spooky and refined, Mr. Pumpkin’s tea party is a delightful event to watch unfold. The soft, whimsical illustrations never truly veer into scary or fearsome territory, presenting guests like a giant spider (Madam Silk, who brings seven truffles) or a rather dapper mummy (Dr. Cairo, who comes bearing a bouquet of nine spindleweeds) as festively unusual friends rather than frightening creatures. The rhyming text is simple, with occasional touches of extravagant word choice to keep with the tone. Young readers can count along within the artwork on each page, from one to thirteen (especially amusing to JJ, who gleefully pointed out that clocks don’t REALLY go to 13), as the progression from a fall dusk to evening is beautifully expressed through the color palette and charming characters. This was great for a short storytime, and we both loved it. A Halloween teatime treat, and Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

How to Help a Pumpkin Grow (Ashley Wolff)

Hello, friends! Our book today is How to Help a Pumpkin Grow by Ashley Wolff, a delightful autumn romp for little pumpkin lovers.

Sparse, simple rhyming text follows a farming Border Collie as the pup builds, plants, and tends a pumpkin patch. The dog patiently walks the reader through the simplified pumpkin-growing instructions, garnering the interest, then assistance, of several farmyard friends. At last, the new pals harvest their crop to bake pies and carve jack-a-lanterns together.

Adorable. This sweet and straightforward title spins a delightful and unique fall tale that’s perfect for young readers, incorporating a light lesson on how pumpkins grow and a lot of sweet interactions between the animal cast. The artwork is filled with autumnal colors and clever details, including a mouse character hidden on every spread. The only thing that admittedly threw me was the dog’s oddly-illustrated work gloves, which have thumbs for some reason, but that is a very minor quibble. The length was perfect for even very young bookworms, and JJ loved it. A sweet fall treat, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)