Friday, September 6, 2013

PUMPKIN CIRCLE: Book Review & Sequencing Activity

September has barely begun and in our area there is already a distinct crispness to the air. The insects can sense that changes are on their way. The hummingbirds have begun their yearly migration to warmer areas. It’s definitely time to prepare for autumn.
With the changes of the seasons at my doorstep, I thought I’d celebrate this transition with another book review and giveaway. The timing of this review and giveaway will allow the winner of the giveaway the chance to receive the treats before the month of tricks is upon us. So, without further delay, check out this month’s book review and giveaway times TWO!
Books available on
PUMPKIN CIRCLE by George Levenson & Shmuel Thaler
Where does life begin?  How does life evolve? When does life begin again? These are questions that children and adults seek answers to. In Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson and Shmuel Thaler, the circle of life is showcased through vividly detailed photos that are punctuated by the well-chosen words that dance across the pages.

The book begins with a cascade of pumpkins tumbling across a two page spread. The stage has now been set. Interest has been piqued. Immediately following this introduction, Levenson and Thaler lead the reader on a guided tour of a pumpkin patch that progresses from the long lazy days of summer to the crisp and fleeting days of fall. Leaves grow. Blossoms bloom. Pumpkins swell. Vines fade. Pumpkins are harvested. Yet, that is not the end of the story. Whether you are a curious child or an inquisitive adult, read this story to discover how the circle of life begins again.
As an added bonus, Levenson and Shmuel cleverly obscure the identity of the pumpkin farmer. By doing so, the reader is invited to place himself in the role of the gardener. So, go ahead— carve into that freshly harvested pumpkin. But don’t forget to save some of the seeds to start your own Pumpkin Circle next spring.

The Details:
Word count: 459 (excluding fact page at the end of the story)
Average words per page: 12
Recommended age range: 4-7
Extra value: breathtaking photography, rich vocabulary, fun subject material.

How Do You Grow a Pumpkin?

This simple sequencing activity is great for children ages 4 through 6. Simply print the images, cut out the 6 pictures, and conduct a quick lesson on how a pumpkin grows. For younger children, placing the images in order with a loosely guided discussion might be the best option. For children in first grade, creating simple sentences to accompany those images can make this not only a science lesson, but also a language arts activity, as well.
Have fun ‘growing’ your pumpkin with your little ones.
CHALLENGE: Where do you think this picture fits into the sequencing activity? There are many answers, provided the explanation is correct. J
*This giveaway will include a free copy of Pumpkin Circle (George Levenson & Shmuel Thaler), Pumpkin Jack (Will Hubbell), as well as another treat. The registration will last from the posting of this blog post until midnight, September 18, 2013. One winner will be randomly selected from all entries. The books and treat will be shipped from Amazon within approximately 2 weeks following the close of the giveaway. The giveaway is open to residents of the United States with a United State’s mailing address. The winner’s name will be posted on the blog, unless the winner chooses not to have his/her name posted.


This post was linked to the following blogs. Please check them out:

Fantastic Fun and Learning dot Com

KidsActivitiesBlog dot com

The Mom Maven dot com

No Time For Flashcards dot com

Rainy Day Mum dot CO dot UK

 Giveaway Update 09/19/13: Congratulations to the winners of Pumpkin Circle and Pumpkin Jack. So far, the winners are:

Katie B., Lynn N., Renee C., and Julie G.

I am awaiting a response from the other winners before posting their names.

Thank you for entering.


  1. It is hard to believe it is already time to start preparing for Halloween. I will have to look for these books.

  2. I must admit the cool weather in our area prompted me to get a head start with this review and activity. But, that means more time to read autumn-themed books. :-)

  3. Deb - I learned something new today about growing pumpkins! I'm seeing fields of what looks like yellow flowers just starting to come out and I never knew what they were growing - now I know - so even a 62 year old can learn something new once in a while.

  4. What a wonderful premise. I love it. Thanks so much for bringing this book to our attention on the Kid Lit Blog hop.

  5. I must admit that I learned a few things about growing pumpkins, as well. Thank you for your interest and good luck everyone!

  6. I love books that go to the season, and these sound great. Thanks for sharing :)

  7. I love the fall and I'm so glad we get to turn our attention to some of those fall traditions, like pumpkin carving. Thanks so much for joining us in the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Happy to tweet about your giveaway. :)

  8. Since completing the books pictured above, I've added more pumpkin-themed books to the library. Autumn-themed books--you can't stop at one, or two, or three. Well, you get the idea. ;-)
    Thanks for the comments.

  9. Such great books! One is brand new to me - I will be checking it out --- thank you for the recommendation.

  10. Thanks, Sarah. There are so many great book suggestions out there. I'm glad I discovered the blogging world.