Sunday, September 2, 2012

Into the Pumpkin ~ Review

Title: Into the Pumpkin
Author:  Linda Franklin
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Summary:

The fun of Halloween comes alive in this beautifully illustrated children's book. The drawings, done each year by the author on the eve of Halloween, follow various "Halloween" characters as they prepare to celebrate this mystical holiday -- pumpkins, witches, bats, ravens, black cats, scarecrows, spiders, ghosts, and more. Should they have their party in the graveyard or the pumpkin patch? Should they dress up or simply go as themselves? Take a ride on the witch's broom and enter the pumpkin for a magical trip both you and your kids will not soon forget. Pre-K through 6th.

Linda Franklin is an award-winning artist whose work is widely exhibited in private collections throughout the United States. She is also a celebrated teacher who has launched many aspiring artists onto careers of their own.

My thoughts:

For the most part, I thought this book was beautifully done.  I loved the little accompanying text to the artwork, which was amazing.  I loved how it was spooky, and eerie without being too scary.  The ghouls and the pumpkin man were the creepiest, but the watery type style tempered the scary.  I thought that Franklin's idea of the party taking place through the pumpkin was pretty clever, and original.  

Let me preface - Halloween is my favorite holiday. ;)  I know I mentioned last week about the kids at our school clamoring for Halloween books. I am more than happy to oblige, since I like them too, and always have.  I thought the creatures that showed up to this Halloween party within the pumpkin were all pretty good.  Except the black cat.

 Let me get on my animal rescue soap box here for a minute.  I really hate to say all this, but I really believe strongly in what I am about to discuss.  So I hope I don't offend or bore you. However, I HATE the use of black cats as an example of a Halloween creature, and I wish it wasn't used anymore.  I volunteer at our local pound, and black cats (and black dogs!) are the most overlooked of all the animals. People come in and say things like "I don't want to hold that black cat, they are so unlucky!" or "Ugh, I hate black cats - they are creepy and sneaky!" This drives me crazy! And sadly and disgustingly, black cats are also tormented and tortured around Halloween.   You would think that our society could get past this black cat stigmata, but it hasn't yet.  I have a black cat.  A lot of my friends have black cats.  And they are wonderful loving animals, just like more colorful cats.  I really feel that using their image for Halloween purposes perpetuates the stereotype. Phew. Now I have that off my chest and can go on.  

All in all, I did like this book - there were just two pages that didn't sit well with me, and that is because of my closeness to the situation.  And that is just my own personal hangup. I know its not something a lot of people would think about or worry about. Otherwise, this is an adorable and appropriately spooky picture book. 


  1. I grew up with black cats - Buster and JJ. For some reason, I'm totally attracted to black cats. Our little black kitty, Smudge, ran away a few years ago. Now, we just have one black/white cat named Moses. I never let any of my cats out on Halloween just to be on the safe side.

    1. Aww I love the name Smudge for a black cat. So cute!

      I know, it is so scary that this is something that has to be worried about! Its too bad some people have to be so mean.

      As I write all this, my black cat Maggie is head butting my hand. Lol. I named her for Elizabeth Taylor's character in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Lol.

    2. I love elegant, literary or sophisticated names for my cats. Buster and JJ aside as I was just a little kid and didn't know much sophistication, we have Mary and Moses right now. I did also have Pablo and Sabine a long time ago as orphan kittens from the Humane Society. I was just fostering them and they had to go to permanent homes. Oh, I also had Sugar Ray (the boxer) and Zaney Gray (the author) as foster kitties. It was hard to let them go.

    3. I am going to have to use Zaney Grey at the pound! What a great name!! I appreciate literary names for animals, I am actually writing all your names down for future use there. For some reason though my own animals (all rescues) end up with not very sophisticated names ~ I have an English Setter named Penny, and three cats, Maggie, Miso and Marlow. Lol. And I love that you fostered kittens, how awesome!

    4. I fostered pregnant mama cats too and let them give birth in my house. Okay, now that is not suggested. Usually they are wild cats and none too happy to be hanging out in a strange house. But the kitties w/o mamas and bottle feeding them are some of my most precious memories. I also fostered puppies. This was a lot more work and I only did that one time. ;-) OH, and then there were just the strays that they didn't have room for at the Humane Society. Those 10 month old puppy/dogs - sort of like teenage boys - were a little challenging. Good times, I tell ya. Good times. Some day I hope to find time to do those kitty fosters again.

    5. That is the biggest thing that people can do to help animals is foster - I think it is great you did all that fostering! I can't even imagine fostering puppies lol! We had a litter of 10 once at the pound at that was so much work, and there was a whole team of us taking care of them. I can't imagine how much work it would be to do it at your house! I knew you were good people! :)


I love hearing from people, don't be shy! I would love to hear what you think! I always reply back, although it takes me a bit longer these days due to the little guy.