Baby librarian Marian and her mommy Margaret review Stumpkin by Lucy Ruth Cummins, a new Halloween picture book.
Baby Librarian Marian Reviews Stumpkin
I immediately knew I would like this picture book because of how bright the inside page is. It’s orange brick, and very pretty! Each page has pumpkins sitting on a store shelf, and I like pointing to each pumpkin. They’re a bright orange, and everything else is gray, black, and white. I like how bright the pumpkins are. It’s easy to tell what the book is about.
I’ll admit, I’m not entirely sure what these people do with the pumpkins after they buy them, and why. Mommy told me at Halloween, people buy pumpkins and carve faces into them. This seems very silly. Why wouldn’t they eat the pumpkin? Pumpkins are for eating. Daddy made a pumpkin pie today and Mommy let me try a bite. Pumpkins are very good to eat. But I like faces too. I guess I just need to see one, but Mommy says we’re not carving a pumpkin this year.
I especially like that Stumpkin gets to stay with the cat. My first word was cat! I would want to stay with the kitty cat too, and such a friendly looking cat! I love her already!
I can empathize with Stumpkin. Sometimes, Mommy and Daddy do things like cut vegetables with knives and put food in the oven, and they won’t let me do it too, and that makes me really sad, though it mostly makes me angry. I wonder if Stumpkin was also angry at all the customers for not choosing him? I hope not. It’s not a good feeling. I’m glad he got what he wanted in the end though, and that the store keeper didn’t eat him, even though he would’ve tasted very good. I doubt stems have anything to do with taste.
Marian’s Mommy Margaret Reviews Stumpkin
Stumpkin is truly a beautiful picture book. As Marian noticed, the pumpkins really pop in the black, white, and gray surroundings. It did not surprise me at all to learn that the author and illustrator — Lucy Ruth Cummins — is an art director. The spreads where Stumpkin comes alive as he’s carved are surprising and delightful. The story is also adorable, and apparently based on a true story!
This is a photo of the moment when I met the original Stumpkin. My son Nate was 1.5 at the time & he found the perfect pumpkin when a little girl raced over & shouted "YOU DON'T WANT THAT ONE—IT HASN'T GOT A STEM!!" He was shocked. The next day I outlined his story. pic.twitter.com/A15YzIsoKj
— Lucy Ruth Cummins (@lucyruth) October 22, 2018
I’m glad Stumpkin found a home and got to fulfill his dream of becoming a jack-o-lantern, both in real life and in the book. I’m also glad he inspired this picture book. While there are plenty of pages, the words are sparse and simple. Because of that, it’s a great read for younger ages as well as older children. While Marian is only 10-months-old, we read through it front to back in one sitting. As a side note, the pages are really nice and thick, like card stock. It looks and feels like a special book.
I would highly recommend Stumpkin for Halloween!
If you’re looking for more Halloween kid lit recommendations, the Baby Librarians have you covered!