How Many Seeds In a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara, Illustrated by G. Brian Karas.
It’s pumpkin picking time for sure, as Halloween approaches.
Families pile into cars and spread out in pumpkin fields looking for one of many things: pumpkins for indoor and outdoor decorating, or perfect pumpkins, whether large or small, for the plumpest jack o’ lantern with a scary, funny or toothy grin.
Meet Mr. Tifflin’s class with Charlie, Elinor, Robert, Anna, Jake, Kimmy, Tara, Alex and the crew, learning a plethora of pumpkin fact, plus the question to the question he poses to them at pumpkin time:
“How many seeds in a pumpkin?”
Three pumpkins sit on Mr. Tiffin’s desk and they are off to the practical purpose of finding out the answer to Mr. Tiffin’s question.
Each has different ideas of how to count them out. Do they count by two’s, five’s ten’s, fifteen’s or twenty’s?
Finally, they are divided into the Twos Club, Fives Club and the Tens Club.
Will it be Robert’s pumpkin who happens to be the tallest kid in his class and has the biggest pumpkin?
Will it be Elinor who seems to know a great deal about a great many things and has a medium-sized pumpkin?
Or will it be Charlie, who is the smallest kid in the class and has the smallest pumpkin?
Here are some clues to go by:
You really can’t tell how many seeds a pumpkin has until you open it up and you’re going to need plenty of newspaper, as you scoop out the gooey, stringey insides.
The color of the pumpkin, dark or light, contains a clue.
Mr. Tiffin’s class also learns that the pumpkins each have less or more lines on the outside.
Did you know that for each line on the OUTSIDE, there is a row of seeds on the INSIDE?
And the LONGER the pumpkin stays on the vine, the more lines it has. and the darker the outside becomes.
You and the class will learn many pumpkin facts along with Mr.Tiffin”s class.
It takes about 4 months for a pumpkin to grow to full size.
And hey, it’s NOT a vegetable; it’s a fruit!
The seeds can be roasted (ask someone to do it for you) and they are full of Vitamin A.
They need LOTS of space to grow on the vines they put out.
I can’t wait to get my pumpkin this year and follow along with Mr. Tiffin and his class.
Your young reader will, as well, as they can do the same experiment at home and have fun doing it.
Plus, they have a ready to go JACK O’ LANTERN to carve for Halloween!
G. Brian Karas’ illustrations of the kindly Mr. Tiffin and his class of pumpkin and their gourd related inquiries are spot on in terms of setting both the scene and the interactions that typically go on in a classroom of varied personalities.
His illustrations dovetail pumpkin perfect with Margaret McNamara’s creative and informative narrative that is Halloween timed for a great young reader picture book.
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