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Pumpkin Town!: 08/25/17

Pumpkin Town!  by Katie McKy

Pumpkin Town! Or, Nothing is Better and Worse than Pumpkins by Katie McKy and illustrated by Pablo Bernasconi is about the unexpected consequences after a family of pumpkin farmers are careless with their leftover seeds. The wind picks them up and deposits them in the neighboring town.

By the next season, the town is over-run with vines. And those vines all end up growing pumpkins. And soon the town is completely buried in a sea of yellow and orange gourds.

Although the farmers do come to realize their mistakes and do help their city neighbors harvest and clean up, they don't seem to learn their lesson. The book ends with them doing the same thing with watermelons (which are related to pumpkins).

I read the book to follow down some tangents in my crossing the cornfield dichotomy for the road narrative project. Pumpkin Town ended up being similar but scaled up story as Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White.

I was curious if pumpkins had a thematic connection with cornfields, beyond the one month they all come together — October. Except for corn mazes often being a part of the larger October pumpkin patches, and scarecrows serving a dual purpose in these situations, as yet I've found nearly no literary evidence of pumpkins serving the same or similar purpose as the cornfield.

There is one notable exception, namely the second chapter of Over the Garden Wall (2014), where pumpkin headed, corn husk bodied residents harvest the dead to join their community. However, that entire series is essentially nothing but an extended escape from the cornfield as the boys are facing death back home on the other side of the garden wall, as it were.

Three stars

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