Looking for pumpkin books for kids? This is the ultimate list!
To go along with the activities in our Fall Theme Pack, I’ve been reading countless pumpkin books to my preschooler to come up with the ultimate list for preschool and kindergarten. Here are our top picks!
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever, by Steven Kroll
Two little mice, a village and a field mouse, both have their hearts set on a beautiful pumpkin. During the day, the village mouse carefully tends the pumpkin – and at night, the field mouse does the same. One can’t wait to bring the pumpkin to the county fair, while the other wants to make it into a giant jack-o’-lantern. I love how the two mice become friends and find a solution that makes them both happy. A sweet book!
Too Many Pumpkins, by Linda White
This is our very favorite from this list, and one all five of my kids (including my eight-year-old) will come over to listen to.
When she was young, Rebecca’s family was so poor that they ate pumpkin after pumpkin. Now a white-haired older woman, she can’t bear the sight of them. So when a truck accidentally drops a pumpkin in Rebecca’s garden, she won’t even look at it. But after growing season she’s astonished to discover a whole garden of big, beautiful pumpkins. Rebecca makes the most of it, and we love what happens next.
From Seed to Pumpkin, by Wendy Pfeffer
This is a Level 1 Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science book, which is just right for preschoolers who enjoy listening to long (but not too long books). The book teaches quite a lot without getting into too many details. We like the cheerful illustrations, too!
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie, by Jill Esbaum
For some reason my Three didn’t like this book, but I love the bold illustrations and the information about a pumpkin’s life cycle as well as the many different uses for pumpkins. The text is in different colors on different pages, which was distracting, but overall it’s a good book.
Oh My, Pumpkin Pie! by Charles Ghigna
This Step Into Reading book makes a quick, enjoyable read aloud. Children explore the different kinds of pumpkins they find in a pumpkin patch, making this the perfect book to read right before a field trip to a pumpkin farm.
It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff
This is a very quick read from the creators of the “If You Give…” series. We liked seeing the seven pumpkins that Mouse and Dog carve. Even though it’s a short board book, my Three enjoyed it.
Pumpkin Jack, by Will Hubbell
In this book, a boy has to throw out his jack-o’-lantern when it starts to get old. It’s neat to see what happens to the pumpkin when it’s put to rest in the back of the yard. When the pumpkin decomposes and a new pumpkin grows the next year, we learn about the pumpkin’s life cycle. Follow this up with a science lesson on decomposing pumpkins for a fun extension.
The Pumpkin Fair, by Even Bunting
I’m a big fan of Eve Bunting’s books, but this one came up short compared to my expectations. Still, it’s a nice rhyming book which opens kids’ eyes to all the things that can happen at a fair.
It’s Pumpkin Time! by Zoe Hall
This book presents yet another way to teach kids about the pumpkin’s life cycle. A brother and sister grow a pumpkin and carve it into a jack-o’-lantern for Halloween. We like the paper painted collages and simple story line.
The Pumpkin Patch, by Elizabeth King
I like the straightforward text and the big photographs that tell the story of a pumpkin – from the farmer preparing the seeds to a jack-o’-lantern beaming on Halloween night. This kept my Three’s attention but is also a good book for an older audience, up through second grade.
Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins, by Dianne Ochiltree
This book is not my favorite on this list, but it’s another option – especially if you are looking for a pumpkin book with no mention of Halloween or jack-o’-lanterns. Sam packs pumpkins into her wagon and brings them to her grandpa – only to spill them and watch them tumble down the hill right through his open front door. When many of the pumpkins crack open, Sam and her grandpa make pumpkin pie.
I Like Pumpkins, by Jerry Smath
The bouncy rhymes and the cheerful illustrations make this book a fun read-aloud. It contains both fiction and nonfiction about pumpkins, sometimes in the same sentence: Some pumpkins are lanterns (nonfiction), and when they are glowing, help witches on broomsticks to see where they’re going (fiction). See if your listeners can distinguish between the two.
Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin, by Mary Serfozo
This book, about a little tiger searching for the perfect pumpkin, is a delight to read. The fun rhymes and quick story make it a win-win!
Pete the Cat Five Little Pumpkins, by James Dean
When he was around two years old, my Three developed a love for Pete the Cat books. He rarely requests them now, but it was no surprise that he liked this rendition of the classic Five Little Pumpkins Rhyme. Recommended for all Pete the Cat fans!
Pumpkin Town, by Katie McKy
Jose’s family grows pumpkins, and at the end of each season they throw out leftover pumpkin seeds at the edge of a field. But one day, the wind carries the seeds away to a neighboring town – and the next spring the town is overtaken by pumpkins! Jose and his brothers save the day by visiting the town at night to pick all the pumpkins and cut down the vines. This one is a favorite at our house.
How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow? by Wendell Minor
This book is a brilliant way to teach geography, with giant pumpkins in the Texas old fields, on a roller coaster, behind the Capital, at Mt.Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, and more. It’s a tour through the United States, and at the end of the book you can find out where each place is located. Read this one with a U.S. map at your side.
The Very Best Pumpkin, by Mark Kimball Moulton
This is a sweet story about a boy named Peter who lives with his grandma and grandpa on a farm. One summer Peter gives special attention to a pumpkin growing all by itself at the edge of a field. Under his care, the pumpkin grows big and beautiful. Meanwhile, a shy neighbor girl is watching. We like the tender ending.
Little Boo, by Stephen Wunderli
Little Boo is a pumpkin seed who can’t seem to scare anyone, but the wind assures him that his day will come. As the little seed changes he can’t scare anyone as a seedling, a vine, or a flower. Of course, one day Little Boo becomes a big, frightening jack-o’-lantern. Such a creative way to teach about the pumpkin’s life cycle!
Pumpkin Hill, by Elizabeth Spurr
It began with one lonely pumpkin that grew plumper and plumper. But over time seeds from that pumpkin grew into a huge army of pumpkins. When a mighty wind blows the pumpkins down a hill, they wake up a sleepy valley town. For some reason this book was not a favorite at our house, but I did appreciate the poetic language and rich vocabulary.
Pumpkin Soup, by Helen Cooper
Duck, Squirrel, and Cat live together contentedly, each with his own job to make pumpkin soup – until Duck decides he wants a different job. When Squirrel and Cat won’t let him switch, he runs away. The book ends with a peaceful solution.
The Pumpkin Book, by Gail Gibbons
Like most of Gail Gibbons’ excellent nonfiction series, this book was a little long and had too much detail for my preschooler. However, I edited the book as I read to keep his attention. The book in its entirety is best for kids in first and second grade.
Pumpkin Circle, by George Levenson
From the first page, with a little girl sitting on a giant mountain of pumpkins, the big, bright photographs entranced my Three as we read about the pumpkin’s life cycle. I like that there is just a little text per page and enjoyed the poetic language: “Then, silently as angels, flower buds appear with pointy little collars and gleaming silver hair.” Since we believe the Biblical account of creation, I skipped the last page, which asks how pumpkins began – “Is there a Mother Nature? Is there a Pumpkin King?”
Five Little Pumpkins, by Dan Yaccarino
There are so many versions of this rhyme that I could make a whole list of Five Little Pumpkins books! I chose to feature this one because I like Yaccarino’s illustrations. The book is short and sweet. It does include pictures of witches and ghosts, so avoid it if you don’t want like books with those images.
Five Little Pumpkins, by Ben Mantle
Here’s another book featuring the short, familiar rhyme. I like the happy jolly pumpkins and the friendly nature of the book. It has more witches and ghosts, of course.
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara
Charlie, the smallest boy in his class, is left to count the seeds of the smallest pumpkin. Both he and his classmates are surprised when his pumpkin has the most seeds. This is a great way to introduce counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s.
Pumpkin, Pumpkin, by Jeanne Titherington
This is the classic pumpkin book that you’ll find in many classrooms. It has very simple text and lovely illustrations.
The Runaway Pumpkin, by Kevin Lewis
Three siblings climbing a hill in their Halloween costumes come upon a giant pumpkin. The brothers break it from the vine and it rolls down the hill, wreaking havoc wherever it goes. Finally it lands in a field and is made into soup, bread, and pie.
The Bumpy Little Pumpkin, by Margery Cuyler
My Three loves The Biggest, Best Snowman, so he welcomed the familiar cast of characters in this book by the same author. My preschoolers always seem to connect with Little Nell, who is constantly told by her big sisters that she’s not big enough. In this book she makes her bumpy little pumpkin beautiful with the help of her forest friends.
Patty’s Pumpkin Patch, by Teri Sloat
This book is an alphabetic journey through a pumpkin patch. At the bottom of each page you’ll find a letter and something you might find in patch – such as a kitten, ladybug, moth, or nuthatch. The book is a little awkward to read, with a story on top and the alphabet at the bottom of each page. You might want to read it through twice, focusing on a different part of the book each time.
Pumpkin Day! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Wallace has a gift for telling a kid friendly story that holds the attention of preschoolers while also giving a lot of information. Using cut paper illustrations, she tells the story of a rabbit family visiting the pumpkin farm and learning all about pumpkins and how they grow (even that pumpkin comes from the Latin word pepo). The book has recipes in the back.
Ready for Pumpkins, by Kate Duke
Hercules the class guinea pig is inspired when he sees the students grow bean plants from seeds. He can’t wait to grow his own plants and finally gets his chance when he spends the summer on a farm. I can’t do justice to this book in a review, but it’s adorable and wonderfully creative. Recommended!
Pumpkin Trouble, by Jan Thomas
This is a fun, silly book for young preschoolers about a duck who gets stuck in a pumpkin when he’s carving it.
Did you know?
You get a printable list of pumpkin, apple, and leaf books in the resource pages of my Fall Theme Pack.
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Fall Theme Pack for Pre-K/K
This 245-page theme pack has a huge variety of activities for your apple, pumpkin, and leaf unit in preschool or kindergarten! You’ll get printable vocabulary cards and nonfiction books with real photos, emergent readers that your learners can read and color, clip cards, beginning reading games, activity pages, and more.
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