HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Patty’s Pumpkin Patch
Author: Teri Sloat
Publisher: Scholastic Book Services, republished in 2000
ISBN-13: 978-0399230103 (hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0399230106 (hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0439211314 (paperback)
ISBN-10: 043921131X (paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Sloat, Teri. Patty’s Pumpkin Patch (published in 1999 by Putnam Juvenile). Author Teri Sloat’s rhyming text follows a girl named Patty from seedtime through harvest as she grows and sells pumpkins on her farm. However, readers entering Patty’s pumpkin patch will not only find a continuous story, told in the main text and illustrations, but also an introduction to the alphabet, presented in smaller illustrations along the bottom of each page. “Come look inside my patch and see/A world of life from A to Z.” In the spring, Patty hoes among the ants and beetles, then plants and waters the seeds while crows and dragonflies swoop above. In the summer, as the pumpkins form, inchworms, juncos, kittens, and ladybugs come out. In the fall, the pumpkin stand is readied, while the moths, owls, and other creatures arrive.
The larger pictures at the top of each page introduce readers to the work and care required to produce the pumpkins. A bird, insect, other animal, or plant, such as ant, zebra butterfly, or xylem leaf, that lives in or around the patch is featured at the bottom of each page, in alphabetical order, along with the upper and lowercase letter it represents. The lively rhymes, with details about dragonflies and wrens, and vivid illustrations done in acrylic and oil pastel will attract even the most squirmy kids at story time, and older children will enjoy locating the creatures in the larger pictures above. When our boys were beginning to read, we liked to get seasonal books for them to have extra practice, and this is one that we checked out of the library. It is a wonderful autumn book that is entertaining and educational. As an added treat it even includes traditions involving pumpkins like jack-o-lantern carving and roasting pumpkin seeds.