HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Teletubbies and the Magic Pumpkin
Author: Bonnie Bader
Illustrator: Emilie Kong
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks, 2001
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 3-6
Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Moloney, Joan. Teletubbies and the Magic Pumpkin (published in 2001 by Scholastic Paperbacks). When our younger son Jeremy was small he loved the Teletubbies and watched them about every day. However, he very quickly outgrew them and in fact began to dislike them. However, during the time of his infatuation with them, we checked several books about them out of the library for him to have extra practice during the time when he was learning how to read. Teletubbies and the Magic Pumpkin is evidently taken from one of the television shows, since there is a 1998 DVD entitled Teletubbies – The Magic Pumpkin and Other Stories with three fall-themed segments. In this one, a magic pumpkin appears in Teletubbyland one day. “Wha’s dat?” exclaim the Teletubbies. The pumpkin has facial features that appear and disappear. It gets Dipsy’s hat, and almost as soon as Dipsy retrieves his hat, it’s blown off by a gust of wind. Luckily, Tinky Winky, Laa-Laa, and Po are ready to lend a helping hand. Then Laa-Laa takes an indoor walk to avoid the rain, going around and around, again and again.
You may recall some furor over the Teletubbies several years ago when Jerry Falwell made some comments about Tinky Winky’s being a homosexual. There was a great hue and cry about how mean-spirited those homophobic conservatives must have been to make such a ridiculous claim. Well, as truth would have it, certain of the radical homosexual-rights advocates were indeed saying that Tinky Winky was “gay.” Falwell was just repeating what he had heard from the homosexual leaders. The producers of the show were quick to point out that the homosexuals were wrong and that there was no intention to portray the Teletubbies as anything else other than innocent children’s characters. The Magic Pumpkin is a lift the flap book board book with Bonnie Bader identified as the author. I had Joan Moloney listed as the author, but other sources give her simply as the designer. It might be a good book to introduce the holiday of Halloween and also to get children interested in pumpkins. A similar book that we used was Teletubbies Love to Roll by Andrew Davenport from Scholastic.