The Ugly Pumpkin

“Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh, I’m a squash!” (The Ugly Pumpkin, Dave Horowitz)

Thanksgiving is an incredibly underrated holiday insofar as literature goes. Our thanksgiving display at the store was filled with happy books about the pilgrim’s inviting the Indians to lunch and the few newfangled vegetarian/vegan books where the turkey runs away or gets pardoned. Thanksgiving does not get a Newberry winner like Halloween (The Graveyard Book) or millions of classics like Christmas. It does, however get The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz.

Every other holiday should feel a little let down that Dave Horowitz has not written a brilliant poem, illustrated in bright, lively colors for them. They should feel jealous that he has not told the story of the Ugly Pine Tree or the Ugly Egg. To be fair, Halloween does receive a passing glance, but The Ugly Pumpkin, who turns out to not be a pumpkin at all, is better suited to having a feast with his true friends, the squash. Also noteworthy is that this really isn’t a book about giving thanks, as most books about the holiday turn out to be, but it is a journey of self-discovery that is applicable year round.

Beverage: The only pumpkin beverage that I know and love is pumpkin beer (notably one by Dogfishhead), although this is indeed a kid’s book, I see no reason why a high-quality beer should be pushed to the wayside.

Reminds me of: All of the other picture books I love, especially Ghosts in the House, my favorite Halloween picture book.


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