The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin was written by Joe Troiano and illustrated by Susan Banta.
The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin has been a family favorite in homes and classrooms for several years.
Spookley is a square pumpkin. He’s different from all the others. In fact, “He was odd, he was rare. Spookley the pumpkin wasn’t round- he was… square.”
Spookley wasn’t square as in “nerdy.” He was literally a square shaped pumpkin in a patch of round pumpkins.
One stormy night the wind is blowing and rolling all of the round pumpkins straight threw a hole in the fence out into the bay. Who will stop up the hole and save the day?
Spookley the Square Pumpkin tottered and tipped, flipped and flopped and finally he stopped, “right in the gap where the fence had snapped. He blocked the way. The hole was capped.”
Spookley’s bravery brought on an appreciation of diversity and in the years that followed, the pumpkin farm was growing not just orange, round pumpkins but “there was a bed of bright red ones and two rows of blue. There were polka-dot pumpkins and rainbow ones too. There were thousands of colors and hundreds of shapes. Oh, what a garden variety makes!”
Since this story is about a pumpkin patch and a dark stormy night, it is a perfect Halloween book. However, the bigger picture illustrated by this story is one of tolerance, self-acceptance, and an appreciation of diversity which makes The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin a excellent book for reading and discussing year round.
The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin can inspire imagination and creativity but it can also the open the door to thoughts and conversations about fitting in, being different, or judging others. Spookley leaves audiences with a message of that “maybe one day we all will discover- you can’t judge a book, or a pumpkin… by its cover.”
The last pages of The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin show a pumpkin patch with a variety of shapes, colors and designs. These pages offer great inspiration for follow up art activities.
Follow Up Activities for The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin:
Kids can choose their own colors, shapes and patterns to create their own “Spookley” from a variety of media.
Kids can create a “different” pumpkin using…
Paper and markers
“Spookleys” made with paper and markers can added to a craft stick to create a puppet, hung on a bulletin board or grouped to make Halloween mobile.
Paper mache and paints
Kids love paper mache creations. Tip: Use a plastic cup to “stand” projects on while they dry and to display if they are not flat bottomed.
Lego’s are perfect for creating square pumpkins in a variety of colors.
Play Do or modeling clay
Remember if you can draw it, you can model it is 3-D. Wouldn’t a garden of “Spookleys” make an adorable Halloween display?
After kids have created their own unique version of Spookley, encourage kids to choose a unique name for their colorful creation and create a name card to go with it.