Fall is such a fun season in kindergarten, full of kid-friendly theme opportunities. October, in particular, is bursting at the seams with the potential for super-engaging lessons and activities. Packing your classroom with bright and beautiful children’s books to read aloud means you will always have what you need to fill a transition time, supplement a lesson, or build background knowledge! This list of pumpkin books for kindergarten includes some of my favorite October read-alouds. Be sure to drop a comment if I missed any of your favorite pumpkin books!
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Pumpkin Books Your Students Will Love
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie by Jill Esbaum is a clear and simple National Geographic nonfiction book that’s great for kicking off your pumpkin unit. With interesting photos and only a few sentences per spread, this book takes readers through the life cycle of a pumpkin from seed to fruit, tells about the parts of a pumpkin plant, and shares various characteristics of pumpkins. In addition, Esbaum’s book shows students how a pumpkin is cleaned out and used to make new things such as snacks, treats, and Jack-o’-lanterns.
Simple nonfiction books like this one are great for using with class-created anchor charts like those in this Informational Pumpkin Unit. Making this book (and other informational pumpkin books) available for browsing after the class has a chance to listen to it is a nice way to allow students to absorb the vocabulary and concepts while looking at the pictures.
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret MacNamara (illustrated by G. Brian Karas) tells the story of Charlie, who is insecure about his height, participating in a classroom pumpkin activity. Mr. Tiffin, the teacher, sets up an exploration where students get to estimate and then count the seeds from three pumpkins of varying sizes. The sweet illustrations and age-appropriate text take the reader through the process of cleaning out the pumpkins and using mathematical strategies for grouping and counting the seeds. Students will enjoy making their own predictions as you read this one!
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? is perfect for tying math into your own classroom pumpkin dissection activity! (While you’re shopping for pumpkin books, you might want to take a look at this other book by MacNamara—The Pumpkin Patch.) Side Note: How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? does not include mention of Halloween. If you need or want to avoid the holiday in your classroom, this might be a good choice for you.
Pumpkin Jack, written and illustrated by Will Hubbell, is another wonderful book to accompany your own classroom pumpkin exploration. The story of a boy (Tim) and his Jack-o’-lantern, Pumpkin Jack has so much detail in the text and illustrations it warrants repeated readings.
The book follows Tim and his Jack-o’-lantern from Halloween through the year. Tim is sad when his pumpkin begins to decompose and he has to dispose of it in the garden (“A dead garden is better than a trash can,” thought Tim.), but then becomes the caretaker of a new pumpkin plant in the spring (because a few seeds must have still been inside his Jack-o’-lantern). The story ends the following fall when Tim shares his healthy crop of pumpkins with his friends and carves a new Jack-o’-lantern for himself (“Welcome back, Jack!).
If you decide to replicate Tim’s experience with your own classroom Jack-o’-lantern, make sure to leave some seeds behind when you hollow out the pumpkin! (Check my pumpkin video post for a timelapse of decomposing Jack-o’-lanterns!)
You can find materials to accompany a pumpkin exploration activity in this Pumpkins Bundle!
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White (illustrated by Megan Lloyd) is a bright and fun book with a story that will hold kids’ interest. Rebecca Estelle is an avid gardener who plants a vegetable garden each year but avoids pumpkins at all costs (due to having had to eat an excessive amount of pumpkin as a little girl). When a pumpkin tumbles from a passing truck, shattering in her yard, Rebecca Estelle does all she can to ignore it until her yard is overrun with too many pumpkins!
Once she is over her initial horror, Rebecca realizes that others may appreciate the pumpkins more than she does and decides to share them. She has to overcome some challenges, but, in the end, manages to supply baked goods and Jack-o’-lanterns to everyone in town. Too Many Pumpkins is one of my favorite pumpkin books—it is such a sweet story with fun illustrations!
Pumpkin Town! (Or, Nothing Is Better and Worse Than Pumpkins) by Katie McKy (illustrated by Pablo Bernasconi) is another fun fiction text. This story follows José, who lives outside of town on a pumpkin farm with his family (including four brothers). They work hard in the fields, but a mishap with some pumpkin seeds leads them into town one day. When the boys realize that they are at fault for a pumpkin disaster in town, they toil through the night to solve the problem. José and his brothers are rewarded for their hard work with some watermelons.
This fun story with really unique illustrations is engaging and has a wholesome message. It also ends with an invitation to imagine a similar story when the father tosses a bunch of watermelon seeds into the wind.
Like How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? this book doesn’t mention Halloween. It’s another great one for classrooms that are avoiding the holiday for whatever reason.
More Pumpkin Books for Your October Library
Here are a few more pumpkin books that make nice October read-alouds in kindergarten!