When Pumpkins Fly
In When Pumpkins Fly, a young boy describes a Halloween season in the frigid Canadian Arctic. As a plane carrying pumpkins in the cargo descends, his excitement soars. The principal requests delivery to his school, and after carving theirs, the children taste the bitter fruit inside and roast some yummy pumpkin seeds. To his delight, the boy is chosen to take the treasure home. After a fun-filled night of trick-or-treating and participating in all sorts of other holiday festivities, he climbs into bed and centers his thoughts on the tunnaat, the “ancient and wise beings” that travel through the Sanikiluaq community at night. He honors their presence by keeping them close at heart.
This creative tale combines cultural tidbits about the Arctic Inuit community with current day beliefs and practices of its people. The knowledge of the author about the Canadian Arctic is considerable. She even provides a pronunciation guide at the end for readers who are unfamiliar with the Inuktitut language.
The text is written at approximately the third-grade reading level, and the target age range for the book is five to nine. The use of non-traditional font makes it a bit difficult to decipher. This may deter some young children from attempting to read it. However, many will enjoy the glossy cartoon-like illustrations that sweep across the pages.
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