Filmmaker and Author of
A glorious ode to
the pumpkin, in all its stages of growth and
transformation from seed to jack-o-lantern. And the pumpkin is
an inspired metaphor for the cycle of nature. With upbeat verse
narration by Danny Glover, and original music by George Winston
this is a feast for the eye and ear. All hail the pumpkin!
- Parent's Choice
5-12. Toe-tapping music backs mood-enhancing narration in George Levenson's
delightful celebration of the pumpkin. With animation, close-ups, and time-lapse
footage, the visually intriguing program memorably charts the growth of
the pumpkin plant. Appealing to a child's sense of wonder, the lively program
fascinates with shots of seeds, vines, flowers, and fruits. A poetic script
introduces such vocabulary as tendril, and helpful visual comparisons
measure such triumphs as pumpkins leaves the size of elephant ears. Even
the squishy seeds and stringy innards of the much appreciated gourd are
highlighted. Unifying the informative presentation is the presence of an
unobtrusive gardener who silently tends his patch during summer and fall.
George Winston's outstanding performance on piano, harmonica, and guitar,
coupled with Danny Glover's inimitable narration, echoes the joy and excitement
that is experienced by kids during the seasonal festivities of Halloween,
just as the camera records the crafts and foods inspired by the pumpkin.
From the same producer as Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (BOOKLIST
April 1, 1991), this not-to-be-missed presentation fills the niche for science
classes as well as holiday celebrations.
Editor's Choice '97
December 15, 1997
- by Nancy McCray
| SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
For Children's, Young Adult & School
Grades 1-6 -
The life cycle of the pumpkin is documented in this enjoyable production.
Able narration in verse by Danny Glover, with original piano, solo guitar,
and harmonica music by George Winston, make this video an excellent choice
for elementary students. Five different varieties of pumpkins are exhibited
- the Le Grand weighing over 700 pounds, the Munchkin which weighs just
ounces, the Lumina, the Spooky, and the Max.
Without words, an orange-gloved male gardener shows all the activities connected
with growing pumpkins while the narrator describes the action in poetic
verse. Time-lapse photography, animation, and live action capture the sprouting
pumpkin seed as it grows to maturity throughout the seasons. Additional
activities and celebrations related to pumpkins are presented. This production
will provide meaningful across the curriculum activities for language arts,
science, art, and history classes, and for schools with community gardens.
The teaching objectives are met, the technical aspects are excellent, and
the videography is superb. A recommended purchase to enrich elementary curriculums.
- by Kathy Dummer, Newcastle Middle School, WY.
PUMPKIN CIRCLE book
has received awards
and praise as well:
1999 Top Ten Science
Books for Youth, Booklist
1999 100 titles
for Reading and Sharing, New York Public Library
Science Trade Books for Children, Childrens Book Council
What the critics
say about Pumpkin Circle:
"A first rate
introduction to the growth cycle...Photographer Shmuel Thaler matches
the author's informative, rhythmic text with pictures that convey a
wealth of information."
may convert any reader into a pumpkin lover. The beautiful and artistic
color photographs by Shmuel Thaler are outstanding.... Children learn
a lot about the cycle of planting, growing, harvesting, and planting
again from the playful rhyming text that tells the garden story."
Christian Science Monitor
"Crisp and beautifully
composed, the photos are awash in gleaming shades of green as well as
glowing gold and orange tones... a visually striking book that teachers
may want to read aloud."