Yacowitz, Caryn. Pumpkin Fiesta. Illustrated by Joe Cepeda. HarperCollins, 1998. ISBN 0-06-027658-4. $14.95. 32 pp. A 1-3 PB Reviewed by Rachael W. Galvez Old Juana wins the prize at the local fair for the largest pumpkins year after year. This time, Foolish Fernando is determined to outdo her. Fernando spies on Juana sowing her seeds and tending her plants. He then tries to imitate everything that she does, but he misses the point. He believes that if he dresses like Juana and talks to his plants like she does, then he will have success, but he waters them haphazardly and commits other blunders. When it is clear that Juana is about to best him again, he steals her humongous pumpkins from the field and enters them in the fair. After a confrontation, Juana is able to reclaim her pumpkins and the prize, and Fernando apologizes for what he has done. Juana then offers to help Fernando grow his own pumpkins next year. This story’s greatest asset is its humor, complemented by bright oil paintings in an original style and topped off by a recipe for pumpkin soup at the end. A fun book for both young and old.
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