This Halloween, parents are bringing back a holiday season classic that’s been around since the 1990s. Erica Silverman’s children’s book, Big Pumpkin, is a definite read for fall 2020.
This spooky story is about a witch who has grown a big pumpkin but finds herself struggling to release it from her vine just in time for Halloween. However, in the midst of tugging and pulling, a ghost arrives and offers his help. When the ghost’s attempts fail, a vampire arrives to help. Still, the pumpkin won’t budge. Suddenly, a mummy notices and joins in her own struggle to break the pumpkin from the vine, but still no success.
That’s when a bat arrives with a suggestion that just might work.
Big Pumpkin Inspiration
Erica Silverman tells Parentology how she was inspired to make a fun-loving Halloween tale. The story is loosely based on a Russian folktale, “The Gigantic Turnip,” however, Silverman gave her story a witchy-twist and it wasn’t easy.
“As a child, I loved the cumulative Russian tale about a farmer and his giant turnip. When I decided to retell it with Halloween characters, I thought it would be easy,” she says. “My first draft was quite boring because I hadn’t found a way to breathe new life into it and make it mine. I put it aside for a few months.”
Silverman admits she tried acting it out and really put herself into the story. And suddenly, her characters came to life.
“I pretended to be the witch, struggling to move her gigantic pumpkin. Then I imagined the vampire coming along, saying, ‘Big Pumpkin!’ The witch’s answer came, ‘It’s big and it’s mine,'” she reveals.
Like most children’s book authors, Silverman hoped this tale would be enjoyable for both kids and parents. Reading aloud has already proven effective, and Big Pumpkin makes the activity all the more fun.
“In writing Big Pumpkin, I hoped children would have fun acting it out, parents would enjoy playing with the voices and beginning readers would find it easy to read. Over the past 17 years, I’ve gotten lots of confirmation from parents, teachers and children all over the world that this has happened — to my great delight.”
Since its release in 1992, Big Pumpkin is still a Halloween favorite.
Big Pumpkin Book — Sources
Erica Silverman, author of Big Pumpkin