Check it Out: ‘Pumpkin Cat’ a tale for Halloween



When I went to the grocery store the other day and saw piles of pumpkins, I secretly cheered. I say secretly because I didn’t want my 10-year-old alter ago to scare other shoppers. If unleashed, my inner child would have yelled, “if it’s time for pumpkins, it’s time for Halloween!”

While some Halloween revelers enjoy this holiday for the chance to dress up and receive free candy, I love the symbols associated with it, especially jack-o-lanterns and black cats. So, imagine my delight when I discovered Anne Mortimer’s new picture book “Pumpkin Cat.”

The story begins with a black cat wondering how a pumpkin grows. His friend, Mouse, knows the answer, so he decides to show Cat what to do. Working together, Cat and Mouse plant pumpkin seeds in pots. When it’s time, they transfer the seedlings to the ground, and after several months of careful tending, big, orange pumpkins fill the garden. Is this the end of the story? No, but I don’t want to spoil Mouse’s surprise, so take a look at the library for this adorable tale of friendship and cooperation. If the adventures of Cat and Mouse inspire you or your little ones to grow your own pumpkins, you’ll find a page of easy gardening instructions at the end of the book.

Jan Johnston is the Collection Development Coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at She blogs at