Pumpkins! Pumpkins! Pumpkins!

Happy autumn!

Because I’ve been here …

… on the seat of a tractor for weeks now, sometimes with the help of a grandkiddo (they think…don’t worry, we aren’t moving in this photo), I’m having to skip an OUTSIDE THE BOX post this month (but, ooh, have I got a doozy lined up for next month – Nov 16th!).

However, since fall/autumn is my absolute favorite time of year, I thought it might be fun to simply showcase a few pumpkin books. So, ta-da! Here are covers of recently(ish) published titles that make me feel goosebumpy in anticipation of bonfires, chilly evenings, pumpkin carving, and the glowing harvest moon I look forward to all year.

Here in the midwest, we’re currently “enjoying” an unseasonably warm period (bah, humbug), but imagine a little frost on the pumpkins, if you will.

First, a few board books.

Early readers for fans of Daniel, Rocket, and a LGB featuring the Pokey little guy himself…

And, of course, picture books for every taste imaginable.

(Patty Toht, your gorgeous book is ALWAYS going to show up on any October/pumpkin-y list of mine!)

How about you, readers? Comment below with YOUR can’t-miss faves! And if I’ve missed a pumpkin book with your name on the cover, please give it a shout out!!!

In other news, I couldn’t be more excited to be taking part in an IN-PERSON book festival next month, on Sunday, November 14th, where I’ll get to visit with readers, sign books, and hobnob with real, live, bookish friends … including our own Jennifer Reinhardt. What a lovely time that will be! If you’re in the Iowa City area, drop in (Sidekick Coffee & Books, 2-4 p.m.). Here’s my very own little poster (note that I even got to invent my own coffee drink, w/a nod to Thunder & Cluck):

Jill Esbaum

Jill Esbaum is the author of more than 50 children's books. Recent picture books include JACK KNIGHT'S BRAVE FLIGHT (a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection), HOW TO GROW A DINOSAUR, WHERE'D MY JO GO?, FROG BOOTS, and WE LOVE BABIES! She is also the author of a graphic early reader series, Thunder & Cluck (another Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection). In addition, she has authored two dozen nonfiction series books for Nat Geo Kids, including several titles in the immensely popular LITTLE KIDS BIG BOOK OF–– series. Next year brings her first humorous informational fiction pb, STINKBIRD HAS A SUPERPOWER. Lots more books are on the way! For more information about Jill and her books, visit her website at www.jillesbaum.com


  1. Thanks for the excellent recommendations, Jill! My favourite pumpkin book is Big Pumpkin, by Erica Silverman and S. D. Schindler. My kids have always loved it, then this year I used it for the first time in the preschool where I teach English as a foreign language, and it was a big hit there, too. It has so much potential for interactivity with all the pulling, bending down, etc. that it encourages readers to do. It also introduces other popular Halloween figures – a witch, a ghost, a vampire, a mummy and a bat.

    • A winner, for sure, Helen! Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll add it to my list of books to share with the grandkiddos. πŸ™‚

  2. Loved the recommendations! I have t read some of those.

  3. Me, neither, Natalie! But the covers sure make me want to find them. All that COLOR.

  4. Debra Kempf Shumaker

    I just put Patricia Toht’s book on hold at the library – I am number 19! I don’t think I’ll get it before Halloween, LOL. But thanks for the great list of pumpkin books! Fall is my all time favorite season, too.

  5. These are all fun favorites!
    We also like STUMPKIN because Lucy Ruth Cummin’s illustrations are always fabulous.
    Happy Harvesting!

  6. how timely! thank you for a fun post.

  7. I love fall! I’m ready for colder weather too! Many of these books are new to me, so thanks!

  8. Sheri Delgado-Preston

    I love this! Thank you Jill:) My hubby, kids, and I still love some oldies, The Littlest Pumpkin, by R.A. Herman, illustrated by Betina Ogden, and It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, by Charles M. Schulz.

  9. Love all these! Thanks for sharing and happy holidays!

  10. Great pumpkin picks! I’ve also always loved The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis with fabulous illustrations by S.D. Schindler, but probably because I can almost smell the soup, bread, and pie the family feasts on at the end!

  11. I will always and forever believe that MOUSEKIN’S GOLDEN HOUSE is the most wonderful pumpkin book ever. Lovely seasonal titles in the old series, too. Can still be founding libraries.
    Even so, thanks for the newer and outstanding titles.

  12. Love the pictures and your little helper! How fun you’ll get to be at a festival in person! Enjoy!!!

    • Thanks, Vijaya. I am counting the day until I can just sit there and LOOK at my writing peeps again, soak in those creative vibes … Talking with them, even through our masks…icing on the cake!

  13. Hooray for in-person events, and PUMPKINS!! Congrats, Jill!! I love fall and have been dreaming of writing a fall-ish book–time will tell πŸ™‚

  14. What a great collection of pumpkin books! I’m looking forward to reading them with a pumpkin spiced latte. πŸ™‚ Love the photos!!

  15. These books are delightful! Thanks, Jill, for the fun post!

  16. Janet Frenck Sheets

    I’ll put in another vote for STUMPKIN by Lucy Ruth Cummins.

  17. What a great list.

  18. Loving this post. Happy Grandkiddo! Autumn is my favorite season and wishing it would cool down just a bit . (Not ready for winter!)

  19. Aww, thanks so much for including Pick a Pumpkin, Jill! What great company it’s keeping with all of those pumpkin titles. Do you grow pumpkins on your farm?


    Thanks for all these recommendations! I wish I was still teaching as I’d be buying and reading them all to my first grade students.

  21. Cynthia Wyszynski

    My favorite spooky book is Ghost in the House by Ammi-Joan Paquette – a super delightful and funny rhyming book!

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