- Pumpkinheads Danza’s Message published by Nina Charles Publishing
- Written by: Karen Kilpatrick
- Illustrated by: Tara Louise Campbell
- We recommend this book for kids ages 2 and up
What It Is
Pumpkinheads is a book series designed to introduce young children to the valuable lessons of appreciation, tolerance, perseverance, kindness, generosity, self-esteem, and acceptance. Created by a mother, the goal of the books is to foster positive emotional development in children during their most formative years. There are currently six books in the series (each sold separately) with more to be released in the future. Some of the books include Ella's Toys, which is all about sharing; Danza's Message, which follows an imaginative little girl who loves herself just the way she is; and Love Monster Lulu, a sweet story about the importance of family. Each book is written by Karen Kilpatrick with illustrations by Tara Louise Campbell and editing and art direction by An-Lon Chen.
Is It Fun?
Actually, we're not sure what Danza's "message" is. The book starts out with the girl gazing at herself in the mirror and then going to play with her friends. The message of loving oneself seems heavy handed and not really coherent in terms of the narrative. Except for the imaginative pieces and some of the cute illustrations, the whole thing reads like self-help for adults without any real understanding of children–down to putting post-its on a mirror reminding one to love oneself.
Who It’s For
The Pumpkinheads Book Series is for ages 2–6. We think the books will appeal more to kids on the younger end of that age range.
What To Be Aware Of
This is clearly another instance of adults imposing their perceptions on children, and it falls flat as a story. The writing is fairly obvious and implies that children should love themselves for physical characteristics, at the same time saying "beauty comes from within." This has the potential to be confusing.
The writing and the verses don't scan, which makes it clumsy to read aloud.
The website www.pumpkinheads.com features an online drawing game, animated videos, coloring pages, and worksheets.