Ready for Pumpkins
by Kate Duke
Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. Unpaged. Picture Book
Hercules (aka Herky) the Hamster loves his life in Miss MacGuffey's first grade class. He always has enough to eat and drink and the first graders love him. In October the kids hollow out a Herk-o-Lantern with Hercules crawling around inside. The teacher makes them take him out but not before he has snagged a few seeds to save "for later." Herky loves his life but when he sees the first graders plant bean seeds and then harvest the crop he wants something more: a garden. How Herky has his garden and his perfect life too is the substance of this charming picture book. Not much to do with Halloween, but everything to do with nurturing new life and being nurtured by it, this book is perfect for springtime and fall.