Generally speaking, I seem to have a pretty good ability to discern, just by looking at the cover and reading the synopsis, whether or not I'll like a book. I can do this with both the books I read to my kids and the ones I read for myself. Which is why I believe I rarely read a book that I end up giving a low rating. I simply tend to weed those books out during the initial selection process before they ever even end up sitting on my own personal TBR shelf. I'm only human, however, and so I do occasionally miss the mark.
With all the 5 heart reviews I've posting here, I thought it might serve me well to show everyone that it is indeed possible for me to give a less than perfect satisfaction rating. I have a couple of others that I will try to post here in the next few days, but since I only had a few minutes and this was one I'd written previously I decided I'd go ahead and share it now. Be fore warned though, this is probably the most harsh I've ever written. Thank God I don't find many that I end up rating this way. I'd feel awful.
Pumpkinhead by Eric Rohmann
Geared Towards: Ages 4-8
Published By: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 2003
This is the most disturbing children's book I've ever read. And judging by the other reviews I've seen online for it, I must be one of the only ones that absolutely hated this book. Strange. To be perfectly honest, I found the whole idea behind the Pumpkinhead story to be completely disturbing, especially when the book is geared at preschool age children.
This story is about a little boy born with a human body and a jack-o-lantern head. One day while he's outside a bird swoops down and grabs Pumpkinhead's head from his body, and then flies off with it. Throughout the book the head travels by way of a second party (bird, fisherman, etc) until it winds up on sale at produce stand. It's here that the mother discovers the pumpkin head, and immediately snatches it back up after recognizing it as her son's.
The book goes as far as to say that the parent's had kept the boy's body in a "cool dry place" while they waiting in hopes of finding his head. I'm sorry, but that's just creepy and disgusting. I will say that the rhyming nature of the book was fun and enjoyable, but the storyline itself was just horrid. There is no way I would ever recommend this book. Infact, our copy is buried around here somewhere because I simply couldn't bring myself to pass it along for any other child to read, and it certainly wasn't going to remain on my daughters' shelves. It was just that bad. :(
OUR RATING: 1 Heart (and that's only because there is no ZERO)