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Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite
Kingdom of the Pumpkins (A Rainey-Estelle Kind of Day) by Michael Verrett is a children's adventure story that follows the hilarious and precocious Rainey-Estelle and her dog, Scamp. Today, Rainey-Estelle and Scamp are on an adventure in a farmer's garden. Rainey-Estelle wants to crown the king and queen of the pumpkin patch, but when she arrives in the garden the other vegetables tease her. Why should the pumpkins be king and queen? Why shouldn't the squash or the carrots have their shot at royalty, too? Rainey-Estelle must put the other vegetables at ease if she is to crown the king and queen pumpkin like she planned. There is also a run in with an angry scarecrow, and Rainey-Estelle must use her wits to make sure she and Scamp escape the garden in one piece.
I liked the educational aspects of this book, especially when Rainey-Estelle and Scamp were near the farm. Writing the vegetables' words in the corresponding colors was genius. Kids are generally interested in farming and growing vegetables, so personifying the vegetables was a very smart move. I think kids will enjoy that aspect of the story. I also really liked Rainey-Estelle's personality. She shone as a character and I think other readers (especially young children) will find her appealing and want to be like her. Children will enjoy the vibrant colors of the illustrations of this story as well.