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Reviewed by Jessyca Garcia for Readers' Favorite
Wally Pumpkin's Grand Purpose by Sean Smith is a story about not giving up on your dreams. It is also a story that lets kids know that it is okay to be different. Wally Pumpkin is excited because Fall is finally here. He cannot wait to be chosen for either a pumpkin pie, a show pumpkin or a jack-o’-lantern. When he is repeatedly overlooked, he becomes sad ... until something happens that makes him smile again.
I read Wally Pumpkin's Grand Purpose with my 4-year-old daughter who loves Fall as much as Wally does. Her opinion was that she liked the story and wanted Wally to become a pumpkin to be used for Halloween. My opinion was that I liked the story, but my adult thoughts made me think that Wally was sentencing himself to death by wanting to be a pie or a jack-o’-lantern.
Despite my silly thoughts, I felt that Smith had a couple of good messages in this story. The first is that it is okay to be different. Wally was kind of a weird looking pumpkin, he was even bullied in the story because of his looks. At the end, his looks are what got him chosen. The second message was never to give up on your dreams. Wally knew from the beginning that he wanted to be something and he kept his head up, despite being bullied. I really like the illustrations in this story. They were colorful and cute. Wally’s big green eyes make you instantly like him. Smith even includes some blank pumpkins at the end of the book so that your child can make their own pumpkin face. Overall, this was a good story!