Sunday, October 24, 2010


By Denys Cazet
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9780689864674

FROM THE FLAP: When he was alive, Mr. Wilkerson was an ill-tempered, disagreeable, sour, and impatient old man. Once he died, he got better.

But not much.

Now he is back and very, very hungry.

When Jack and his grandma move into the old Wilkerson house, they find out just how hungry, and why.

At least they think they know.

It has something to do with the pie.

A perfect pie.

KATE’S TAKE: Clear your calendars. You'll want plenty of time to flavor and savor The Perfect Pumpkin Pie.

FAVORITE PIE CLASSROOM BOOK Verbal/Linguistic, Visual/Spatial, and Interpersonal

Give each student an 8x11 sheet of paper with the following sentence starter: My favorite kind of pie is _____________________. Have them illustrate making and/or eating their favorite pie. Compile a classroom book and send it home with the students.

FAVORITE PIES GRAPH Logical/Mathematical, Visual/Spatial, and Interpersonal

Mr. Wilkerson’s favorite pie is pumpkin pie, but what’s the class’s? As a class brainstorm four different kinds of pies. Make a large bar graph on the board. Give each child an index card with their name on it, and ask them to add it to the graph. Afterwards, each student can make their own perfect pie graph.

FIVE LITTLE PUMPKINS SITTING ON A GATE Kinesthetic, Verbal/Linguistic, Interpersonal

Act out the popular FIVE LITTLE PUMPKINS rhyme:
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, “Oh my! It’s getting late.”
The second one said, “There are witches in the air.”
The third one said, “But we don’t care.”
The fourth one said, “Let’s run, run, run.”
The fifth one said, “It’s Halloween fun.”
WOOOOO went the wind, and out went the lights.
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.


Mix canned pumpkin and cinnamon into orange paint. Then ask each child to paint his or her perfect pumpkin. Special thanks to Diane Esser for this activity.

PUMPKIN PIE RHYME Verbal/Linguistic

Mr. Wilkerson speaks in rhyme. Print out one of his speeches and leave six spaces blank, one for each rhyming word. Give the children a word bank and ask them to fill in the missing words. Then, ask them to write the six words in alphabetical order. I’ve typed out one of Mr. Wilkerson’s speeches below:

“Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkin pie!
I must have one before I die.
It must be round and brown as toast,
Or I’ll haunt this house a hungry ghost.
It must be perfect or a ghost I’ll stay,
And haunt this house, and never, ever go away!

-The Bake Shop Ghost by Jacqueline K. Ogburn
-The Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman
-In The Haunted House by Eve Bunting
-Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
-Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie (Picture the Seasons) by Jill Esbaum