Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll

Fall is a wonderful time of year to relax, enjoy cooler weather, beautiful colors, and read a good book. One of the best ways to instill in children a love for reading is to read to them. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll is a good choice for the Fall season. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll is a Read With Me Cartwheel book published in 1884.

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever

Kroll introduces the reader to two mice, Clayton the house mouse and Desmond the field mouse. The two mice discover a tiny green pumpkin growing in a garden. Each mouse, not knowing the other mouse has discovered the pumpkin, begin making big plans for the pumpkin once it is ready for harvest.

Both mice care for the pumpkin, one during the day and the other at night. The pumpkin grows and grows and grows. It becomes a giant pumpkin.

One night, both mice find themselves caring for the pumpkin at the same time. At that moment, they become aware of the fact that each of them have been caring for the pumpkin and each of them have a plan for the pumpkin.

Rather than argue over which mouse has the right to the pumpkin, the mice come up with a compromise. One mouse will enter the pumpkin in the planned contest. Then, after the contest, the other mouse gets to carve the pumpkin as planned.

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever teaches children the importance of growing and caring for plants. It teaches them patience. It takes a long time to grow some plants, maybe even an entire season. The book teaches children the value of responsibility. Both mice had to care for the pumpkin every day for a very long time. The book provides reading pleasure for adults and children and it teaches children the value of friendship and compromise.

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll is illustrated by Jeni Bassett.

Get your copy of The Biggest Pumpkin Ever here.
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever

The Inheritance by Donna Sundblad

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The Inheritance by Donna Sundblad
Image Used by Permission from Donna Sundblad
The Inheritance was provided by Donna Sundblad in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

The Inheritance by Donna Sundblad

A Rich, Mysterious Beginning

Since I work with young children every day, and then take care of my husband, three kids, three cats, a dog and sometimes my youngest daughter’s goldfish in the afternoons, I rarely get the chance to sit down and enjoy a good book geared toward adults. Recently, I decided to take a little bit of time for myself and read The Inheritance by Donna Sundblad.

As I began to read the book, the first thing that caught my attention was Sundblad’s choice of names for the characters and places in the book. The reader will quickly grow accustomed to names like Illuminati, Pundit Tenacious, Punctilious, Wigglewot, and of course the main character, Jejune. Places are given creative names such as the Village of Lofty Thought, the Valley of Shadow, and a most important city, The Eternal City.

Within the first chapter, the reader’s attention is captured with mysteries which make it difficult to put the book away. The story opens with a vivid description of the town and it’s surroundings. The reader gets a feel for the atmosphere surrounding the story. The main character, a Seeker named Jejune, is inside a counsel chamber before the High Pundit Tenacious. The reader is not immediately aware of the reason for the counsel session, but is given just enough information to stir curiosity. The reader can’t help but wonder who Jejune really is and why has he found himself inside the chamber and before the High Pundit. Soon, the reader learns that Seeker Jejune questions the philosophies of Lofty Thought.

The first chapter of The Inheritance is rich in mystery. Before the end of the first chapter, the reader is anxious to read on to find the answers to questions such as:

What is a Seeker?

Why does Jejune question the philosophy of Lofty Thought when others follow the philosophies and traditions without question?

 What are the philosophies of Lofty Thought?

What is the Fountain of Tradition and why is it important?

Where is the Eternal City?

Why have so many searched for it?

Once one reaches the Eternal City, are they trapped forever or do they choose to stay?
What is Truth?

Which Way?

Jejune has not seen his parents since he was a young boy. His mother and father left Lofty Thought in search of a place called the Eternal City, but they never returned. Just before Jejune’s Coming of Age ceremony, he sneaks into a forbidden room where he believes he will find answers to many questions concerning his parents, his mysterious heritage, and the Eternal City.

Within the room, Jejune finds a journal. The journal doesn’t describe the way to the Eternal City, but it does list a few routes that do not lead the way. Jejune must decide which way to go.

Jejune has decisions to make. Should he remain in Lofty Thought and fulfill his duties or should he leave Lofty Thought in search of the Eternal City?

The only thing he knows at this point is that he must search for Wisdom. Jejune believes Wisdom will lead the way.

Jejune’s Quest

Jejune finds a way to fulfill his obligations in Lofty Thought which results in a little twist on the chain of authority there while he satisfies his longing to search for Truth and set out on his own quest for the Eternal City.

During his journey, Jejune finds himself in a few predicaments. He is distracted from his quest and questions his decision to leave Loft Thought on various occasions. His path leads him to interesting characters who help Jejune find his way. He must rely on the advice of Understanding, Prudence, and Humility, just to name a few. At times, Jejune finds himself struggling to decide whether to follow the way of Heavenly Wisdom or Worldly Wisdom.

To make matters worse, he discovers he has a “Condition” and must find the cure. Otherwise, he will not be permitted to enter the Eternal City, even if he finds it. As if Jejune didn’t have enough to worry about, his travels are made more interesting when he meets a young lady. The young lady accompanies Jejune on his quest for she has similar ambitions, or does she?

The two face obstacle after obstacle together and Jejune becomes more and more aware of the confusing ways of women. This particular woman is particularly confusing and when Jejune is at his whits end with her . . . well, let’s just say he “gets more than he bargained for.”

Finding more advice from his new friends; Understanding, Prudence, and Humility helpful, Jejune finds his way back on the “narrow way” in search for a cure for his “Condition” and the Eternal City.

Questions and Answers

The first chapter of The Inheritance leaves the reader anxious to find answers to questions. The body of the story builds on those questions and leaves the reader pondering over the answers while presenting the reader with a few more questions:

What exactly is the Condition?

Why can’t a person with the Condition enter the Eternal City?

Is there a cure?

The answers to all those questions are revealed by the time the reader gets to the end of one of the craftiest, most delightful stories I have ever read.

Spiritual Warfare in Human Form

The story of The Inheritance includes adventure, mystery, humor, romance, and the best qualities of a “good verses evil” story, including the snares of a Dragon and the tragedy of great loss. In the Inheritance, the “good guys” are not just “good guys” and the “bad guys” are not just “bad guys.” Imaginative characters take on the names of their personalities.

Each character in the story represents an element of spiritual warfare in human form.

While reading The Inheritance, the reader gains a bit of insight as to why people believe the way the do. The Inheritance doesn’t force a belief on the reader, but it shines a light on what makes sense and what doesn’t in the real realms of Heaven and Earth.

The Inheritance by Donna Sundblad is highly recommended literature and it will be available in print on Amazon by the end of November 2011.


 Knowing the meanings to the following words will enhance the reader’s understanding of the story.

Jejune: Lacking knowledge and experience, childish.

Lofty: Exalted in rank, dignity, or character, arrogantly or condescendingly superior in manner.

Tenacious: Persistent, stubborn, keeping a firm hold.

Punctilious: strict or exact in the observance of the formalities or amenities of conduct or actions.

Pundit: A learned person, expert.

Illuminati: Person claiming to possess superior enlightenment.

Quidnunc: A person who is eager to know the latest news or gossip.

Chary: Cautious, careful.

Calumny: False statements made with the intent of harming someone else.

Penury: Extreme poverty, insufficiency.

Halcyon: Calm, peaceful, happy, prosperous.

Pragmatism: the doctrine that the content of a concept consists only in its practical applicability

Avarice: insatiable greed for riches; inordinate, miserly desire to gain and hoard wealth.

Kumtux: Knowledge

About Donna Sundblad

Donna Sundblad
Photo Used by Permission from Donna Sundblad

Donna Sundblad left corporate America to follow her dream to become a writer. She enjoys her life as a Freelance Writer and Editor. Donna works on various freelance projects and she has written several books. Her latest book, The Inheritance, is a 2012 Epic Book Award Finalist.

Donna enjoys outdoor activities, wildlife and healthy living. She makes her home in the great state of Georgia.

The Inheritance by Donna Sundblad
The Inheritance by Donna Sundblad

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