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Pattan's Pumpkin

Pattan's Pumpkin

An Indian Flood Story

Illustrated by Frane Lessac


Pattan's Pumpkin

About the Book

A vibrant variation on the traditional flood myth from the Irular tribe in Southern India.

When Pattan finds a yellow-flower vine wilting in his valley, he replants and cares for it, watching as a pumpkin appears and grows taller than the goats, taller than the elephants, as tall as the very mountains. When a terrible storm rages across the valley, Pattan wonders if perhaps his pumpkin can save the seeds and grains and saplings, the goats and birds and bison, and protect them all as the storm clouds burst and the waters rise. Frané Lessac’s brilliantly hued artwork is a feast for the eyes, while Chitra Soundar’s thoughtful retelling is a fascinating example of the kinds of stories told the world over — and the differences that make each version unique.

Product Details

On sale: August 1, 2017
Age: 4-8 years
Grade: Preschool - 3
Page count: 32 Pages
ISBN: 9780763692742

Author Bio

Chitra Soundar grew up in southern India before moving to Singapore, where she began her career writing for children. She has since written more than twenty children’s books. This is her first book with Candlewick Press. Chitra Soundar lives in London.

Frané Lessac is an award-winning illustrator of more than forty children’s books. She lives with her husband and frequent collaborator, author Mark Greenwood, in Western Australia.


Colorful, authentic-feeling, and vibrant illustrations look similar to traditional Indian folk art and carry the story. Although this accessible story is not religious and stands on its own, it is comparable to flood stories in the Sumerian, Mesopotamian, and Judeo-Christian cultures. A whimsical traditional flood story for comparative-religion shelves.
—Kirkus Reviews

A vivid gouache palette and joyfully painted creatures will delight readers who notice the details...Most striking, perhaps, is Lessac’s rendering of everyone’s eyes—long-lashed and twinkly—which draw the reader’s gaze towards what’s important: all living things.

Pattan and his wife are likable characters. The gouache illustrations have a charming naive quality that should have considerable child appeal. ­This title can be read independently or in a group setting and would be an asset to any folktale collection.
—School Library Journal

Based on a traditional South Indian tale told by the Irula people, this rendition includes engaging text with emphasis and emotion conveyed through accented and stylized fonts and richly saturated gouache illustrations. While the vibrant full-bleed illustrations make the book a wonderful selection for a readaloud, it also lends itself to being shared in a small group of readers as the aesthetic details of the text may be better noticed and appreciated this way.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books