Norm Judd, director of the new St. Bernards Health & Wellness Institute, will be the reader for the October Stories in the Forest program at 3 Saturday afternoon at The Mall at Turtle Creek. He will read The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiana.
This book, published by Holiday Hill Enterprises in 2001, tells the story of a unique little pumpkin. He was not like all the other pumpkins in the gourd patch. They all had beautiful curves – they were round. But Spookley was the odd gourd out. He was square.
All the round pumpkins teased him. They teased him during the day … and during the night.
Then one night before Halloween, the weather turned stormy. The winds blew ferociously, and the round little pumpkins were tossed here there and yon. Suddenly the fence gave way, and pumpkins crashed down the cliff and into the bay. There seemed to be no way to stop them from rolling away.
But Spookley knew that he could do something. He tried and he tried … and finally he was able to filp himself from one side to another to another. Working his way across the pumpkin patch, he wedged himself into the opening in the fence. All the other pumpkins were tossed up against him making a very large pile.
When the farmer came out the next day to check on his pumpkins, he found them all stacked up. And when he removed them one by one, he found that Spookley, the little square pumpkin, was the one who saved the day.
So the next year the farmer planted lots of different seeds – and some of the pumpkins grew round. Some grew flat. Some grew as triangles. Some grew at cubes. Some grew as rectangles. And some grew as squares.
And from that day on, all the pumpkins knew that “different” was “good.”
Troiano has had more than a dozen children’s books published. They include The Legend of Jelly Bean and the Unbreakable Egg, The Legend of Lydia the Lovesick Ladybug, The Legend of Mistletoe and the Christmas Kittens, Storytime Stickers: It’s Halloween with Spookley the Square Pumpkin, Spookley’s Costume Party, Spookley’s Colorful Pumpkin Patch, Spookley Counts to Ten, Little Scribbles, Halloween Fun with Spookley the Square Pumpkin, Spookley The Square Pumpkin: Colors and Numbers, It’s Your Cloud and Beacon the Bright Little Firefly.
The Stories in the Forest program gives parents some quality time with their children and exposes children to some favorite books of local residents. It is an outgrowth of the St. Bernards Women’s Advisory Council’s tremendously successful Kidz Fun Fair.
The Women’s Advisory Council is a group of about 120 area women who have joined together in an advisory role to give input on important healthcare issues impacting women and children. They encourage educational as well as service outreach efforts designed to make Jonesboro a better place to live, work and raise families.
The program is open to the interested public free of charge.