Elementary schoolers bring books to life with pumpkins

Oct 27, 2022

You would be forgiven for thinking that Jacoby Pellegrini drew the pumpkin with Harry Potter’s face on it. 

The Wareham Elementary School second grader was dressed just like the boy wizard, complete with wand, glasses and hair dyed black. Unfortunately, the dye was also coloring his forehead, where a lightning-bolt scar was painted. 

“Your black is falling off,” his mother Wendy said as she tussled his locks.

Pellegrini did not draw that pumpkin. Instead, he covered another pumpkin with feathers to make it resemble Harry Potter’s pet owl, Hedwig. 

“I really like how there’s spells and stuff in it,” he said about the books, his favorites.

Pellegrini proudly showed off his creation at the Elementary School’s Pumpkin Story Walk on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Costumed students and their families were invited to turn the school Cafetorium into a colorful pumpkin patch. Preschoolers, kindergarteners and first graders drew characters from their favorite books on the pumpkins, while second, third and fourth graders made their own designs and wrote short stories about them. 

“We always had an emphasis on exposing children to literature,” said Principal Bethany Chandler about the Halloween tradition, which began in 2019. “This is a way to have them explore characters and enjoy books. For the older students, [it is] an opportunity for them to write.”

Popular themes for the literary lanterns included cartoon characters, Halloween monsters and animals, especially unicorns. Second grader Joshua Pritchard used the long handle of his gourd to portray a cobra named Jeremy coming out of a basket. Third grader Jaxson Troy drew an otter on his pumpkin, and wrote a story about a pet otter to go along with it. Spoiler alert: “It was the otter’s birthday. They got some otter-safe cake and some presents. The end.”

“Mine was a dinosaur!” Declared second grader Emily Louise Williams, who was dressed as a deer.

Her pumpkin portrayed “Watermelon,” a dinosaur who looked like a cat and was named after his favorite food. 

First grader Hannah Fessenden based her pumpkin on “Room on the Broom,” a book about a witch. 

“I like it ‘cause three animals save the accessories for the witch,” said Fessenden, who was dressed as a fairy princess.