A story about believing in oneself even when others around you will not is Gayanne Leachman’s Grandpa’s Pumpkin Tree. This story begins with a girl called Lola, who tells her friends about her Grandpa’s pumpkin tree. Lola is proud of this tree because she helps her Grandpa take care of it. It is as big as an elephant and is covered in pumpkins. The only problem is that her friends have only seen pumpkins grow on the ground and not on trees. So, they don’t believe her story about her Grandpa’s pumpkin tree. Now it is up to Lola to prove that pumpkins can really grow on trees. Will she be able to show her friends how? Grandpa’s Pumpkin Tree is a story close to the author, Gayanne Leachman’s heart. As a teacher, Writing was Leachman’s favorite subject. Interacting with her students and her own practice has taught her that Social Studies, Science, Math, and other topics empower her students to share their ideas through concrete, three-dimensional experience. In Grandpa’s Pumpkin Tree, she expresses her ideas and creativity through the many devices that make her writing even richer. In this book, Leachman also teaches children about the importance of different perspectives. The story emphasizes the value of what we can learn from others when we are open to seeing the world through their eyes. It also shows what happens when adults encourage children to ask questions and discover answers instead of dismissing what they say. Reading Grandpa’s Pumpkin Tree can be a fun and effective teaching moment that parents and teachers can share with children. Set in both the school and in the home, children will easily connect to Lola, her friends, and the lessons that they discover together. With a charming story and delightful illustrations, children of all ages are welcomed to discover how Lola and her Grandpa manage to grow pumpkins from a tree.
" A charming story with a subtle message. There are different perspectives. We have something to learn from people who see things differently. Great illustrations. "
— M. Loehr, Amazon Reader's Review
As a classroom teacher, Gayanne’s favorite subject was writing. She came to learn, though, that while English was the ‘engine’ of writing, other subjects - Social Studies, Science, and even Math - also offered wonderful opportunities for her students to share their understandings, ideas, and creative thoughts through concrete, 3-dimensional experiences, as well as through writing. Eventually, she was given a chance to express a ‘concrete, 3-dimensional experience’ through writing - how a pumpkin tree came to grow in her backyard.