Pumpkin Patch Painting
Tube Flutes

Pumpkin Soup

by Helen Cooper

This is the absolutely perfect book for the time between Halloween and Thanksgiving, when the trees are bare, and the smell of pumpkin wafts through the house.

Big Pumpkin tells the story of three friends who have a disagreement, and the antics that ensue because no one wants to compromise. Even the youngest of readers will most likely have of memories of their own about being in a similar situation as presented in the book, and are sure to sympathize with the characters. The plot is highly entertaining, full of fun and enhanced by the detailed illustrations that seem to present something new each time the book is read.

In this Issue

Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Soup

Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Soup - Pumpkin Soup - Off the Shelf

You can't read Pumpkin Soup without making Pumpkin Soup! Our recipe has the secret ingredient of a little peanut butter, which adds just enough saltiness to balance the sweetness of the pumpkin.

Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Soup

Adapted from Pumpkin Peanut Butter Soup.


  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (canned or homemade, leftover from your pie)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup skim milk (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the pumpkin, broth, water, peanut butter, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  3. Stir until thickened, and all peanut butter has melted into the soup, about 3-5 minutes. You might need to thin the soup a bit with the skim milk.
  4. Enjoy!


Tube Flutes

Play music together like Duck, Cat, and Squirrel, with these tube flute and rubber band guitar crafts!

Tube Flutes - Pumpkin Soup - Off the Shelf

Tube Flutes 


  • Paper towel or bathroom tissues rolls – 1 roll makes 1 flute
  • Markers or crayons
  • Wax paper
  • Scissors
  • Rubber bands

Parent Preparation

Cut wax paper into 3” squares – one for each flute your reader would like to make.

Making the Flutes

Ask your reader to decorate a roll using markers and crayons. Once the decorating is finished, place a wax paper square over one end of the roll and secure with a rubber band. The young musician can now play away by blowing into the open end of the roll. Vibrations from the wax paper will create the music.

Rubber Band Guitars

Rubber Band Guitars - Pumpkin Soup - Off the Shelf

Rubber Band Guitars


  • Rubber bands
  • Shoe box or Styrofoam tray 
  • Markers or other supplies for decorating the shoe box (optional)

Making The Guitars

Stretch rubber bands across a shoebox or Styrofoam tray and strum away! Your reader may prefer to decorate the box or tray before adding the rubber bands. Color with markers or crayons, add stickers, glue on construction paper or whatever else comes to mind!


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