When Pumpkins Fly

Written By: Margaret Lawrence

Illustrated by: Amanda Sandland & Margaret Lawrence

For Ages: 4-8 years

Language: English & some Inuktitut

Topics Covered: First Nations, Indigenous Voices, Halloween, Holiday Celebrations, Folklore.

Summary: Happy Indigenous People’s Day! We are currently on occupied Massachuset/Nipmuc land.

I wanted to share this book today because it not only talks about real Halloween celebrations in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut where pumpkins are actually flown in for kids to carve, but it is also published by one of our favorite First Nations publishers!

I love the way this book combines current holiday celebrations with traditional Inuit folklore to make a spooky tale about Halloween! Students get a pumpkin delivered to their classroom and everyone carves it together. There’s a drawing for who gets to take it home, and the lucky kid is our narrator! After school, the community celebrates the holiday by trick-or-treating and having a community dance. But late at night our narrator starts thinking about the tunnaat that will be wandering around in the dark. What might happen to the pumpkin??

This book was published by Inhabit Media and is a submission for the #bookstagang_bestof2020 list! All opinions are my own.

Margaret Lawrence

Margaret Lawrence is an educator and artist. She was born in Japan and moved to the Canadian Arctic in 1980, first to Frobisher Bay (now Iqaluit) and then to Sanikiluaq in 1988, where she began teaching. She has spent more than half her life in the Canadian Arctic, seeing much change in the community over that time period. She has been fortunate to learn from four generations of Qikiqtarmiut, the people of the community she calls home.

Amanda Sandland

Amanda Sandland is an illustrator living in the Toronto area. She studied illustration at Seneca College, eventually specializing in comic arts and character design. When not drawing, she can be found studying, designing characters, creating costumes and replica props, or burying her nose in a comic.

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