Carmin Cares: a toddler-friendly Pumpkinheads book about loving Earth

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Everyone, meet Carmin. She's the main character in the new book Carmin Cares, and also the first character in the Pumpkinheads series. With themes like environmental protection explained on a level that two and three-year-olds will understand, you can see why The Pumpkinheads books caught our attention.

As the protagonist of her environment-focused tale, Carmen takes kids on a trip through her surroundings, stopping at universally-adored locations like playgrounds and pointing out all the ways children can keep Earth clean. The book has been lauded by readers for increasing reading comprehension and also appealing to special needs children.

While working together on the book, Author Karen Kilpatrick and illustrator An-Lon Chen bonded over their shared ideals behind the environmental themes in Carmin Cares, and the pair have several Pumpkinheads installments planned. I asked them a few questions about themselves, the series, and of course, Carmin:

What sparked the initial idea behind Pumpkinheads?

Karen Kilpatrick: From the time my son was only a few weeks old, I would tell him stories before bed each night. By the time my two daughters were born, I was making about four to five books each month out of construction paper, crayons (and glitter!) for my kids based on the stories I told them. I never thought about actually creating a business from these projects until my husband gently nudged me in the right direction. I was tired of my corporate job, wanted to spend more time with my children, and loved creating the books — and that is how Pumpkinheads™ was born!

What can you tell us about Carmin? What do toddlers and preschoolers really love about her?

Karen: Carmin is headstrong and determined. She is definitely the one Pumpkinhead™ who is not afraid to stand up for something she believes in. She is very creative. I have found that toddlers and preschoolers really relate to her story and reactions on an emotional level.
An-Lon: If there's anything I've learned about my friends' kids, it's that they come into the world with their own individual personalities and nothing under the sun is ever going to change that! Parents and other adults have a huge responsibility for teaching universal values such as kindness and caring, but underneath that umbrella, toddlers display an incredible range of temperament and personality.

What I love about the Pumpkinheads characters is that they reflect that range. Carmin is strong-willed, she loves to draw! Over the course of a simple story, she goes through the full range of human emotion.

What are the major themes in Carmin Cares? Why do they matter to you?

Karen: Kids are super impressionable and what you teach them at a young age can stick with them for the rest of their lives. I think it's never too early to reach children, but it's important to do it in a fun and relatable way. That's where Carmin Cares comes in! It's a simple message — about taking action when something is important to you, and caring about your surroundings.
AN-Lon: I think it's impossible to work on a project like Carmin Cares and not have it impact your personal life. Carmin Cares is about respecting the world around you, and it's also a celebration of creativity.

You can connect with the creators and follow along with the development of the Pumpkinheads books on Facebook and through the Pumpkinheads blog. And don't forget to snag your copy of Carmin Cares — happy reading!

  1. I'm excited to see more books in this series. I'm always on the look out for environmentally-themed books that my son can understand.

    1 agrees

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