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Steven Kroll (1941–2011)

Author of The Biggest Pumpkin Ever

112+ Works 16,582 Members 176 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Steven Kroll was born in Manhattan, New York on August 11, 1941. After graduating from Harvard University with a degree in American history and literature in 1962, he worked as an editor of books for adults in London, England, and New York City. In the early 1970s, a children's book editor urged show more him to try his hand at writing for children, and he began what would become his career. His first picture book, Is Milton Missing?, was published in 1975. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 95 picture books, chapter books, and young adult novels including The Biggest Pumpkin Ever, Jungle Bullies, That Makes Me Mad, Sweet America, Pooch on the Loose, and When I Dream of Heaven. He died from complications of gastrointestinal surgery on March 8, 2011 at the age of 69. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Steven Kroll

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever (1984) 2,922 copies
The Biggest Snowman Ever (2005) 2,914 copies
The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever (2009) 1,202 copies
The Biggest Apple Ever (1824) 1,039 copies
The Biggest Valentine Ever (2006) 975 copies
It's Groundhog Day (1987) 744 copies
Oh, What a Thanksgiving! (1988) 588 copies
Jungle Bullies (2006) 323 copies
Loose Tooth (1984) 297 copies
Will You Be My Valentine? (1993) 293 copies
The Candy Witch (1979) 214 copies
Patches: Lost And Found (2001) 151 copies
The Squirrel's Thanksgiving (1991) 151 copies
The Boston Tea Party (1998) 127 copies
The Tyrannosaurus Game (1975) 126 copies
Pony Express! (1996) 121 copies
It's April Fool's Day! (1990) 110 copies
Oh, Tucker! (1998) 105 copies
Is Milton Missing? (1975) 100 copies
Big Jeremy (1777) 99 copies
The Goat Parade (1983) 65 copies
Barbarians! (2009) 62 copies
That Makes Me Mad! (1811) 60 copies
The Hanukkah Mice (2008) 57 copies
Happy Mother's Day (1985) 54 copies
The Pigrates Clean Up (1993) 53 copies
Dirty feet (1980) 48 copies
Under the City (1996) 35 copies
Queen of the May (1993) 25 copies
Doctor on an Elephant (1994) 23 copies
Fat Magic (1978) 21 copies
The Hand-Me Down Doll (1983) 21 copies
Super-Dragon (2011) 20 copies
Happy Father's Day (1988) 19 copies
Playing Favorites (1992) 14 copies
Gone Fishing Glb (1990) 13 copies
New Kid in Town (1992) 12 copies
Are You Pirates? (1982) 12 copies
The Hokey-Pokey Man (1989) 11 copies
Friday the 13th (1981) 11 copies
I Love Spring! (1987) 11 copies
Eat! (Hyperion Chapters) (1995) 10 copies
Andrew Wants a Dog (1992) 10 copies
The Magic Rocket (1992) 10 copies
The Slump (1992) 10 copies
Annabelle's Un-Birthday (1991) 9 copies
Breaking Camp (1985) 9 copies
Toot! Toot! (1983) 9 copies
Second Chance (1994) 8 copies
T.J. Folger, Thief (1978) 8 copies
A Tale of Two Dogs (2004) 8 copies
Don't Get Me in Trouble R (1987) 7 copies
The Streak (1992) 7 copies
Pitching Trouble (1994) 7 copies
You're Out! (1994) 6 copies
Patrick's Tree House (1994) 6 copies
Space Cats (1979) 6 copies
Giant journey (1981) 6 copies
Monster Birthday (1980) 5 copies
Woof Woof (1983) 5 copies
Annie's Four Grannies (1986) 4 copies
Pride of the Rockets (1994) 2 copies
Multiple choice (1987) 2 copies
Les bonbons magiques (1979) 1 copy

Associated Works

Nina in That Makes Me Mad (2011) 67 copies
Witch Poems (1976) — Contributor — 63 copies
Monster Poems (1976) — Contributor — 20 copies


American history (59) animals (115) apples (105) autumn (71) children (72) children's (110) children's book (45) Christmas (262) cooperation (51) Easter (177) fall (310) family (53) February (60) fiction (303) friends (43) friendship (108) Groundhog Day (123) Halloween (429) history (119) holiday (173) holidays (339) mice (215) mouse (44) non-fiction (65) October (55) picture book (414) pumpkin (91) pumpkins (231) school (48) seasons (101) snow (166) snowman (114) snowmen (69) spring (59) St. Patrick's Day (84) teamwork (72) Thanksgiving (201) Valentine's Day (231) Valentines (45) winter (437)

Common Knowledge



Brenda and Buddy Squirrel discover that things could always be worse in this Thanksgiving picture book about learning to count your blessings. Although the siblings try to be polite, after their parents tell them that on Thanksgiving Day they must show how thankful they are for one another, they have trouble maintaining their good behavior—even in church. Sibling rivalry, and their resentment of small slights leads them to think they really don't have anything to be thankful for. Then their cousins Penny and Chuck come to holiday dinner, and demonstrate what a truly spiteful relationship looks like...

Originally published in 1991, The Squirrels' Thanksgiving is the second seasonal picture book I have read from author/illustrator team Steven Kroll and Jeni Bassett, after their The Biggest Pumpkin Ever. Like that other book, it features anthropomorphic animals, using them in this case to explore family dynamics at the holidays, and to emphasize that sometimes, the people who annoy us from day to day, really aren't that bad. I'm not sure what it says, that this insight must come from an example of truly poor behavior—no hope of future character development for Penny and Chuck is offered in the narrative—but leaving that aside, I think many children will be able to identify with this tale of siblings squabbling at the holidays. The accompanying artwork isn't a standout, but is cute enough. I'm not honestly sure I would strongly recommend this one, save perhaps to picture book audiences looking for stories which address sibling rivalry at the holidays.
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AbigailAdams26 | 1 other review | Nov 24, 2023 |
Clayton the village mouse and Desmond the field mouse both fall in love with the same pumpkin, Clayton visiting it during the day to care for it, and Desmond at night. With their faithful ministrations, the pumpkin soon begins to grow to an enormous size, with both mice making their plans: one wants to win the town pumpkin contest, while the other dreams of creating the most magnificent jack-o-lantern ever. When the two eventually meet, they decide to work together to fulfill both of their ambitions...

The first of a number of seasonal picture books from author/illustrator team Steven Kroll and Jeni Bassett to feature the mice of Mouseville, The Biggest Pumpkin Ever pairs an engaging story of hard work and dreaming big with cute illustrations. I liked the fact that Clayton and Desmond discovering one another led, not to conflict, but to the two working together. That said, I did think it a little odd that Desmond followed the course of action he did, given that the narrative tells us that the pumpkin was in Clayton's garden. Surely it isn't reasonable for him to expect that it would be his, to make into a jack-o-lantern, when it always belonged to someone else? Leaving that aside, this was a sweet, gentle little tale for the Halloween season, and I would recommend it to picture book readers seeking such fare.
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AbigailAdams26 | 20 other reviews | Oct 22, 2023 |
Santa is having a rough night and an elf helps keep everything under control.
FamiliesUnitedLL | 1 other review | May 20, 2023 |
After Mary’s family immigrates to America to escape the potato famine, they live in an Irish neighborhood in NYC. Mary wants very much to ride in the St. Patrick’s Day parade and searches diligently for a four leaf clover 🍀. She tangles with a Leprechaun and loses but guess who saves the day?

4/5 lucky clovers.
FamiliesUnitedLL | 5 other reviews | May 19, 2023 |



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Meredith Johnson Illustrator
Tomie De Paola Illustrator
Toni Hormann Illustrator
Jeni Bassett Illustrator
Oliver Wyman Narrator
Janet Stevens Illustrator
S. D. Schindler Illustrator
Michael Dooling Illustrator
Marylin Hafner Illustrator
Vincent Nguyen Illustrator
Tricia Tusa Illustrator
Lillian Hoban Illustrator
Barry Gott Illustrator
Donald Carrick Illustrator
Ned Delaney Illustrator
Patience Brewster Illustrator
Will Hillenbrand Illustrator
John C. Wallner Illustrator
Carolyn Ewing Illustrator
Friso Henstra Illustrator
Kelly Oechsli Illustrator
Michael Lobel Composer
Lionel Wilson Narrator
Juan R. Azaola Translator
Christine Davenier Illustrator
Hilary Knight Illustrator
Jane Casserly Narrator


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