The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin

Fall.  That time of year when the leaves turn a riot of brilliant colors and people steep themselves in the lore of witches, ghosts, unspeakable horrors…

…and pumpkins.  Especially pumpkins.


image via Amazon, purveyor of many fine things and stuff

And mightiest of all is he whose exploits leap from the pages of The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano.

Just how am I acquainted with Spookley?  I’m glad I asked…

Years ago, I went to lunch with a couple of friends from work.  One of them had to fulfill some sort of quest in the local Barnes & Noble, and we followed him inside.

Who could have known that Destiny awaited within?

There, in the shadowy vestibule, a long table sagged beneath the weight of many fine volumes, as if someone had spread all the wisdom of the ancients before us.  A column of orange tomes towered over us as if to say, “No need to pass beyond this shadowy vestibule.  I am all the book you need.”

And it spoke the truth.

What secrets of the cosmos did The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin offer?  What mysteries from beyond time and space were about to reveal themselves?

I seized the volume in trembling hands to discover the answer…


A Steely-Eyed Pumpkin
PD image via Pixabay

As the astute observer will surmise, our hero, Spookley, is a sapient pumpkin.  He is also a rectangular cuboid square, which anyone who knows their gourds will realize is a suboptimal shape.  He lives in a society divided into two factions: the round pumpkins and the square pumpkins.  Sadly, Spookley is the only square pumpkin.

The round pumpkins often taunt him:

“You’re not round–you’re square!”

Then the round pumpkins somehow propel themselves away, their sinister laughter echoing in Spookley’s mind.

But when a violent windstorm threatens pumpkinkind with destruction, who among them is of the perfect shape to save the day?

The answer is but one of innumerable secrets that await within its pages.

To be honest, I don’t know for certain how everything turned out for the pumpkins, since we had to leave the shadowy vestibule even as the legend’s dramatic conclusion began to unfold.  But I’m sure it ends well, and that the pumpkins learn a valuable life lesson–one that passes itself on to the reader.

And though this post may have been more appropriate for October, Spookley’s legend is such that it does not conform to Time as we mere mortals reckon it.

*     *     *

What discoveries have you made in the shadowy vestibule of your local bookstore?  What’s your favorite book featuring sapient vegetables?  And would you care to describe your favorite hat?

21 thoughts on “The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin

  1. Kirsten

    That has to be the cutest book cover ever. I think I would have been compelled to take Spookley home too. 🙂 (Besides, there’s a CD inside! I’ll bet it rocks.)
    I don’t think I can remember ever reading a book about a sapient vegetable, which is probably a sign that we need more of them … in fact, you may have created an entirely new genre. 😉

    Thanks for brightening up my Inbox with this little bit of hilarity. It’s always good to see something pop up over at the realms of perilous wonder.

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      Yeah, the cover definitely grabbed my attention out of all the stuff piled up on that table. I probably should have bought a copy since it was a pretty clever idea for a book. Now I’m curious what’s on the CD 😉

      Thanks for stopping by, Kirsten!

  2. Tami Clayton

    I love your book review. This *may* qualify for the WANAFriday theme of sharing about a recently read book that has impacted you in some way. Spookley has deeply affected you in some profound sort of way. And why wouldn’t it? The story of the misunderstood underdog is a classic for a reason. And if Spongebob Squarepants is any indication of the squares of the world finding success, I feel good about Spookley’s chances of leading a happy, profitable life.

    Thanks for sharing this important story, Mike. 🙂

  3. sheilapierson

    I’ve never seen the “Spookley” book before, surprising as many children’s books have made it into my house over the years. I do have many other books about vegetables – talking veggies, giant veggies, runaway veggies, happy veggies – you get the idea 🙂 You asked of favorite hats? I LOVE vintage hats – from the 40s and 50s. I don’t wear them, but I have collected many over the years. Good to see you blogging again 🙂

  4. Ellen Gregory

    I’m a bit disappointed not to hear the punchline, you know… Have you checked whether the book is available for download? 😉

    I once read a book about a talking zucchini. Kidding.

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      Well, I didn’t want to give away the entire book 😉

      And while this particular volume isn’t available for download, it appears Spookley sits at the apex of an entire media franchise. There’s a video, an app for mobile devices, and even what appears to be a sequel available for Kindle.

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      Oh, yeah…Spookley’s media empire has many fine wares for sale: books, videos…even stickers. I’m surprised there are no Spookley action figures, but maybe I haven’t delved deeply enough into the empire…

        1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

          Well, Precalculus keeps me pretty busy with all its…uhh…precalculating and everything, and I would like to start publishing some fiction someday. But Spookley empire-delving comes right after that, I promise 😉


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