New York Times
In this story of love, disaster and astonishing good luck, Eric Rohmann twines threads from folklore, popular culture, printmaking and the book arts. He's a storyteller and artist who understands his form — the picture book — very well indeed. The art features bold black lines, like the pictures in Rohmann’s My Friend Rabbit, which won the 2003 Caldecott Medal, with a simple palette of sapphire blue, light blue and, of course, pumpkin orange. Most of the pictures are small, surrounded by white margins. Where he varies the format it's for dramatic effect, as when an ambitious bat, supposing he would like to live in Otho's head, flies right out of the boundary of the picture with the amazed pumpkin head in its claws, leaving the boy’s body behind.
— Susan Marie Swanson
School Library Journal
A perfect blend of art and text works together to convey the adventures of a boy born “with a pumpkin for a head.” A crafty flying bat plucks up Otho's head and explains in rhyme why he drops it into the sea. After a large fish swallows it, an even larger squid squeezes the fish, with Otho shooting out, “like a cork from a popgun.” In excellent pacing, the next page shows the pumpkin-head hero drifting at sea, then scooped up by a fisherman. Young children are sure to enjoy the bouncing rhythm of the fisherman’s words as he compares Otho to all the other types of fish he has netted. Besides black and white, Rohmann consistently uses shades of blue and patches of orange throughout. In this artwork, less is truly more. The multiple-color relief prints done on an etching press, with large white space surrounding smaller, movie-still-like pictures, enhance the visual appeal. In Otho’s face, Rohmann captures the vulnerable emotions of a lost child, and the wide smiles when returning to a mother’s embrace. Gather your little pumpkin heads close to you in the fall as you read them this tale and watch their faces light up with a glowing grin.
—James K. Irwin, Poplar Creek Main Library, Steamwood, IL