•Make sure it has no soft spots anywhere and has at least one smooth, unblemished face for carving. Put it back if there is major discoloration on any side.
•Having a strong, well-attached stem is a sign of healthiness.
•A medium-sized pumpkin is easier to work with than a huge or tiny one. But be flexible about the shape--a tall, skinny pumpkin may be just the thing for your design.
•Balance is important too; a solid bottom that supports the pumpkin means less chance of rolling or being knocked over.