Pumpkin is The New Turkey by Susan Fry

Thanksgiving used to revolve around the big turkey dinner, a symbol of family, community, and warmth during a cold autumn.  But these days, more adults are vegetarian, or squeamish.  It’s not surprising that the dead bird may have lost its appeal.

Pumpkins are the perfect substitute.  What could be warmer, jollier, or more huggable than the round orange pumpkin?  At least until Santa arrives in December.

So, if you’re looking for a warm fuzzy feeling this fall, gather around these books about pumpkins.

Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin, by Tad Hills.  This board book for very young children gives a warm example of friendship with beautiful fall colors.  Duck and Goose search everywhere for a pumpkin – in a log, a lake, and even up a tree.  Finally, when they realize they can look in a pumpkin patch, they find the perfect prize together.

Pumpkin Soup, by Helen Cooper.  The friendship of a cat, a squirrel, and a duck is shown through the pumpkin soup they make together.  When they fight, the soup tastes terrible; when they make up, the soup is once again yummy.  The illustrations, including a fantastical, acorn-shaped house, give the story a fairy-tale quality.

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever, by Steven Kroll, illustrated by Jeni Bassett.  Two little mice, unbeknownst to each other, take care of the same pumpkin. When they realize what’s been happening, they burst out laughing instead of fighting and share the now-enormous pumpkin.  The drawings cleverly show the pumpkin bringing together the whole community as well as two new friends.

Too Many Pumpkins, by Linda White, illustrated by Megan Lloyd.  Rebecca Estelle hates pumpkins.  So when she accidentally has a bumper crop, she knows she has to get rid of them.  She makes “pumpkin tarts, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cakes.  Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin cookies . . .” and gives them away to everyone in town.  Once again, pumpkins bring a community together, and Rebecca Estelle even decides to plant more pumpkins for the next year.

Susan Fry is a writer and mother in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s written for Stanford Magazine, salon, the San Jose Mercury News, and many other publications.

You can check out the Sweet Peas & Stilettos’ children’s books page for quick access to all of Susan’s wonderful children’s book reviews.

This very cool photograph of all of the fabulous pumpkins is from Shiny Cooking. Check out the site for lots of vegetarian recipes and more.

$20 off and free shipping on all holiday card orders with code SNOW20SHIP

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