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As hot summer weather cools and turns into rainy fall, snuggling up with the kids and reading some great books is the perfect way to spend the afternoon. With that in mind, here are some of my family's favorite picture books about fall and Thanksgiving. May they bring as much pleasure to your family as they have to mine!
Favorite Fall Themed Picture Books
* My Basket of Blessings by Mary Manz Simon. This cute board book is engaging to look at and reinforces the important concept of counting the blessings God gives us. The book is die cut to look like a basket, and each page has die cut
images of items inside the basket, giving a fun layered look. Each item is fall-related, including juicy apples that "will never match the sweetness of God's love for me," a scarecrow to remind that God made us, and a pumpkin pie, with it's
wafting scent, to remind us God's gifts are everywhere.
God's Oak Tree by Allia Zobel Nolan.This board book is beautiful to behold. The cover features a die-cut hole through which you can see a smiling
acorn. Open up the book, and you'll find the pages are of different
shapes, starting narrow and growing wider. Each time you turn a page,
the image of an acorn hanging from a tree shifts, and on the opposite
side the image of a fully grown oak tree gradually appears. Each page is
beautifully illustrated, with rich nature colors, lots of
wild animals, and plenty of detail. Best of all, this book explains science (how an acorn turns into a tree) from a Christian standpoint.
* Give Thanks to the Lord by Karma Wilson. Based on Psalm 92, this book celebrates the glory of nature during fall, giving God thanks for providing it. I especially love that this book makes it easy to memorize a simple Bible verse.
* My Happy Pumpkin by Crystal Bowman. This cheery board book tells the story of a pumpkin turned jack-o-lantern and how it symbolizes the way God washes away our sin and shines through us. It's sure to become a
seasonal favorite, perfect for reading while your children decorate pumpkins.
* The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs. Very similar to My Happy Pumpkin, but targeting a slightly older age group (say, 5 - 8). A classic! (In fact, check out all the parable books in this series, each focused on a different time of year. They are excellent.)
Favorite Thanksgiving Themed Picture Books
Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas. If you read your children only one fall or Thanksgiving themed book this year, make it this one. Here's a part of history few people know - how Squanto's life was shaped by God at least in part to help the Pilgrims. An amazing story!
* Mary's First Thanksgiving by Kathy-Jo Wargin. A story that helps instill thankfulness, while teaching the legend of the five kernels.
Samuel Eaton's Day & Sarah Morton's Day by Kate Waters. Filled with full color photos of reenactors from Plymouth Plantation, which do an excellent job of showing what everyday life was like for Pilgrim children. These books don't specifically mention Thanksgiving, mind you, but are still a great tie in with that holiday. (Also check out the companion book about a Native American boy of the same time period: Tapenum's Day.)
* Three Young Pilgrims by Cheryl Harness. My kids adore the illustrations in this book, and often spend days studying them. They are detailed and rich, and the story itself does a good job of showing why the Pilgrims came to the New World, how they suffered, and how they trusted God.