31 Days: Another one for chilly nights

We had to turn on the heat last night. Go ahead, laugh away. Keep laughing, it’s fine. It may only be the end of October, and it may be Atlanta, but we try to keep the house above 62 degrees. (If my girls decide to go to college in Alaska, they will just learn to acclimate.)

In light of this turn of events, I thought I’d share another great book for chilly fall evenings. I bought this book while I was in college, long before I had children, and before I even knew I wanted to be a teacher. Something about it just screamed, “BUY ME!” Ordinarily, I don’t listen to inanimate objects, but I’m awfully glad I listened to this one.

The Pumpkin Blanket

The Pumpkin Blanket, written and painted by Deborah Turney Zagwyn, conveys the spirit and feeling of fall through both its text and paintings. Clee (pictured up there on the cover) has a blanket that she treasures. Her family calls it the pumpkin blanket, and its origins are a little magical and mysterious. The blanket is an important part of her days and nights. When time grows close for Clee to start Kindergarten, the family worries that Clee will not be able to take the blanket with her. At the same time, her father finds that the pumpkins in the family’s garden also need some extra warmth. Generously, Clee shares squares of her pumpkin blanket, one by one, until all the pumpkins are covered.

The story’s magical ending matches its beginning. When only one square is left, the wind whips it out of Clee’s grasp, and simultaneously lifts all the other squares from their assigned pumpkins. Then, the blanket stitches itself back together and flies into the night sky. Perfect for any child who wonders what might happen to a beloved toy or blanket, The Pumpkin Blanket gently explains how things come and go over the course of our lives.

This is the sort of book that you might want to have put aside for the moment when you need it. If you have a little one who is particularly attached to a comfort object, odds are there will be some sort of moment when you find that s/he will need to transition away from that object. For some, this could be a gentle introduction to the idea. For others, this could be a heartwarming confirmation that although some things are no longer parts of our lives, they can still inspire wonderful memories. Let’s face it – even as adults, we struggle to part with ‘things’ that we no longer need. I like to encourage people to give their children plenty of grace when it’s time to let go of or diminish the role of specific objects in their lives.

For more book suggestions, including a lot of fall and Halloween favorites, just click on the picture below.

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