Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Picture Books for Kids With a Message for Fall Halloween + Year Round Book Review



Ask kids and adults who celebrate Halloween what symbol they most associate with this holiday and more likely than not one of the first things to come to mind will be -- you guessed it -- pumpkins. 

With so many children's titles out there already centered around the night when trick-or-treaters go out in search of candy and other spooky happenings, it's refreshing to find two unique stand-out illustrated books for youngsters ages four to eight years old. Two titles that are not only different from other fare available for the youth market today because the iconic pumpkin figures prominently in each of their plots but because they offer valuable life lesson messages via fun engaging and entertaining reads for kids, moms and dads to enjoy together throughout the year.

The Story of The Great Pumpkin Man Book
The Story of the Great Pumpkin Man by Dr. Kirk Rossiter and Sofia Rossiter is a book inspired by their own kids that I think preschool and early elementary school children will enjoy reading with moms, dads and caregivers both during Halloween as well as just about any other time of year. The tale is authored by an anesthesiologist which piqued my interest in reviewing this from the start because my own husband is also a doctor practicing the same medical specialty. After reading it I can assure you that there is nothing sedating about this cute story.

Dr. Rossiter and his wife Sofia have an interest in helping to shape early childhood attitudes about healthy active lifestyles and thankfully this book is their response to the fact that a staggering 17 percent of all kids ages 2 to 19 are now classified as obese. In The Story of the Great Pumpkin Man this knowledgeable and passionate couple addresses the issue head-on, offering a healthy spin on Halloween as seen through the eyes of 9 year-old narrator Kirk and his 3 year-old sister Elena. 

What will become of the huge haul of candy both kids collect trick-or-treating? In this book readers young and old will find out, along the way learning the importance about good health. A bit pricey at $21.99 for a 43-page kid's paperback with graphic novel cartoon style illustrations, but still a wise choice because of the fun way healthy habits are presented to children.

Pumpkin Soup Book & CD Set
Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper is a sweet children's storybook originally published in Great Britain by Doubleday Books. It's now available from MacMillan Young Listeners as a paperback and CD set for just $9.99. The accompanying CD features actress and voice over artist Kathleen McInerney reading the children's picture book which centers around three unlikely animal friends -- Cat, Duck and Squirrel -- who possess human characteristics and who encounter people-type challenges such as cooking pumpkin soup together. Hear an audio excerpt from the CD reading of this book.

In the beginning of the tale the trio gets along famously in the kitchen. But when a disagreement arises between the three and Duck disappears, an adventure unfolds. In the end, the group of close buddies learns the not only the value of true friendship but also the importance of team work, getting along and how to respect each other's special gifts and talents.

In addition to teaching important lessons about friendship and cooperative relationships, Pumpkin Soup is wonderfully illustrated. The charming pictures throughout the tale -- which I'd describe as a modern Beatrix Potter illustration style -- make each page beautiful, bringing the characters to life against a whimsical backdrop of forest scenes. Though this book doesn't reference any particular holiday directly, kids will certainly enjoy this throughout the Fall --- from Halloween to Thanksgiving -- or for that matter during the rest of the year. Winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal, Publisher's Weekly calls this title enchanting. I absolutely couldn't agree more. 

The Story of the Great Pumpkin Man, 2012, Paperback, $21.99

ISBN 9781469179896
by Dr. Kirk Rossiter and Sofia Rossiter
Available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Pumpkin Soup, 2005, Paperback & CD set, $9.99
ISBN 9781427207401
by Helen Cooper
Widely available online and in bookstores

FTC Disclosure: I received both books from the respective publishers to facilitate this review post but did not receive any other compensation.  See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment