One of my favorite new childrens books for the fall season is The Little Pumpkins by Catholic wife, mom and author Marjory S. Erdman.

Marjory’s book is small and sturdy, the perfect size for little hands.  In the story, three pumpkins discover their "rotten spots" and are lovingly transformed into smiling new creations with a bright light buried deep inside by a loving Farmer who shares with them the story of Jesus Christ.

Marjory shares that this simple, yet lovely pumpkin parable was born on a family trip to the pumpkin patch a few years back:

"This fall activity has an interesting connection to my Catholic Christian faith journey.  Christians are also picked from the vast pumpkin patch, called the human race. We are claimed for Christ Jesus at Baptism, (harvested like a pumpkin), dedicated to Him by our parents. Throughout our Christian walk we are challenged to change our behavior, and thinking on that of the perfect life of Jesus Christ.

God knows we struggle with sinful (wrong behavior) and God gives us many chances to recognize our rotten spots, or dirt. When we ask for God’s help, and forgiveness at Reconciliation, our relationship with Jesus gets stronger. (All the yucky stuff from inside is being scooped out, forgiven, "like the pumpkin seeds!") The internal human seeds of doubt, fear, or lack of trust feelings we no longer need are disposed of - you get a happy face (just as we made for our pumpkins)!  Accepting the love of God offers the bright light of the Holy Spirit, (The tea lights we placed in our pumpkins are a symbol of the Holy Spirit.)

Anyone can choose this process - we all have many chances to surrender our life to God so he can gently change us. This was just what we did with our pumpkins that day.  This inspired me to write, and draw my childrens story."

One of my favorite aspects of this book are the lovely illustrations by Kathy Hoyt.  Kathy’s art syncs beautifully with Marjory’s message of love and redemption.  These pumpkins look so happy and filled with joy, despite their "rotten spots" - what a beautiful message of Christ’s saving power to share with our littlest children.  Through Jesus’ love and compassion, we too can be made new!

I hope you’ll check out The Little Pumpkins by Marjory S. Erdman.  I’d love to hear some of your favorite Fall books that you enjoy sharing with your little ones!