With pumpkin bread baking in the oven and the cozy aroma of pumpkin spice filling every room of the house, I was in the mood for some fall reads as Autumn comes to an end. Jeb Scarecrow’s Pumpkin Patch written and illustrated by Jana Dillon is a picture book with illustrations that resemble classic styles from 40 to 50 years before its time (1992), which I appreciated. I especially enjoyed the attention to detail on the various styles and characteristics portrayed through the crows and the designs of the scarecrow family members’ bed frames: a large carved pumpkin for a headboard and carved pumpkin vines crawling up the bed posts, as well as corn stalks. These elements were creatively imagined and fitting for scarecrows. The story itself revolves around Jeb, a scarecrow kid, who is in charge of protecting his pumpkin field from the crows planning to have a party and eat all of his pumpkins. Even his parents don’t think Jeb can do anything to save his crop, but Jeb doesn’t give up and his parents do offer their help and support. It’s a most pleasant read.
The next book I chose to read while the pumpkin bread continued to bake was Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Lauren Stringer. This picture book with its depth of writing and beautiful images, which resonate well while the reader is being guided by the story, depict a richly sentimental fall time in a scarecrow’s daily life and his simplicity of purpose. Along the way, I myself was encouraged to take more time to appreciate the clouds above me passing by when I’m outside, as well as the living creatures that may approach me. It would be difficult not to fall in love with autumn all over again while reading this gem.
Not having time to read the whole book before the pumpkin bread finished baking, I still chose to start reading The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving and illustrated by Arthur Rackham. What a tale of suspense, the supernatural, and comedy all wrapped into one! Also, the illustrations are known to be illustrations that depict this story in its truest original form; this publication is worth a look whether reading the story for the first time or revisiting this beloved classic.
Lastly, I read The Scarecrow and the Spider written and illustrated by Todd Aaron Smith, a sweet picture book about a spider and a scarecrow who befriend each other and take the time and courage to help each other when in need. Friendship isn’t just for sharing, but also for helping each other. Scarecrow learns from the spider that God is always with him even when he feels alone. Well, the pumpkin bread has had time to cool. Guess what I’m going to do now?