The last few weeks have been a struggle here on the home front, as we found our family visited by a yucky virus. Fortunately, it wasn’t that virus, but a nasty one nonetheless, sweeping through every family member, and leaving me practically bedridden for 10 days.
As my fellow mamas can surely attest, moms don’t usually take ‘sick days,’ so to throw-up one’s arms in defeat in the face of any illness is pretty darn rare and dramatically disrupts the flow of family life.
Luckily, thanks to lots of help from my husband and our families, we are finally on the mend, and after a two week break from posting, I’m attempting to get back to writing.
Since I haven’t had a great deal of time to dedicate to research, I’m keeping this week’s post simple, sharing three delightful discoveries that are fueling my soul this fall: a charming seasonal children’s book, an artfully crafted fall screen time option, and a gorgeous pumpkin succulent.
I hope you enjoy these little bits of lovely as much as I do!
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A Charming Seasonal Children’s Classic: Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor
- Published: 1938
- Written & Illustrated by: Tasha Tudor
- Ages: 2-5 years
Looking for something delightful to read to your little ones this fall? Look no further than Tasha Tudor’s Pumpkin Moonshine.
Sweet little Sylvie Ann and her dog, Wiggy, attempt to pick their own fat pumpkin, straight from the vine, to make a pumpkin moonshine (jack-o’-lantern) for Halloween. But how to get their fine pumpkin home?
Author and illustrator Tasha Tudor’s love of nature, family, and animals shines through in this book’s charming watercolor illustrations and pastoral scenes.
Ms. Tudor was a prolific American illustrator, and two-time Caldecott Honor winner, with a lifelong passion for nature, gardening, crafting, and living simply. In addition to pursuing her work as an illustrator into her mid-80’s, she also dedicated herself to recreating a rural lifestyle reminiscent of Pre-Industrial farm life. You can read more about her fascinating life, here.
I have such fond memories of being read this book as a little girl, and it’s been very special to share it in turn with my own young children.
This book is wonderful to read before a trip to the pumpkin patch, especially if your little ones will have an opportunity to see pumpkins growing on the vine. In California, it can be hard to find patch with pumpkins on the vine, but it’s worth doing a little research in your area to see some beautiful pumpkins in their more natural state!
- Soft, intricate watercolor paintings
- A gentle, but captivating story
- Perfectly seasonal, but without any of the usual scary characters
Artfully Crafted Screen Time Parents Can Love Too: Room on the Broom
- Released: 2013
- Produced by: Magic Light Pictures
- Directed by: Max Lang, Jan Lachauer
Those who know me, know I’ve got beef with a lot of today’s children’s television series. My biggest complaints are typically pacing and general noise level.
So many screen time options seem frenetically paced, to the point where watching them makes me feel anxious and agitated. If I’m feeling agitated by a show, I can only imagine how it’s affecting my much more sensitive little ones.
With everything around us speeding up, from technology to communications, even shipping times, I understand that our society has become accustomed to ‘instant’ everything.
That said, I wish we could do more to keep this desire for instant satisfaction out of shows, songs, and other media intended for our children. Media with instant-feeling resolutions and a continual stream of stimuli don’t do anything to help children stretch or develop their focus, and I suspect the overstimulating quality of these shows could exacerbate a whole host of other issues for children behaviorally.
My complaints about the sound quality of these shows follow similar logic. Series permeated with loud noises, hectic music, even fast-paced speaking, really drive me bonkers. If a show makes me want to cover my ears, and gives me a headache, I’ve decided it no longer deserves a place on our list of screen time options.
But I digress, in summary, these screen time gripes have placed my on a constant quest for better options. Because let’s face it, we all need a little screen time in our lives, and with so many streaming platforms available today, there are some truly great options available to parents. One such gem is Magic Light Pictures’ adaptation of Room on the Broom.
Based on the best-selling children’s book by author, Julia Donaldson, and illustrator, Axel Scheffler, this screen adaptation is a 27-minute animated short film, and is currently available to watch for free on Amazon Prime.
The plot follows a kind witch and her (arguably less friendly) cat, as they ride about on her broomstick, encountering misadventures and new friends along the way. Parents will love the story’s deeper message of inclusion, as the witch makes “room on the broom” for new, diverse passengers.
I’m obsessed with Ms. Donaldson’s simple, but impactful prose. As a parent, it’s just so enjoyable to read her books. The rhymes are satisfying and roll-off the tongue nicely.
And while it’s rarely the case, I actually love this screen adaptation more than the original book itself! With the book, the reader recognizes that the witch is ‘making room’ for new and different friends, but what is made much clearer on screen, is that each new friend is, in fact, a misfit. I think this detail strengthens the message of respecting and appreciating the differences among us.
That said, I do recommend reading the book to your children before showing them the movie. The dragon character is much scarier on screen, but if little ones are familiar with the books happy ending, they are sure to find this part of the movie less frightful.
I think familiarity with the story will enhance their overall viewing experience too. My 4 year-old son really enjoyed watching the book come to life on screen, and he even recites the dialogue alongside the characters.
- Slow pacing and brief dialogue will challenge little ones (and parents alike) to focus and pay close attention
- A beautiful score enriches the plot through shifting tones
- Artful animation feels almost cinematic
- A lovely message of inclusion
A Gorgeous Pumpkin Succulent
This weekend, my dad surprised us with this stunning pumpkin succulent plant, hand-made by a family member.
This unexpected delight is currently breathing so much life into my kitchen. I just love an opportunity to bring living things inside, and knowing it’s something hand-made with love makes it all the more inspiring.
The plant’s crafter shared with me that her prior creations have lasted almost 5 months. And when the pumpkin begins to decay, she plants the succulents in her garden, complete with pumpkin base for added nutrients.
- Fall decor that feels fresh
- Living plants to boost indoor air quality
- Decor that can be repurposed after the holiday
I love that we will be able to transition this into a new setting when the fall season is behind us, and thought this crafty idea was too lovely not to share!
I hope you enjoy these little bits of fall inspiration! I’d love to see some of the ideas, books, movies, or products you are loving this autumn. Head to the comments if you have a favorite to share.