With Halloween just around the corner I want to present an alternative to the ghosts, witches, vampires and zombies. (Did you know that the most favored costume this year is a zombie costume–at least for the older trick-or-treaters?) My suggestion–I really like this book–is The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs .

In this picture book Higgs, welcomes the reader to the farmland. Her quiet words bring an unexpected excitement to the growing of corn, tomatoes and best of all the growing of pumpkins. Her description of planting pumpkin seeds will make every child eager to start his own pumpkin patch and experience the wonder as leaf after leaf unfolds. But she presents more than the steps of planting. Scripture verses on each page reveal that this is more than the author’s story. It is God’s story. He is the creator of new things and new beginnings.

Finally, in October, after great anticipation, a pumpkin is picked and carved with triangular eyes and nose. The candle inside the pumpkin sheds light on a dark world. This is what God asks each of us to do. Be His light in a dark world. Even though it was printed in 1995, published by Thomas Nelson, The Pumpkin Patch Parable is a classic worthy to be read to each generation.

Nancy Munger’s colorful illustrations bring out the quiet simplicity of this book.

Carol Green, a graduate of Northwestern, is married and the mother of three adult children. Her five grandchildren affectionately call her “Grams cracker.”

She is the published author of many poems for both adults and children; three coloring books: God Gave Me Five, ABC Fun Book, and Color God’s World Bright; and the picture book: My Mom Loves Me.