Fall Book Reviews: A Thanksgiving Story and a Parade of Whimsical Balloons

Fall is finally here and it’s time to put away those summer swim suits and bring on cool weather sweaters and cozy nights by the fireplace. I don’t know about you, but life always slows down for me in the fall. I start daydreaming about steaming cups of tea and curling up with a good book under my favorite blanket.

That’s why today’s review is on two wonderful little books I stumbled across at my local bookstore. One of them will inspire you with a bit of our nation’s history and the other book…well let’s just say you’ll be smiling all day after reading this whimsical story.

Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving

by: Eric Metexas
Reading Level: 4-9 years
What would fall be without a good Thanksgiving story? I debated about bringing this one to you over some of the other whimsical Thanksgiving story books out there. This book won. It is the perfect read for just after Thanksgiving dinner, when everyone is relaxed and ready to be amazed.

Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving is a historical picture book written for readers age 4-9, but even older readers will find it entertaining. The story recounts the events that occurred in Squanto’s life before he met the Pilgrims. From the day he was kidnapped and sold into slavery to the miraculous circumstances that brought him back to America, it is evident that Squanto was meant to help the Pilgrims survive their new home. There is a theme of faith and destiny running through the book that is quite refreshing in our over-commercialized society.

Simply written, with colorful and detailed illustrations, the story of the first Thanksgiving will come alive. This is the perfect story to read after Thanksgiving dinner and will remind everyone of just why we celebrate this special holiday.

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade
by: Melissa Sweet

Reading Level: 4-8
I’ll admit that it was the balloons on the cover that originally caught my eye (as I may be a tiny bit obsessed with anything to do with balloons and marionettes) but this story book turned out to be a whimsical addition to my Thanksgiving Day celebration.

Balloons over Broadway tells the story of Tony Sarg, a master puppeteer and the creative genius behind the delightful helium balloons that fill the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In beautiful illustrations, the author, Melissa Sweet, captures his playful vision and the zest for life that led to a Thanksgiving tradition. What I loved most about the story was its subtle message that you are never too young to be creative. Tony Sarg’s story will show young readers that it is ok to Dream BIG, because what starts out as just a playful talent may turn into the biggest dream of all.

So grab this charming book for your Thanksgiving Day celebration and be delighted by the “upside-down marionettes (that) rose up to the skies” (p. 25). Guaranteed to add a touch of whimsy to your holiday celebration.
Have a happy and safe Halloween!!

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