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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Children need reassurance that their parents love them. They also need reassurance that their heavenly parent loves them, too. The parable of the prodigal son clearly demonstrates this undying love that God has for us and that our parents do as well. It doesn’t matter what we do wrong, we will always be loved. All we have to do is ask for forgiveness. There are many references in the Bible to reinforce this unequivocal love. But to quote chapter and verse to a young child doesn’t help them understand. However, a story about a pumpkin seeking adventure away from home, only to discover that home is where he wants to be, is a clever way to get the message across.
This is what author Wanda Hernandez has done so successfully and beautifully in her picture book story, The Lost Pumpkin Halloween Adventure: Adapted from The Lost Son Parable the Gospel of Luke. Using simple language and colorful, inviting illustrations, the author leads the young reader through the story of a pumpkin who has lost his way. He leaves home, carrying with him the assurance that his father will always accept him back again, a message that does bring him home when he discovers that the outside world is not what he hoped it would be.
Each step of the story is cleverly accompanied by quotes from scripture, allowing the story to follow its biblical outline. The story of the prodigal son has caused considerable discussion and contradictory interpretations over the centuries, but, in this very simple childhood rendition, the message is very clear: God loves us, no matter what. If only we adults could understand the simplicity and depth of God’s message, like a child.