HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Sept. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062956767.
PreS-Gr 1–A charming cast of woodland creatures revels in the joys of autumn in this feel-good picture book. On a glorious fall day, three friends enjoy a bike ride followed by a trip to a bountiful farmer’s market: “A great day in fall gets even greater when old friends meet new friends and make plans for later.” Described in gently rhyming prose, the friends indulge in more traditional activities including picking apples and making pie, playing in leaf piles, and harvesting the garden. The bountiful harvest inspires them to plan a meal together, the titular Friendsgiving. Gibson’s illustrations are created by photographing handmade props and soft sculpture figures. Young readers will delight in noticing the details of each setting created for the story—tiny vegetable and cider donuts, apples and leaves, carved pumpkins, and of course, the adorable animals and their clothes. Siscoe’s gentle story focuses on friendship and the pleasures of the season without explicitly mentioning Thanksgiving, pilgrims, or religion, a detail that many librarians and teachers in search of autumn read-alouds will appreciate.
VERDICT This secular harvest celebration fills a need in all collections.

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