12 Picture Books to Read This Fall

By Liska Myers

Does it feel like fall where you live? It certainly does around the Great Lakes. In our family, we like celebrating the change of seasons with new books. Out come the seasonal books from the previous years, and if they are not enough, we take a trip to the library. Here is the list of our favourites to read in the fall. Cozy and beautiful like autumn, they tell children about growing pumpkins, falling leaves and celebrating friendship – in any weather!

1.  Autumn by Gerda Muller is a little book that will charm children with the simple pleasures of  fall: playing with heaps of crispy leaves and making berry necklaces, flying a kite and playing with boats in puddles. It does not have words, so the lovely illustrations make a new story every time.

2.  Autumn is Here by Heidi Gray gives many poetic examples of how people know when autumn has come. When acorns cover the ground and when pumpkins and gourds are in the fields, we know that “autumn is here”. “Autumn is here” is a repetition that children will love learning and saying out loud, as they read along with adults. 

3.  Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert has the most fascinating illustrations I have ever seen: they are collages made with autumn leaves. There is not much of a story, but the idea of using leaves for making pictures will inspire children and tempt them to run outside in search of a leaf man!

4.  Let It Fall by Maryann Cocca-Leffler paints a lyrical and happy picture of autumn through the life of one family. Leaves are falling, and everyone in the family is bustling around: starting school, raking leaves, making apple pies and enjoying other pleasant autumn activities!

5.  Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson tells a touching story of a little fox who could not bear to see his favourite tree losing all the leaves. As all the other animals are trying to make use of the leaves, Fletcher is fighting to keep them from falling. Will he come to terms with the way nature is?

6.  A Leaf Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas lists all the important roles of a leaf in the natural world: it starts with the spring, but soon switches to autumn. A leaf can be a “wind rider” and “lake glider”, “pile grower” and “hill glow-er”. What else?

7.  Flower Fairies of the Autumn is a collection of poems with exquisite illustrations of the early 20th century poet and artist Cecily Mary Barker. Every flower, every plant has a fairy living inside. In the autumn you will meet among others – Crab-apple Fairy and Elderberry Fairy, Hawthorn Fairy and Acorn Fairy.

8.  Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie by Jill Esbaum is great for those children who want to know how everything is made. This book will tell them how a pumpkin pie is made: starting with a seed that people put in the soil in the spring. Perfect reading before making a pumpkin pie or carving a pumpkin this fall!

9.  Strega Nona's Harvest continues the series of the Caldecott's medal winner Tomie dePaola about the Italian village and the old woman who was known as the Witch. In this witty book, Strega Nona and her helper, Big Anthony, are growing a garden. Two gardens, actually – but shhh, that's a secret!

10.  Hello, Harvest Moon by Ralph Fletcher is written in prose, but you do not realize it right away, looking for rhymes in the poetic descriptions of the autumn fields at night. This story tells us of the little adventure a girl and her cat have after waking up to the light of a big harvest moon.

11.  Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes is for those children who are too young to understand the story of the early settlers, but would like to join the spirit of the autumn festivity. What are children thankful for? Mommy and Daddy, fall and beautiful leaves, school and friends, hugs and kisses, and of course, the holiday itself!

12.  Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson is an autumn treat for all the lovers of the original Bear Snores On. The story takes us back to the forest where Bear wants to throw an autumn party for the animals. He does not have much, but together with his friends he makes quite a feast.

What is your favourite book to read in the fall?

Liska Myers is an author of the blog, Adventure in a Box, where she shares ideas on how to make wooden toys, set up a home puppet theatre, and choose the best children's books. Accompanied by her husband and son, she lives and adventures in Ontario, Canada.

Posted on Sep 17, 2014

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