If you’re anything like me, you start every season with a mental list of a bunch of things you want to do with your kids in the next few months. When you look back at that list at the end of the season, you realize you accomplished maybe two or three of those items. Oh well- There’s always next year, and we all know life with kids is nuts. That’s why we’re here to help- at least with that line on your list that says ‘take seasonal books out of the library’. All of the following fall picture books are available through Ocean State Libraries, and all can be requested online through interlibrary loan and then returned at any Rhode Island public library! (Try it, it’s life-changing!)
Full of Fall, by April Pulley Sayre
The colorful photography in this book makes me want to take a drive up to New Hampshire for some leaf peeping, or at least go on a hike with my kiddos. The simple, rhyming text takes us from the end of summer to the beginning of winter, explaining in simple language what happens to trees and leaves throughout the season. This is a great book for a wide age range of siblings. The colorful pictures and rhymes will draw in all ages, and older children can get more details on the science of autumn in the back of the book.
Bella’s Fall Coat, by Lynn Plourde; illustrated by Susan Gal
Bella’s coat is falling apart, but she insists she doesn’t need a new one. Grandma made it for her, and she’s not letting it go. After she spends all day playing in the leaves, the coat is in tatters, and while she sleeps, the first snowfall of the season rolls in. But Grandma is busy overnight too, and in the morning everything is a-ok for Bella. A cozy, heartwarming tale about the love between a grandmother and granddaughter, this one will give you the warm fuzziest.
Hocus Pocus, It’s Fall! by Anne Sibley O’Brien; illustrated by Susan Gal
Hocus Pocus gives kids an overview of the changes the season brings, using an interesting and fun format of magic words and lift the flaps. Changes range from back to school to chilly weather, from turning pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns to squirrels collecting food for the winter. Coupled with the warm, cozy illustrations, this book is a keeper.
Lawrence in the Fall, by Matthew Farina; illustrated by Doug Salati
Lawrence panics a bit when his teacher asks the class to bring in something they collect for show and tell. But with a little help from Dad and a beautiful walk in the autumn forest, he develops an impressive collection of autumn leaves to share. It’s extremely important to me to teach my children that problems are generally fixable, so I loved that the dad in the book supported his son to solve his issue independently.
Leaf Man, by Lois Ehlert
I’ve been a big fan of Lois Ehlert since my toddler discovered her fun alphabet book of fruits and veggies. She’s sort of the master of making educational subjects interesting and fun. In this whimsical fall story, she uses real leaves to make pictures of a chicken, veggies, trees, fish and other things, telling a story about a man made out of leaves and where he might have blown away to. The lighthearted storyline and creative pictures make this a great book for littles who have a hard time sitting for a story.
A Fall Ball for All, by Jamie Swenson; illustrated by Chiara Fedele
In this rhyming story book, the autumn wind plans a big party for all the forest animals where they are provided with plenty of food to last them the winter. Especially ideal for children who love animals, the book is a great starting point for a discussion on how different species survive the winter.
Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn, by Kenard Pak
A child walks around town observing all the changes that are happening as the fall arrives. Beautiful watercolor illustrations of nature make this one a gem for parents too.
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, by Julia Rawlinson; illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
Fletcher is so concerned about his favorite tree. First, it’s leaves turn brown, then they fall off, and then all sorts of animals start using them for shelter and warmth! What’s a little fox to do? The perfect book for a child who’s feeling a little sad about the end of beach days and cookouts.
Little Elliot: Fall Friends, by Mike Curato
The least information-focused of all the books listed, my toddler and kindergartener loved this story and immediately wanted to hear it again. The gentle tale of an elephant and a mouse who take a fall vacation to the country and discover new friends and new treats, it’s perfect for the younger set.
Autumn Leaves, by Ken Robbins
True confession: when I first opened this book I thought it was going to be incredibly dull. But as I read through it I realized it was perfect for kids who are interested in the science of changing leaves or identifying their finds. It’s just enough information to not overwhelm little explorers, although I don’t think it would hold a toddler’s attention.
Awesome Autumn: All Kinds of Facts and Fun, by Bruce Goldstone
This one made me think of my homeschooling Mamas. It’s got a ton of factual info on autumn weather, leaves, crops, clothing, animals… You name it. Every page is full of colorful photos and fun fonts that really draw you in. You could use it to give an overview of the season or as a springing off point to find out more about any of the topics it covers.
Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, by Grace Lin
Embarrassing confession: I had zero knowledge of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival before reading this book. If you’re looking to widen your child’s understanding of other cultures (and who isn’t?) this is a great choice. It’s a simple story format about how a family who celebrates the Moon Festival. It involves staying up past bedtime, so your kids will definitely find it really cool.
Baby Loves Fall, by Karen Katz
More of a PSA than a recommendation really. There is a Karen Katz fall book. It is exactly like all her other baby lift the flap books. And your toddler will go ape for it. Your welcome.
What are your favorite fall picture books?