The leaves are changing, the air is getting crisp and cool, and the school year is new and fresh. It’s the season of apples and pumpkins and football. Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year so I have quite the collection of fall themed picture books that I love to share with my children round about September. I thought I would share a few of my family’s favorite fall picture books with you on this first day of Autumn.
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
This is one of my all time favorite fall picture books. It reminds me of one of my children, who when he was small, wanted to put the leaves back onto the trees. Fletcher is a sweet, caring little fox who is distressed that his favorite tree is shedding it’s leaves. The story is sweet, but the illustrations are what really make it great. The pictures are just glorious.
Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro
Why Do Leaves Change Color is the perfect pairing with Fletcher. I’m a big fan of the whole Let’s Read and Find Out series, and this book has an excellent explanation for children as to why the leaves are changing. I love that it gives a real explanation, using scientific terms (like pigment and chlorophyll) but also making it understandable for the youngest listeners.
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
Lois Ehlert’s picture books are just gorgeous. I love her style of watercolors and collage – you can linger over the illustrations for hours. Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf tells the life story of a sugar maple tree. I love that she tells the story in a beautiful way so that it feels like a story, but like Why Do Leaves Change Color, she doesn’t talk down to children. In the back of the book she explains scientific facts and even includes instructions for planting your own tree and making treats for birds.
Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Apples, Apples, Apples is a sweet story about a family of bunnies and their trip to the apple orchard. This has been a favorite in our family for many years. We always read it before we take our annual trip to the orchard for apple picking. I love the fact that the author includes a chart of different apple varieties and what they are best used for – cider, baking or just eating. The author also includes some great information like how apples grow, how many seeds are in an apple and even a recipe for homemade applesauce.
Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson
Pumpkin Circle is a lovely poetic story about the life cycle of a pumpkin – from seed to jack-o-lantern. My children appreciate that the pictures are real photographs rather than drawings. In the back of the book the author includes scientific information as well as tips for planting your own pumpkin patch.
Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell
Pumpkin Jack is another great life cycle story. Tim carves a jack-o-lantern and names him Jack. But rather than throw Jack in the garbage when he starts to rot, he puts him in the garden and watches how he changes throughout the seasons. Eventually fall comes around again and he has lots of pumpkins to share. Lovely illustrations really capture the story.
One of he best things about most of these books is that they are great lead-ins to Nature Study! You just can’t help but go outdoors after reading them, and investigate the season’s changes yourself. What are your families favorite fall reads?