Happy fall everyone! This is my absolute favorite time of year and calls for a celebration. You know my version of a good time always involves picture books so I’ve rounded up some fall-themed books to welcome the special season. Most are old and one is brand new so hopefully you’ll find some new favorites. There are a couple other new books that I haven’t gotten my hands on yet, so they’ll be getting some love in their own posts hopefully very soon. Come along and bask in the glories of autumn with ten children’s picture books for fall.
Not surprisingly, fall has some typical iconic picture book themes such as trees and leaves, squirrels and bears, and most especially apples! So let’s start with those delicious treats.
1. Applesauce Season by Eden Ross Lipson, illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein, 2009
This book is a marvelous celebration of apples and their delicious creation, applesauce. A little boy helps his mom and grandma make applesauce from picking the apples at the market, all the way to enjoying the different batches they can make throughout the whole season. Gerstein’s art is joyous and colorful and the book has lovely additions like a recipe in the back and a family tree of sorts in the endpapers for the boy and the varieties of apples to be found.
2. How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman, 1994
In this clever book, the reader is instructed how to make an apple pie by traveling around the world to collect all the necessary ingredients, because the market is closed of course. Wheat from Italy, a chicken (for eggs) in France, cinnamon from Sri Lanka and much more is discovered on this special journey for the perfect pie. There is also a recipe in the back and Priceman’s illustrations are stellar as always.
3. The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Jonathan Bean, 2007
In this quirky tale, the story begins with a warm and sweet apple pie that Papa baked. Then through a series of fun, three-color illustrations, we are given the details about how the pie came to be. I have never seen a book with this scheme work backwards to forwards, but it does and is a delight, albeit a bit tedious in the repetition. Make sure to peek at the hardcover beneath the dust jacket on this one. It is a beauty.
Once you’ve had your fill of apples, we move onto bears, because they are perfect for fall stories!
4. Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead, 2012
Any book this duo concocts is charming and a masterpiece in my opinion. Although this book covers the end of autumn and the start of winter, it’s pages are full of the beauty of fall and is worth sitting in the book pile through as many seasons as you dare. Sleepy bear has a story he longs to tell his friends, but they are all too busy preparing for winter. Once they are ready to hear it, poor bear has forgotten and his friends come to the rescue to help bring the story back.
5. Oliver Finds His Way by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Christopher Denise, 2002
This little bear is just so cute in his coveralls and jacket! Oliver distractedly chases a falling leaf throughout the woods until he realizes that he has become lost. Thankfully, the little guy keeps his wits about him and comes up with a plan sure to reunite him with his Mama and Papa. The story is simple and sweet, but the illustrations capture me the most. Denise’s pastels and charcoal are stunning in their portrayal of the fall color palette.
6. Leaves by David Ezra Stein, 2007
As I was so new to blogging last year, my fall book list really only consisted of this one. It is still a favorite and one we reach for as soon as the leaves start changing. Softhearted bear is concerned about the falling leaves and tries to find a solution. But as every bear needs, he must hibernate and awakes to discover the mysteries of the changing seasons.
Had enough of bears? Let’s finish off the list with some squirrels, a cute fox, and fall from a tree’s perspective.
7. Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson, pictures by Tiphanie Beeke, 2006
Another book about a softhearted animal, little Fletcher the fox is quite concerned about his “sick” tree that was quickly losing its leaves. His various methods to save it are fruitless and when he goes to sleep disheartened, he too awakes to a glorious discovery about the changing seasons. Beeke’s illustrations are so loose and fun with the final tree image being quite breathtaking.
8. The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri, 2007
The color palette for this one is quite fresh, while still speaking strongly to the familiar look of fall. The star of the show is a very busy little squirrel who never stops moving despite all his friends’ requests to join them in some adventure. This would be a great read-aloud book with the many animal calls and the repeated line that squirrel was so busy! I particularly love the large illustrations of the animals that make you feel very up close and personal to the activity.
9. Fall is Not Easy by Marty Kelley, 1998
This book just makes me smile. It is the story of the seasons, and most especially fall, told from the tree’s perspective. Apparently, of all the four seasons, autumn is the hardest. You’ll have to read the tale to find out why. I love the simple watercolor illustrations of this one showing a very static position on every page, but never getting boring.
10. Ol’ Mama Squirrel by David Ezra Stein, 2013
Last comes a brand new book, also by David Ezra Stein, that is just a hoot to read. Although it isn’t really about fall at all, it just came out and it has squirrels and lots of trees and leaves, so we’re just going with it. Ol’ Mama Squirrel has many babies and she is a fierce protector of them. She scolds any predator be it a dog, a cat, a kite or anything that seems to be ready to interfere with her precious young ones. It seems she finally met her match in a grumpy old bear, but she isn’t Ol’ Mama Squirrel for nothing and readers will be delighted to see her win the day with her now infamous “Chook, chook!” Believe me and check this one out. Stein is a genius.
There you have it folks. I hope you are enjoying the changing of the seasons wherever you may be. Let me know what other fall-related books adorn your shelves. I never tire of reading about autumn!