Autumn! My favorite season. So it would stand to reason that autumn-themed children's books are some of my very favorite children's books, I suppose.
Once your little pumpkins have come down off of their highs from all the Halloween candies and parties of this weekend, here is a list of autumn-themed picture books to enjoy with them in the quiet moments.
In November by Cynthia Rylant- Beautiful snapshots of a beautiful month, full of colors and activities and family. Gorgeous illustrations. I'm not a cat person, and even I can't resist a picture of soft, fluffy cats sleeping in a warm pile in a barn.
Now It's Fall by Lois Lenski- I love vintage books! Now It's Fall was originally published in 1948, and it's got everything fall: apples and pumpkins and falling leaves and vintage Halloween costumes. I love the simple illustrations, and this book is small in size, so it's perfect for little hands to hold.
*This one is out-of-print, but available for the Kindle from Amazon.
Autumn Story by Jill Barklem- How am I only just now discovering Brambly Hedge??? A community of little mice living in the English countryside. Oh, yes please. The illustrations...just amazing. So much color, so much detail, so much emotion. Love this one! And apparently these mice have a Winter Story, a Spring Story, and a Summer Story. I have some research to do!
* This book is also out-of-print, but available for the Kindle from Amazon.
Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett- A great, fun little book for beginning readers. The entire book is made up of only five words (four of which are in the title), used in various orders and reinforced by the adorable illustrations. And it features a BEAR! What's not to love?!
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie by Jill Esbaum- A nonfiction National Geographic Kids book all about the life cycle of pumpkins, from growing seeds, to harvesting, to baking a pie. I love that it teaches children where their food comes from. Beautiful photography!
Apples for Everyone by Jill Esbaum- Another National Geographic Kids book, this time all about apples: orchards and cider and pies and caramel. And once again, the photography is just beautiful.
Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson and Nancy Carpenter- "Apples, ho!" This is a tall tale that's loosely based on the life of a real fruiting pioneer. A wonderful story full of adventure, hard work and dedication, and a love for the simple things, like planting and providing. The story is told from the perspective of the pioneer's daughter, who helps her father move his fruit trees from Iowa westward to Oregon. Very good!
Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur- I shared about the Alphabet Acrostic series in this post about winter children's books. This one might be my favorite in the series. I love the opportunity to teach poetry with these beautiful books. I had a hard time deciding which pages to photograph for this one...they are all so good!
Barn Dance! by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault- What a fun book! A boy awakens one night to hear a ruckus outside his window. There's an awful lot of noise coming from the barn. Upon investigating, he finds the farm animals having a barn dance. What's a boy to do? Join in, of course!
Squanto's Journey by Joseph Bruchac- Written by an author of Native American descent, this beautiful book tells the historically accurate story of Squanto as he helps to save the Pilgrims while losing his own tribe. The illustrations are rich in detail. A wonderful book that teaches about love, helping others, and the first American Thanksgiving.
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen- Hilarious and clever. The deadpan expressions illustrated for the animals and the simple and straightforward dialogue come together to make a very funny book that will be read again and again.
Ernest and Celestine's Patchwork Quilt by Gabrielle Vincent- Saving the best for last! Are you familiar with Ernest and Celestine? I wasn't until this last year. John discovered the animated film Ernest and Celestine this year while looking for a movie to stream on Amazon. At that point I looked online and found all kinds of sweet and beautiful books by Gabrielle Vincent about Ernest the bear and his charge, Celestine the mouse. Books about picnics and photographs and Christmas parties and the circus and a beloved stuffed animal and, my favorite, a patchwork quilt. Gabrielle Vincent's artwork is soft and sweet and perfect.
Ernest and Celestine's Patchwork Quilt has no dialogue, so it is a wonderful story for children (and adults) of all ages. Ernest and Celestine happen upon some discarded fabric swatch books and decide to sew Ernest and patchwork quilt, but when they have finished, Celestine wants one for her bed, too. Ernest and Celestine work together, help one another, and as a result, both have beautiful, cozy, warm quilts for the coming season.
I checked out every Ernest and Celestine book I could from our local library, as these books are out-of-print. I loved this one so much, I bought a gently used copy from a third-party seller on Amazon. (Yikes! I just checked Amazon, and the cheapest copy they have is going for $99.95! I'm glad I bought mine months ago when I did!) It is worth a search at your local library!
Happy autumn reading! Wishing you and yours a safe and Happy Halloween!