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The end of summer leaves parents jumping for joy (school! school!) or longing to hold our little ones tighter, fighting against the passing of time. As fall arrives, we find the busyness of life- school, sports, homework, and events taking over with most of us grasping for just a little bit of stillness with the children we love. There are few things I enjoy doing with my kids more than reading. As our days shorten and outdoor play wanes, why not snuggle up with some fantastic books to welcome the transformational days of fall?
Favorite Fall Books
A Friend for All Seasons by Julia Hubery with illustrations by Mei Matsuoka
A young Robbie Raccoon and his friends enjoy living and playing among Father Oak along the stream. In the fall, as the world around them changes, Robbie begins to wonder why Father Oak is losing his leaves. Is he crying, could he be cold? Robbie’s mother explains that Father Oak tells them it is time for fall and that winter is coming. The raccoons and friends prepare for their winter naps by eating, gathering and planting acorns. When spring arrives, the acorns have grown into a beautiful surprise.
The mixed-media pictures that fill these pages cause me to linger and explore this story. The details are beautiful and pair well with a simple, cute tale about fall leading to winter’s hibernation and the awakening of spring.
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
Leaf Man is a compilation of fall leaves and nuts who is blown off onto a journey one can only dream about. He may fly over animals or over different landscapes, but he can only go where the wind blows. This simple story is paired with pictures of real leaves creating each destination on Leaf Man’s journey inviting the reader to create their own beautiful pieces using fall leaves.
Although this story is very simple, my children wanted to create their own ‘Leaf Man’ as soon as we were done reading. I was pleased and intrigued to learn alongside them about the many items the trees drop nearby. We mimicked some of the images in the book and also discovered what we could create.
The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger
One Little Yellow Leaf’s fear of letting go takes the reader on a picturesque journey through the changes of fall. Other leaves dance in the wind, the fruits are finally done and animals have flown away home, but Little Yellow Leaf is not ready to let go. Fear of the unknown holds the little leaf back until he spots a glimmer of another leaf and together they may find the courage to make the fall.
This sweet book explores the common fear for young children of facing the unknown- and having a friend by your side can often make it easier and give you the courage you need. After the first read, I wasn’t sold on this book being a ‘must read’ however, after sharing it with my five-year-old who is all about trying new things, it definitely made my list.
The Little Scarecrow Boy by Margaret Wise Brown with illustrations by David Diaz
The Scarecrow family is happy as they live day in and day out. ‘Old Man Scarecrow’ teaches his young son tricks of the trade for when he is one day old enough to work in the fields. His eagerness is squelched every morning as his father goes out to work alone, he simply isn’t ‘fierce enough.’ However, one morning, the little boy cannot contain his enthusiasm and sneaks out before his father to prove himself and his abilities. Although his attempts do not go as planned, the Little Scarecrow Boy perseveres and eventually drives the crows away as his father looks proudly on.
The pencil and watercolor illustrations are playful, calm and beautifully match the tone of this tale.
This is the perfect read-aloud for fall- parents, did you agree to read to your kindergarten-second grader’s class this month? This is a perfect fit, the rhythm suits a classroom read-aloud and allows for simple questioning as young readers anticipate what will come next. I still can’t get over these pictures, I’m ready to be an artist yesterday.
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson with illustrations by Tiphanie Beeke
Sweet Fletcher the fox is only a young pup who has yet to experience his first fall, when his favorite tree becomes ill, or so he thinks. The disruptions worry Fletcher, yet his mother reassures him, ‘it’s only autumn.’ He tries as he might to hold on to and reattach the leaves until the last one falls. The defeated pup returns to his den and sadly drifts off to sleep. In the morning, when he returns to his tree, winter has brought the most beautiful surprise, and his tree no longer seems to need its leaves.
Watercolors gently yet clearly introduce children to Fletcher and the beauty of fall which welcomes the magical first snowfall.
Guys. GUYS. This book is one I reread after the kids were in bed. I loved this story and I wanted to put Fletcher in our next family portrait or even my pocket. The tenderness of this sweet pup will tug at your heartstrings and remind you of the many firsts with your sweet littles that once seemed so scary but turned out to be quite magical. Read it, love it, and read it aloud to their classes, too!
Have you checked out the fall display at your local Lake County library yet this year? Did I miss your fall favorite? Comment below and let us know the fall books you find yourself sharing year after year!
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