And everything wonderful about fall — the brisk air and crisp leaves, coolness and coziness, smoke in the air and spiced cider in my mug — gets prime treatment in autumn-themed picture books. There are so many beauties out there! Here are five stand-outs:
Yellow Time, written and illustrated by Lauren Stringer published in 2016 by Beach Lane Books
Minneapolis author-illustrator Lauren Stringer knows the core, heart-of-goodness about the seasons and loves to show us an unusual perspective on them as she’s demonstrated before. (See her magnificent Winter is the Warmest Season, reviewed here.)
Her newest title exults in fall. Yellow time. Yes, those maples turn crimson and flame, but look again. The birches and aspen and ash simply glow in the autumn sunshine, a fluttering, spangly yellow mass. Breathtaking. “A symphony of yellow,” Stringer says. You folks in Colorado know all about this, don’t you.
Stringer’s pristine, lyrical text bursts with yellow joy and her illustrations swoosh an exaltation of yellow happiness across every page. I love this book! Ages 2 and up.
Wonderfall, written and illustrated by Michael Hall published in 2016 by Greenwillow Books
This book is delight-fally clever!
Michael Hall has played on words and played with words to bring us 15 clever word-inventions and teeny poems celebrating fall.
Explore this beautifall…
plentifall, resourcefall time of year as we move from late summer to the first snow of winter. A bold autumn palette, simplified shapes, and spare text create a warm, quiet, glad collection, perfect to share with children ages 3 and up.
Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn, written and illustrated by Kenard Pak published in 2016 by Henry Holt and Company
One little girl takes a walk, through woodland and field, past stream and into town, greeting everyone and everything she sees along the way.
Foxes, birds, beavers and insects — all are busy preparing for fall. Even the flowers and clouds, the wind and air flaunt changes that signal a new season.
By the time she’s made her rounds, we’ve walked from late summer into chill autumn and right back into her snug house.
Such a pleasant journey. One of the things I love best about this book is the racial diversity in a non-urban setting. Her community is a quaint village nestled in the woods — Stars Hollow, if you will — and Kenard Pak has peopled it with a lovely array of skin tones. Thank you! Share it with children ages 2 and up.
Hocus Pocus, It’s Fall!, written by Anne Sibley O’Brien, illustrated by Susan Gal published in 2016 by Abrams Appleseed
Following their magical springtime treat (Abracadabra, It’s Spring!reviewed here), this dynamite team has cooked up some hocus pocus for fall! Hurray!
Immerse yourselves in the glory of autumn with Gal’s swimmy, spattery, rosy, cozy renditions of apple picking, milkweed bursting, leaf reddening, jack-o-lantern carving, fall days.
Each two-page spread holds the start of a clever poem, with a magical flourish…
“Busy squirrels fill their cheeks. Abba zabba!”
…and a gate-fold page that opens to reveal the presto! change-o! surprise fulfillment of the scene:
“Food for weeks!”
Splendid and jolly for ages 18 months and older.
Fall Ball, written and illustrated by Peter McCarty published in 2013 by Henry Holt and Company
If you’re looking for something a tad more rough and rowdy, you can’t go wrong with Bobby and his pudgy, round-faced, hedgehog-haired crew!
These kids love heading home from school because they’re chomping at the bit to get outside and PLAY! Hurrah for them!
Time for a little pick-up football. Add an earnest, grabby dog and a gargantuan pile of leaves and you’ve got all the ingredients for a lovely spot of mayhem.
Only a little, though. For as you know, dusk comes mighty early in the fall. That’s okay because other Cozy Bits come right along with nightfall for this lovable bunch. Charming, for ages 3 and up.
There are lots more autumn reads in my Subject Index under Science: Seasons. Grab a cinnamon doughnut and settle in!