It’s no secret that autumn is my favorite season. I only wish we could spread it out much longer.
Grab some spiced cider, a cinnamon doughnut, and a batch of prime autumnal books and revel in all things fall!
Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter, written and illustrated by Kenard Pak
published in 2017 by Godwin Books, Henry Holt and Company
Kenard Pak does it again! I loved his transition from Summer to Autumn (reviewed here), and this look at a world gradually moving from late autumn’s windswept branches to the first dustings of snow is equally gorgeous.
Pak’s pristine illustrations capture that nip in the air, the spare beauty of late autumn when fragments of color and life linger amid increasingly barren trees, dry seedpods, long shadows, shivering nights. I love that he focuses here on that bridge time rather than the full-on splendor of fall we find in most autumnal books. Outdoor rambling at its best for ages 2 and up.
In the Middle of Fall, written by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
published in 2017 by Greenwillow Books
Kevin Henkes spins just two sentences into a lovely whirl of tumbling fall leaves and sprinklings of snowflakes in this cheerful ode to autumn.
Take notice! Drink in those riotous colors. Enjoy those frisketing squirrels. Soon that slight chill in the air will turn to brrrrr-coldness and we’ll arrive in winter.
Laura Dronzek’s bold shapes, close-up perspectives, and saturated colors envelop us in the cozy beauties of the natural world. Perfection for ages 18 months and up.
Full of Fall, written and photographed by April Pulley Sayre
published in 2017 by Beach Lane Books
April Pulley Sayre continues her superb run of nature-infused, photographic splendors that treat young children to the beauties of the outdoors accompanied by a dignified, rhyming text.
I love the way Sayre respects young minds with her work. There’s nothing juvenile or cutesy here. Just the glories of the woodlands in autumn to soak up with children as young as under-Two. Two additional pages discuss the science of pigments, leaf structure, decomposition, and more, geared to ages 6 or 7 and up.
Woody, Hazel and Little Pip, written and illustrated by Elsa Beskow
originally published in Sweden in 1939; first English edition 1990 by Floris Books
Swedish favorite Elsa Beskow created marvelous stories populated by all manner of fanciful woodland sorts — elves, fairies, gnomes, trolls, blueberry children, Frost Kings…
This story finds two adventurous brothers — Woody and Little Pip Acorn — gliding away from home on a whirling, twirling leaf, landing in a peck of trouble, and gamely making the best of it, trolls and all. Their friend Hazel hitches a ride on a neighborhood squirrel in search of them and runs into her own batch of escapades.
Unlike Peter Rabbit’s mama, Mrs. Acorn and Mrs. Hazelnut throw a party when these naughty children return! Charming as ever, this is a longer-than-usual picture book story for patient listeners ages 3 and up.
Our Apple Tree, written by Görel Kristina Näslund, illustrated by Kristina Digman
first published in Sweden; American edition published in 2005 by Roaring Brook Press
Capturing a pinch of the same elfkin vibe of Beskow, this Swedish story traces the life of an apple tree through one cycle of seasons, from winter snows through blossoms and straight on through to a golden-crusted apple pie. Yum!
Two tiny apple-elves who call this tree home are our guides on this quaint, gentle journey. A recipe for Apple Crisp is included. Ages 2 and up.
There are many more book-treasures for Autumn reading listed in my Subject Index. Enjoy!