five for doughnuts and hot cider weather

Recently I spent a couple of days up north where the trees were aflame, the skies a canvas of whispering grays, and the wood stove a welcome respite from the deliciously brisk air.


Fall has thoroughly arrived here in Minnesota (as well as wintery snowfalls!) and here’s a fresh crop of books to welcome her!

storm cover image

Storm, written and illustrated by Sam Usher
published in 2018 by Templar Books/ Candlewick

The final, ebullient book in Usher’s imaginative frolic through the seasons, Storm blusters in with a swirl of colorful leaves and a strong wind just begging for kites to be flown.

storm interior2 by Sam Usher

As usual, Granddad is on a slower course as he and his dear grandson wade through the jumbled hall closet searching for that kite. A number of their finds remind them of earlier adventures which will bring a smile to fans of Usher’s books Snow, Sun, and Rain.

storm interior Sam Usher

Finally they’re out in the buffeting wind and as always, the two of them find themselves in an imaginative, rollicking adventure well beyond your standard kite-flying episode. Great fun for ages 3 and up.

hiking day cover image

Hiking Day, written by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell
published in 2018 by Aladdin

We’re off to climb Hickory Hill with one girl and her parents.

hiking day interior by Rockwell

Pack your rucksack, choose your trail, and enjoy all the woodsy wonders you encounter — fat toads and headstrong woodpeckers, golden mushrooms and crimson berries — until you arrive at the top!

hiking day interior2 by Rockwell

A lovely ramble through the woods is good medicine for body, soul, and mind. This one will help whet your appetite to follow suit. Ages 2 and up.

pinny in fall cover image

Pinny in Fall, written by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant
published in 2018 by Groundwood Books

This charming book packs in every delicious ingredient of a perfect autumn day.


A chilly morning. A well-packed rucksack. Friends for tumbling in a breezy meadow, munching apples and cookies, and “reading out loud, shouting poetry into the wind.” A foggy, lighthouse adventure followed by a cozy chair and a mug of hot chocolate. Plus one sweet treasure for remembering the day.

pinny in fall interior2 by Schwartz and Malenfant

Ahhh.  Lovely writing, dear illustrations, one perfect fall day, in four small chapters.  Perfection for new readers or for reading aloud again and again to ages 4 and up.


Hello, Harvest Moon, written by Ralph Fletcher, illustrated by Kate Kiesler
published in 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Lyrical prose and atmospheric illustrations celebrate the glowing marvel of the harvest moon, rising like a silent giant, altering the look and feel of the landscape as if by magic.

hello harvest moon illustration Kiesler

“Birch trees shine as if they have been double-dipped in moonlight,” and all around us the night world is tinged by a silvery sweep. Nighttime creatures go about their lives in a wash of sweet light. Tides stretch a bit farther. Moonlight floods a child’s bedroom.

hello harvest moon illustration2 Kiesler

Such a poetic, tender, ode to the moon, a hushed call to observe and relish the wonders of nature. Ages 4 and up.


Autumn Babies, by Kathryn O. Galbraith, illustrated by Adela Pons
published in 2018 by Peachtree Publishers

Finally, this board book from a little series that plunks toddlers in the great out-of-doors all year round.

autumn babies interior

I don’t feature many board books but I saw this one in my local bookshop the other day and loved the diverse cast of children and the beacon call to getting outdoors. There’s one title for every season. Ages One and up.

Find lots more lovely autumnal favorites in my list here!