ten top treats for autumn

Here in Minnesota we have been treated to some perfect Fall days recently.
The maples are beginning to flame out in crimson and tangerine,
tall grasses are rustling in crisp shades of tawny gold,
and the sun is setting earlier and earlier each day.

To celebrate the onset of Autumn, I’ve gone back through the Marmalade archives and come up with a
Top Ten List of Autumn Stories.
These books are perfect for enjoying with young children,
yet full of such beauty and appeal that I urge you to consider reading them with older children, or just by yourself.
They are a total treat!

Goodbye Summer Hello Autumn
written and illustrated by Kenard Pak
published in 2016 by Henry Holt

On a walk to town, one young girl passes through woodland and field greeting all she encounters from foxes and birds to clouds and wind. Everyone’s busy preparing for the blustery, chilly season just around the corner.

As we accompany her, we walk from late summer into frosty fall, and right back into her snug house. Beautiful, contemporary, and diverse. A gem for ages 2 or 3 and up.

Yellow Time
written and illustrated by Lauren Stringer
published in by Beach Lane Books

All around us, birches, aspen, and ash glow in autumn sunshine, a fluttering, spangly, “symphony of yellow.” Breathtaking.

This joyous account splashes an exaltation of yellow happiness across every page. One of my favorite autumnal books, for ages 3 and up.

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

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 of Hickory Hill.

A joyous outing for ages 2 and up.

Wild Child
by Lynn Plourde, illustrated by Greg Couch
reprint in 2003 by Aladdin

Mother Nature says it’s time for bed, but her wild child, Autumn, cajoles and bargains to extend her awake time.

So dear Mother Nature obliges, singing Autumn a song of crackling leaves and skitterish acorns, dressing Autumn in a flaming red nightgown and burnt-orange slippers, kissing her cheek with a touch so frosty and crystalline Autumn can’t resist snuggling down beneath her blanket of snow to fall fast asleep. Imaginative, gorgeous, a favorite for ages 4 and up.

Full of Fall
written and photographed by April Pulley Sayre
published in 2017 by Beach Lane Books

Children ages 2 and up come nose to nose with the splendor of the woodlands in Sayre’s gorgeous photographs accompanied by a rhyming text that steers clear of schmaltz.

Older siblings, ages 6 or 7 and up, also learn about the science of pigments, leaf structure, and decomposition from pages at the end of the book.

Autumn Story
written and illustrated by Jill Barklem
published in 1980 by Atheneum

The exquisite world of Brambly Hedge is the setting for this charming tale. Bad weather is on the way, so the mice are rushing to bring in the harvest.

Primrose, however, meanders her way into a jolly teatime with two elderly mice, and then into Chestnut Woods where suddenly she finds herself alone, in the dark, lost, and afraid. Thank goodness for the arrival of a rescue party, and awaiting her back at her snug home, “a clean nightie warming by the fire and a mug of hot acorn coffee.” There is nothing so charming as Brambly Hedge. Ages 5 and up.

The Scarecrow
written by Beth Ferry, illustrated by The Fan Brothers
published in 2019 by HarperCollins Children’s Books

This is the story of a faithful scarecrow whose prowess at guarding the field makes him a rather lonely fellow, until one day he chooses to shelter, rather than shoo away, a tiny baby crow.

Weaving in and out of seasons, resonant with heartaches and joy, graced with the ravishing artwork of Terry and Eric Fan, this is a glory of storytelling, mercy, and friendship. Ages 5 and up.

Lawrence in the Fall
written by Matthew Farina, illustrated by Doug Salati
published in 2019 by Disney Hyperion

A gorgeous, fall color palette, the lovely scruffiness of nature’s textures…

and just the right mix of charm and zesty adventure for a dad and son, add up to one dynamite read for ages 4 and up.

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

A chilly morning. A well-packed rucksack. Apples and cookies for munching with friends. A foggy, lighthouse adventure followed by a cozy chair and a mug of hot chocolate.

The perfect fall ramble for ages 4 and up.

Fall Ball
written and illustrated by Peter McCarty
published in 2013 by Henry Holt and Company

Time for a little pick-up football. Add an earnest grabby dog and gargantuan pile of leaves and you’ve got all the ingredients for a lovely bit of rowdy mayhem!

When dusk falls, it’s time for some indoor coziness for this rough-and-ready bunch! Great fun for ages 3 and up.

Find lots more juicy Autumn stories in my list here!