Falling for Children’s Books

by Eliana H.

I have to admit that fall is my favorite season. Having moved to Maryland from Texas as an adult, I continue to find joy and excitement in the crisp weather and beautiful colors that nature puts on display around these parts. It certainly isn’t the case everywhere! To help you savor the season with young people in your life, or just on your own, here are a few kid-friendly fall reads for you to enjoy.

The book cover depicts a white elephant eating an apple and a white mouse sitting astride another apple next to an overturned bucket of apples. An orange pumpkin is on the ground next to the elephant. The title, "Fall Friends," is on a sign behind them, and the sun is setting behind that with fall leaves on tree branches overhead as well as on the ground surrounding them.

Fall Friends by Mike Curato 

This seasonal installment in the Little Elliot series finds Elliot, an elephant, and his friend Mouse taking a fall vacation away from the city where they live. Escaping the hustle and bustle gives them the chance to slow down, enjoy what nature has to offer in the autumn, and make some new friends. A sweet, simple read that evokes common features that tend to be fall favorites, share this with a little one in your life and have a conversation about your favorite things to do this time of year! 

The cover is a photograph of fall leaves in shades of red, orange, and yellow against the backdrop of a blue sky.

Full of Fall by April Pulley Sayre 

Vibrant, detailed photography of fall sights pop in this appealing picture book, accompanied by simple text that immediately brings to mind real-life experiences. The words are poetic and powerful, perfectly pairing with full-page photos. Younger readers will stay engaged with the short text and can point out familiar sights in the pictures, but older readers can enjoy more in-depth discussions about the images and words chosen. Perhaps you will be inspired to take some photographs and make a personal version of this book. 

The cover depicts varying types of leaves, acorns, and a seed pod. The leaves are in fall colors of red, orange, yellow, green, and brown.

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert 

Lois Ehlert is an author/illustrator near and dear to my heart, and Leaf Man is a beautiful example of her work. In the story, the narrator had a man made out of leaves who blew away. The illustrations throughout the book are made from leaves of all shapes, sizes, and colors combined to make everything from chickens to orchards to fish. Although the narrator isn’t quite sure where the leaf man has gone, a repeating phrase reminds readers, “a Leaf Man’s got to go where the wind blows.” After reading this one, you might find yourself joining your little one as you look for a leaf man – or other leaf shapes – while walking outdoors this autumn. 

The cover depicts someone in a yellow raincoat and blue hat and scarf sweeping a clear path through the leaves on the ground with a broom.

Sweep by Louise Greig, illustrated by Júlia Sardà 

Before he knows it, Ed’s bad mood has swept him away. It spirals out to get in the way of everything and everyone around him, and he feels stuck but isn’t sure what to do. Then, something changes, and Ed can see a way out and think about what he might do the next time he finds himself in a bad mood. The autumnal metaphor the illustrations provide make this the perfect time of year to use this title as a starting point to talk about big feelings and what we do with them. 

The title is depicted in leaves, in fall shades of red, orange, green, brown, and yellow, with leaves of similar shades falling and on the ground beneath.

Awesome Autumn by Bruce Goldstone 

In this nonfiction title, Goldstone offers a wealth of information to answer many questions from little ones about the season. Colorful photographs accompany facts about changes in nature and in the human world during fall. For younger readers, you can choose to share only some of the text, but older children may enjoy additional details. Readers of all ages can consider personal connections to what they see in the book. 

The cover depicts two children and a cat tumbling against the backdrop of a fall leaf.

Autumnblings by Douglas Florian 

Word play is another favorite of mine, and this slender volume of poems and paintings offers plenty. In simple, relatable poetry, Florian offers examples of some favorite forms. They may even inspire a budding poet. Even if no one in your house composes verses, point out some of the unique words used and talk about why they are special and why Florian may have chosen them. 

Eliana is a Children’s Research Specialist and Instructor at HCLS Elkridge Branch. She loves reading, even if she’s slow at it, and especially enjoys helping people find books that make them light up. She also loves being outside and spending time with friends and family (when it’s safe).

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