Here Comes Autumn!

I can’t wait for summer to be over.  Not because I’m eager for my kids to go back to school—they are both in their 20s and don’t live at home any longer.  I am just not a fan of summer—at least not the hot, humid days of July and August in Minnesota.  I shouldn’t really complain this year, because I finally have air conditioning again.  My old A/C had died in June of 2014, and I have sweltered and wilted and whined through the last two summers.  I also don’t like the mosquitoes and other biting bugs that find me so attractive.

Some people pore over the seed catalogs that come out in the depths of winter and yearn for spring and summer.  Not me.  I have been sighing over the advance copies of the fall picture books that I get in the middle of summer with their illustrations of beautiful fall foliage and children wearing jackets. JACKETS! I can’t wait.

Take a look at these lovely autumn books. Be honest now; aren’t you just a little excited for fall?

Bella's Fall CoatBella’s Fall Coat by Lynn Plourde (ill. by Susan Gal). 9781484726976. September 2016. Gr PK-1.
Bella is growing—and outgrowing her fall coat. Gramma says she needs a new one, but Bella loves wearing her coat while she enjoys the autumn weather. Crunchy leaves, ripe apples, and southbound geese are much more fun in her favorite coat. But Bella finally has to agree that her coat is too small, and Gramma makes her a new one. But what will happen to her old coat? Diverse characters and a nontraditional family make this book an excellent choice for a unit on seasons.


Goodbye Summer, Hello AutumnGoodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak. 9781627794152. 2016. Gr PK-2.
“Hello, late summer morning.”  A young girl greets the plants, insects, animals, and weather that she sees as she goes out for a walk. They greet her in turn, explaining how their appearance and behavior change as the season cools into fall.  Her path takes her through the woods and the countryside and the streets of a town, and finally brings her back home. As she goes inside at evening, she says goodbye to summer until the next morning. “Hello, autumn.”

WonderfallWonderfall by Michael Hall. 9780062382986. September 2016. Gr K-2.
There are so many things that I like about Hall’s newest picture book. My favorite part is the inventive titles of the poems: Peacefall.  Plentifall, and Thankfall. In each brief poem, the narrator—the tree—describes a different aspect of fall. Some are things usually seen in autumn books, such as leaves turning color (Beautifall), geese flying south (Wistfall), and Halloween (Frightfall), but I have not often (ever?) seen a homecoming parade (Eventfall). Squirrels peek out from behind the leaves which, one by one, change color and fall to the ground, until their nest is visible. And finally, the book is easy enough for many in the target audience to read alone. The back pages provide additional information, but even here, the text is simple enough for primary readers.  This is, indeed, a wonderfall book.

Yellow TimeYellow Time by Lauren Stringer. 9781481431569. September 2016. PK-2.
What a wonderful ode to autumn! It seems like most books focus on the oranges and reds of the season, but I like Stringer’s choice of yellow. The leaves at my childhood home mostly turned yellow, and I felt quite swept away by nostalgia. The book glories in the sights, smells, and sounds of yellow time as the wind swirls the leaves from the trees to…well, to all over! Children of differing ages and ethnicities are shown engaging in creative activities, such as dancing, making music, knitting, and drawing and coloring. Use this beautiful book as a great read-aloud and to stimulate students’ own creativity.

Check out more recent picture books about autumn:

Fall Leaves  Fall Walk  From Apple Trees to Cider, Please  Hocus Pocus, It's Fall  My Autumn Book  My Leaf Book  Pick a Circle, Gather Squares

Fall Leaves by Loretta Holland (ill. by Elly MacKay). 2014. Gr PK-3.
Fall Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow. 9781423632610. 2013. Gr PK-2.
From Apple Trees to Cider, Please! By Felicia Sanza Chernesky (ill. by Julia Patton). 9780807565131. 2015. Gr PK-2.
Hocus Pocus, It’s Fall! By Anne Sibley O’Brien (ill. by Susan Gal). 9781419721250. 2016. Gr PK-K.
My Autumn Book by Wong Herbert Yee. 9780805099225. 2015. Gr PK-1.
My Leaf Book by Monica Wellington. 9780803741416. 2015. Gr PK-1.
Pick a Circle, Gather Squares : A Fall Harvest of Shapes by Felicia Sanza Cherneskey (ill. by Susan Swan). 9780807565384. 2013. Gr PK-2.

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