Library List: Fall Picture Books

Fall is the season of cozy-making, and is there anything cozier than snuggling up with your little one(s) and a good book? Today I’m sharing some of my family’s favorite autumn books. Some are specifically about fall; others are simply set among changing leaves and golden grasses.

Let’s jump in!

If you’re not already familiar with The Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry you are missing out! One of my best mama friends gave us this book at Jackson’s baby shower. It quickly became, and has remained, a favorite in our home. The delightfully-illustrated story takes place in the autumn countryside. It has noisy trucks and farm animals, a giant mud puddle, and a sweet lesson about friendship. What more could you ask for, right?

As a quick side note, if you have a kiddo with a birthday coming up, there are some super cute Little Blue Truck party printables available from the publisher--for free!

Tractor Mac Harvest Time is another title that we own thanks to a sweet friend. It is one of a whole series of books inspired by author and illustrator Billy Steers’ childhood on a small Connecticut farm. Tractor Mac and neighbor tractor, Small Fred, both have grass-is-greener syndrome as they look across the road at each other’s responsibilities. Thankfully, Farmer Bill comes up with an idea that works well for everyone. The story and illustrations are engaging, and if you have a little farm-implement enthusiast in your life, he or she will love the diagram of tractor parts at the end of the book. We’ll be checking out more Tractor Mac books soon!   

The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel by Educational Insights and Lucia Gaggiotti is a board book that Caleb (age 1 ½) found at the library long before fall began. He loves searching for the acorns behind the flaps on each page. Jackson (age 3) enjoys that part and counting along as the number of acorns grows. I just learned this book is based on a children’s game, which looks super cute and gets great reviews. Don’t tell them, but I may give the book to Caleb and the game to Jackson for Christmas this year.

In The Little Yellow Leaf, Carin Berger uses collages and paper cuttings to beautifully illustrate the story of a leaf who’s reluctant to let go. My kids and I enjoyed this gentle, kind-hearted story. It might be an especially helpful read for a child who tends to be hesitant in new situations.

Chimpanzee for Tea by Jo Empson was not what I expected; it was even better! It’s the story of a boy who runs an errand for his mum only to have his shopping list whisked away by the autumn breeze. His attempts at remembering the items on the lost list get wilder and wilder (think of a game of telephone). The editor in me wishes the cadence of the list was consistent throughout the story, but this is a small quibble. The book is clever and fun. Jackson picked out one of my favorite details: the list is not actually far away. My boys think this book is AMAZING. I had to sneak it back to the library after renewing it several times—another one for the Christmas list!

City Moon by Rachael Cole and Blanca Gomez was fun to read with my city-dwelling, moon-loving boys. It follows a mom and son who take a walk through their neighborhood searching for the moon. I especially love the way the author wrote the conversation between the boy an his mom. My boys enjoyed looking at the fun details on each page’s illustrations. It’s a cozy book, perfect for bedtime.

Full of Fall by April Pulley Sayre uses vibrant photos to illustrate a poem about autumn. The last spread offers more details about how and why leaves change color and fall from the trees. Jackson and I really enjoyed the blending of typical picture book format with basic scientific information—even though he initially didn’t want me to read “all those words” at the end.  

Fall Leaves by Loretta Holland and Elly MacKay is worth checking out for the illustrations alone. I don’t recall ever seeing anything quite like them. MacKay sets up and photographs paper scenes in miniature theaters. Her process is really interesting. [Oh my goodness! And she has created covers for an Anne of Green Gables boxed set!!] The written content is more of a collection of facts about fall than a story. I thought a few of the explanations were especially helpful, but I agree with an Amazon reviewer who said the words don’t quite fit the tone set by the illustrations. I probably wouldn’t buy this one, but, again, it’s worth borrowing from the library.

On the Farm, At the Market by G. Brian Karas provides a behind-the-scenes look at a farmers market. You and your little reader will learn some interesting tidbits as you follow several farmers preparing for the market. The story then shifts to a café owner who visits the vendors and uses her finds to cook up a tasty treat for her customers. This book would be especially fun if your family frequents your local farmers market, or it might inspire you to visit for the first time!

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I hope this list inspires you to grab some apple cider and read a new book with the little ones in your life. And if you have a fall favorite that didn’t make the list, share it in a comment below!

Happy fall, y’all!