Finding books for children is getting trickier and trickier in our current culture. Gone are the days you could just set your children free in the picture book section and let them enjoy sweet stories and illustrations. It seems these days most newly published books have an agenda. That’s frustrating! Even if you agree with the agenda being pushed, maybe you just want your sweet babies to read a book about Fall and leaves and pumpkins and not have to think about society’s problems.
For that reason I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite picture books for Fall. Some are straight Fall and some are jack-o-lantern types, but none are Halloween stories. I taught Children’s Literature for years and these are some of my very favorite books. I couldn’t wait to read them to my sweet littles every Fall.
These are for the younger ages; Baby to 5.
Little Acorn – a cute little story of the life cycle of an Oak Tree
Leaves – I love the illustrations in this story.
Autumn in the Forest – This is a fun lift-the-flap book.
One Fox: A Counting Book Thriller – This book is hilarious! If your children have any knowledge of chickens, they will especially love this story. I love that it has a tiny bit of suspense, but in a fun, approachable way for preschoolers. My grandchildren love this one!
These are for elementary age children:
The Scarecrow’s Hat – This is a sweet story about some barnyard animals helping out the scarecrow. The watercolor style illustrations in this book are just lovely.
The Little Scarecrow Boy – A sweet story about a little scarecrow boy and his scarecrow father.
Scarecrow – The language in this book is beautiful and poetic. I love when authors create beautiful language for children.
Leif and the Fall – I have a grandson named Leif, so you know I had to get this one. It’s a cute story of a leaf named Leif and his experience with ‘falling’.
Leaf Man – An oldie, but goodie. The pictures in this book are stunning.
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf – Another oldie but goodie. This has such fun illustrations and some good information about types of trees.
Pumpkin Jack – This is such a cool book about the life cycle of a pumpkin. Nothing much Halloween related in it, other than the carving and lighting of the jack-o-lantern and a mention of trick or treating.
The Roll-Away Pumpkin – A silly story about the town chasing a pumpkin rolling down the hill.
Too Many Pumpkins – This is a sweet story about a pumpkin truck wreck resulting in an unwanted pumpkin patch, and eventually a field of jack-o-lanterns and a neighborhood party! Super cute.
Pumpkin Town – Another cute story about an accidental pumpkin patch. Fun illustrations.
Pumpkin Soup – This is a Little Red Hen inspired story but about making pumpkin soup. It’s a cute story with fun illustrations. One caution I would give is that there is a section that says: ‘They feared for the duck, all alone with the trees, and the foxes, and the wolves, and the witches, and the bears…’ and on that page there is an illustration of a witch from their imaginations. Duck was fine. She encountered no witches and that is the only mention of it. I actually just taped those pages together. Use your own discretion. Just wanted to mention it.
Sophie’s Squash – Similar to Pumpkin Jack, except it’s about a girl and her love for her squash. It shows the life cycle of a squash.
These books are not so much Fall books, but books I read to my class around Halloween. They’re a bit of a nod to the scary and spooky without being at all scary and spooky.
Bats at the Library – I love this story. I mean, It’s a book about bats in the library reading books. What’s not to love?!
How I Became a Pirate and Pirates Don’t Change Diapers – These are such cute pirate stories. Not at all scary.
Edward and the Pirates – I love this story about Edward and his imagination.
“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” — C.S. Lewis