As the days grow shorter and the leaves start to turn, autumn has officially arrived. This time of year is perfect for settling down with a good book, and what could be better than reading about autumn itself? Here are some favourite picture books about fall ideal for sharing in the classroom or library.
Why Read Picture Books about Fall?
“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” L. M. Montgomery
As well as being one of my favourite books, this quote from Anne of Green Gables is how I feel about autumn. I love the cooler weather and the changing colours.
Autumn and fall mean back to school, a dip in temperature and dark nights. Reading picture books about fall in the classroom means you can explore the changes in nature as autumn arrives. You can also research global festivals and celebrations, such as Dia de Los Muertos, Guy Fawkes Night, Thanksgiving, Diwali, Halloween, Loy Krathong and Yi Peng and Moon Festival.
The suggested picture books about fall are fiction, but here are some interesting facts about autumn and fall.
Facts about Autumn and Fall
- Autumn begins on 22nd or 23rd September, but for meteorologists, autumn starts on 1st September.
- The word ‘Fall' is an American term for the autumnal season. But did you know it was used in England during the 17th century? Autumn comes from the word ‘automne', which became popular in the 18th century.
- The cooler weather and dark nights signal birds to migrate to warmer climes and for other animals to hibernate.
- The first day of fall is known as the autumnal equinox and is usually on or around 22nd September. Fall lasts until the winter solstice on or around 21st December.
- In the northern hemisphere, nights get longer. The weather is chillier in autumn because the Earth tilts and points farther away from the sun.
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Picture Books about Fall and Autumn
Ask Me by Bernard Waber
An inquisitive girl and her father walk through their local neighbourhood. She is full of questions for her father as they explore their world.
A poetic picture book to explore asking questions and curiosity.
Bear Has a Story to Tell Philip C. Stead
Bear wanders around the forest asking other animals if they would like to hear his story, but they are all getting ready to hibernate. As snowflakes fall, Bear goes to sleep. In the spring the Bear’s friends gather around and he finally gets to tell his story.
Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer
An acorn is just the beginning. Discover how all living things in a forest are connected through life circles. A picture book with beautiful illustrations showing different ecosystems.
Emmett and Caleb by Karen Hottois
Emmett and Caleb are best friends, next-door neighbours, and do everything together. Despite their close relationship, they have very different personalities, leading to misunderstandings. They give each other time and space before patching things up when this happens.
This translated book promotes discussion on forgiveness, communication, friendships, and tolerance.
Fall Ball by Peter McCarty
Fall Walk takes the reader on a poetic stroll through the woods. Learn to identify 24 different leaves by their shape and autumn colour. The book finishes with how-to instructions on how to press and rub your own leaves.
Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago
Gustavo is a shy and timid ghost who is invisible to others, no matter how hard he tries to make friends. He overcomes his fears and makes new friends by inviting everyone to his violin concert on the Day of the Dead.
Hedgehog by Ashlyn Anstee
Winter is on its way, and animals are looking for somewhere to live, but Hedgehog is unwilling to let anyone into his hedge. He makes signs, puts locks on the door and even builds a fence. Will it be too late before he learns his lesson?
Hush Hush, Forest by Mary Casanova
Observe as the forest animals spend autumn getting ready for winter. The lyrical text tells the reader about the owl in flight, a bear preparing to hibernate, a doe and fawn getting ready to sleep, a hummingbird taking one more sip and a beaver sawing wood for its lodge.
In the Middle of Fall by Kevin Henkes
In the Middle of Fall is filled with the signs of fall, including playing in piles of leaves, pumpkin picking, busy squirrels and the transition from red, yellows and oranges to frosty winter.
A Kiss for Akaraka by Richard Jackson
Lula and her father have fun raking the autumn leaves. Joining them is Akaraka, Lula's imaginary friend. Her daddy can’t see Akaraka but he happily plays along much to the joy of Lula. Promotes imagination, family and love.
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
Lois Ehlert uses real leaves to illustrate the Leaf Man. As the wind blows the Leaf man travels over marshlands, orchards, meadows and other stunning landscapes.
Lawrence in the Fall by Matthew Farina
Lawrence is unprepared to show a collection during show and tell. His father takes the young fox for a walk in the forest to inspire him. When he gets separated from his dad, he watches the leaves falling from the trees, and they become his new collection.
Lila and the Crow by Gabrielle Grimard
Lila's dark skin, hair and eyes make her stand out at her new school. She is bullied and likened to a crow. She embraces who she is at the autumn festival costume party and dressed as a crow.
Promotes self-acceptance, self-awareness, discrimination, resilience, and loneliness.
The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc
A lion discovers an injured bird and nurses it back to health. The two become close, but as spring arrives, the bird returns to its family, now flying north. The lion continues on with its life, and as autumn comes around, the lion hears the familiar sound of the bird.
This wordless book reinforces themes of empathy, relationship skills, compassion and kindness.
The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger
When autumn comes Little Yellow Leaf is not ready to fall from the tree. The seasons pass but Little Yellow Leaf is still not ready to let go. Will the leaf ever be ready? Promotes the difficulties of facing the unknown.
Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
Three friends work together to make pumpkin soup, each with their own role until cat wants to do things differently. Promotes friendship, cooperation and reconciliation.
The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry
An old scarecrow successfully keeps all the animals away from his field until a baby crow crashes at his feet. Having never known friendship, the lonely scarecrow adopts and cares for the fragile bird. A loving bond develops between two should be rivals and lasts for many years.
The Squirrels Who Squabbled by Rachel Bright
Two greedy squirrels learn to share and cooperate when they chase after the last nut of the season. Promotes sharing, friendship, greed and cooperation.
Sweep by Louise Greig
Great piles of autumn leaves illustrate Ed’s growing bad mood. His mood affected the whole town, and he knew something had to change. After a large storm, the town looked brighter, and Ed finally notices his surroundings.
This book focuses on anxiety, balance, wellbeing, and reflection.
Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival by Grace Lin
A family prepares to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. They lay a picnic, prepare the moon-honouring table and put up beautiful lanterns. They eat pomelos and mooncakes and drink tea.
Tidy by Emily Gravett
Pete the Badger likes everything clean and neat. He takes this too far when he tidies up the forest by concreting it over. After realising the consequences of his actions, he sets out to rectify them.
Promotes self-management, cause & effect, responsible decision-making and reflection.
Tree: A Little Story About Big Things by Danny Parker
A small sapling flourishes under the foliage of a larger tree. “Season after season, he was sheltered… and secure.” The adult tree falls during a storm, and the fragile and lonely tree fights to survive the seasons ahead.
Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup
Peek through the hole and watch the seasons change around a magnificent tree and its forest residents.
When The Wind Stops by Charlotte Zolotow
A little boy asks his mother, ‘Where does the wind go when it stops?’ She explains that nothing ever ends, it just begins in another place. Like when the leaves fall to the ground it becomes part of a tree with new leaves. When The Wind Stops focuses on the circle of life and nature.
Windows by Julia Denos
On an autumn evening, a boy takes his dog for a walk. He catches a glimpse of his neighbours' lives through their windows. Windows promotes a sense of belonging and different perspectives.
If you are reading picture books about fall to your students, you are probably also reading Halloween books. I have a list of traditional Halloween books and scary books that can be read all year round.