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Autumn and Fall Picture Books for Classroom and Library Shelves
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Autumn and Fall Picture Books for Classroom and Library Shelves

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.

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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.

Fall Picture Books

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 by 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

Because of an Acorn explores the interconnectedness of all living things within a forest ecosystem. It begins with the simple act of an acorn falling from a tree, followed by a series of events and life cycles triggered by this occurrence. 

From the sprouting of a tree to the habitats it provides and the chain of life it supports, this book portrays nature’s cycles and the balance within an ecosystem.

Emmett and Caleb by Karen Hottois

Emmett and Caleb, best friends and next-door neighbours, are as close as can be, yet their different personalities sometimes lead to misunderstandings. However, they always find a way back to each other, valuing their friendship over their differences.

Emmett and Caleb illustrate that friendships might face ups and downs, but the ability to forgive, understand, and communicate is key to maintaining them.

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

A timid ghost struggles to make friends because he is invisible to others. Despite his fears, Gustavo courageously invites everyone to his violin concert on the Day of the Dead. In doing so, he makes new friends and learns to overcome his shyness. This picture book promotes discussions about fears, Hispanic culture, and making friends.

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.

If You Find a Leaf by Aimée Sicuro

Follow a young girl who collects leaves on an autumn day. She uses her curiosity to imagine the endless possibilities of the leaves as she uses them in her artistic creations. Read to discuss autumn, curiosity, creativity and possibilities.

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.

Lawrence in the Fall by Matthew Farina

Lawrence in the Fall by Matthew Farina

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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.

Lila and the Crow by Gabrielle Grimard

Lila’s dark skin, hair, and eyes stand out at her new school. She is bullied and likened to a crow. At the autumn festival costume party, she finds strength in her identity and dresses as a crow. She confronts bullying and discrimination in her own way.

Lila and the Crow facilitate discussions on self-acceptance and self-awareness, the impact of bullying, building resilience in the face of adversity, and the experience of loneliness and the need for empathy.

The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc

A lion finds an injured bird and nurses it back to health, forming a deep friendship. As spring arrives, the bird must rejoin its flock and migrate north, leaving the lion alone. The lion continues with its life, experiencing the passing of seasons with a brave heart. The lion is rewarded with the bird’s familiar sound as autumn returns, signifying its friend’s return.

The Lion and the Bird explores themes of separation and reunion, the importance of empathy, kindness, and the bonds of friendship.

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 discussion on 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 tiny sapling grows under the shelter of a larger, older tree. Throughout the seasons, the sapling thrives in its protective shade. However, a storm arrives, and the larger tree falls. Now, the small tree is left to fend for itself, exposed to the natural world’s elements and harsh realities.

This wordless book teaches children about the life cycle of trees, the concept of time, and the perseverance needed to overcome challenges.

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 focusses on the circle of life and nature.