Reading stacks of seasonal books with my kids, mostly during fall and Christmas, is one of my favorite parenting things. In September, the return of fall books is one of the few signs of a change at our house in the Arizona desert. Even though it's still so hot, at least we can experience fall through the pages of a book.
I add a seasonal book or two to our permanent collection each year but get many through the library as well. In my library account I'm able to create lists of books so I have one specifically for "fall" which includes Halloween, and I made a separate one for Thanksgiving. In late August I open up the "fall" list and can easily request all of the books that I want. To find new books to try, I look on Pinterest for "best fall/Halloween/Christmas books for kids." The Everyday Reading blog also has good seasonal round ups. Another way I love to find fall or other seasonal books is to look up a favorite book on Amazon and see what similar books are recommended. Then I request those recommended books through the library. For purchasing books at a discount I've had good luck using ThriftBooks.
Another thing I love to do any time of year is to set out books on the couch for the kids to discover. I've been doing this since the boys were little and they are still delighted by it. It's fun to do this the first time we're getting out the fall books and any time I bring home new library books. Dash did the sweetest thing last year when he made the couch all cozy, set out the fall books for us, and then wanted us to read together!
Here's a round-up of fall picture books that I love. Many of them are pictured above but not all. Anything marked with an "*" is a book we own:
Books about autumn
Fall* is simple first book of fall with textures for little ones to feel. (Amazon)
You're My Little Pumpkin Pie* is so sweet. I have loved reading this with Maeve for the past couple of years when she didn't have the attention span for storybooks but I wanted to read something seasonal with her. My favorite line is, "You are my baby boo!" (Bookshop, Amazon)
Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn* has gorgeous illustrations showing all the seasonal changes happening in fall (at least in places that are not Arizona, haha). This author-illustrator has other seasonal books Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter; and Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring. (Bookshop, Amazon)
Ox-Cart Man* is beautifully written. So beautifully written in fact that I was curious about the author and what else he might have written. As it turns out, Donald Hall was the poet laureate! The book follows a man and his family in 19th century New England and celebrates the seasonal rhythm of their life. (Bookshop, Amazon)
Pumpkin Soup* is a fun book to read to siblings since the three main characters squabble and then make up, all over pumpkin soup. Sarah Powers originally recommended the book to me, before we had three kids even!, and now it's a favorite at our house too. (Bookshop, Amazon)
Applesauce Season* celebrates apples of all varieties and one family's tradition of making applesauce every fall. (Amazon)
The Stranger brings a mysterious story alive with Chris Van Allsburg's beautiful, precise illustrations. It's always fun to ask the boys at the end of the story who they think "the stranger" is and why did the things he did. They always seem to have different answers each time we read it! (Bookshop, Amazon)
Books about Halloween
Runaway Pumpkins is a book I checked out of the library for the first time last year. It tells the story of a class of kids picking out their pumpkins only to have them roll away out. It's cute and silly but with a good message as well. (Bookshop, Amazon)
And Then Comes Halloween* is another favorite of mine. Similar to Ox-Cart Man, it reads like an extended poem and has lovely illustrations as well. (Amazon)
Room on the Broom* is a Julia Donaldson classic with the theme of making room for everyone. The story features the repetition and rhyming she's known for...and that you might skim over in parts if you've already read the book 27 times this season. (Bookshop, Amazon)
Kit and Caboodle was new to me last season and Maeve and I love it! This is the story of a young witch who's not very good at magic and a little bat with a broken wing who becomes her friend. (Bookshop, Amazon)
A Teeny Tiny Halloween is a fun story that the boys always like. It's fun to use a "teeny tiny" voice when reading and I always like to imagine what the teeny tiny woman's house and life are like. (Bookshop, Amazon)
Little Blue Truck's Halloween* is a rhyming lift the flap book that Maeve really enjoyed last year. Once we'd read it a few times she would hold the flap and wait until it was time to lift it. And she loves saying "Beep! Beep! Boo!" at the end. (Bookshop, Amazon)
Books about Thanksgiving
Balloons Over Broadway* is the true story of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer whose creations made the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade famous. The illustrations and mixed-media artwork are also excellent. (Bookshop, Amazon)
Over the River and Through the Wood* is the complete version of the classic song and I love the story the illustrations tell in this version. The kids love it because we always sing the words to read it. (Amazon)
Thank You, Sarah is another true story about Sarah Hale and how her persistent letter writing convinced President Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. I love learning new things from children's books! And I think I remember them better too since they're accompanied by beautiful artwork. (Bookshop, Amazon)
I'd love to know your favorite books about autumn, Halloween, and Thanksgiving – please share in the comments!
Happy fall reading, friends!