Fall Leaves – by Loretta Holland
The illustrations in this book are truly magical. They capture autumn’s changing light and complexity of color. The text can work on two different levels — if you have a young child with a short attention span, you can read just the large words at the top of the page. It flows beautifully as an ode to autumn. But if your child is older, there’s additional text that explains what’s going on during the fall — the reason for the leaves changing colors, the hibernation of plants and animals, the rotation of the earth affecting light and temperature. It’s a beautiful blend of scientific explanation and poetry.
Leaves – by David Ezra Stein
This sweet story follows a young bear over the course of his first year of life. He frolics during the spring and summer, but becomes increasingly worried as the leaves begin to fall off the trees. “Are you okay?” he asks them. Eventually he finds a place to hibernate, and awakens in the spring to a newly revitalized world. There’s not too much text per page, and this is a great introduction to the change of seasons.
Waiting for Winter – by Sebastian Meschenmoser
I am in love with the illustrations in this book. The story follows a squirrel, a hedgehog, and a bear as they try to stay awake to see the first snowfall. Each page of pencil sketched illustration exudes such personality in each of the characters. The humor in this book is endearing as well — watching the squirrel and hedgehog sing sea shanties to help keep themselves awake and seeing how each of the animals envisions this unknown element of “snow” kept both my son and I chuckling the whole way through.
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever – by Steven Kroll
I was browsing through some books, picked this one up, and read the opening line: “Once there were two mice who fell in love with the same pumpkin.” I knew this was a book for us. The story is sweet, and ends with a burgeoning friendship, as well as a gigantic pumpkin. This would be a good Halloween book for kids who don’t handle “scary” well — it has the theme of pumpkins and jack o’lanterns without any sort of scary content.
Bear Has a Story to Tell – by Philip C. Stead
Bear wants to tell his friends a story before he settles into sleep for the winter. But his friends are too busy preparing for winter. So bear holds his story inside and helps them with their autumn preparations. Will bear remember his story when spring arrives? This is a sweet story of friendship and changing seasons, and it’s a fun one to read aloud with lots of different voices.