Autumn is here and The Artful Parent has an amazing book list of fall children’s books. So go get a blanket, a warm drink and cozy up with your kids and a big pile of books! Blog post by Anna Harpe & Heather Senter
Updated August 2023
Even before the first leaves start to turn, we start scouring the library shelves for fall picture books, and believe me, we’re never disappointed!
This season is packed full of the best that children’s lit has to offer: beautiful illustrations, evocative text, fun read alouds… there’s truly something for everyone.
Check out a few of our favorites below, and get ready to snuggle into the season with a stack of good books!
Fall Children’s Books
Get Creative: Ready for even more scientific fun? Check out these fun, creative experiments!
2. Fall Leaves by Loretta Holland, illustrated by Elly MacKay
HMH Books for Young Readers, c. 2014
Why we love it: Elly MacKay’s unique photographic illustrations are truly astonishing, and they pair perfectly with an exploration of the changing seasons.
Get creative: The last page of this book suggests a fun leaf painting activity that’s definitely worth a try. Your kids will love to see how the shape and veins of each leaf transfer like magic to the paper! Find instructions to something similar HERE.
3. Hocus Pocus, It’s Fall! by Anne Sibley O’Brien, illustrated by Susan Gal
Abrams Appleseed, c. 2016
Why we love it: Short and sweet with a seasonal surprise on every page, this vibrantly illustrated book is the perfect fall read aloud.
Get creative: These fall sensory play ideas are absolutely darling and will keep your kids happily engaged all season long!
4. Full of Fall by April Pulley Sayre
Beach Lane Books, c.2017
Why we love it: Kids love to pour over the big, bright photographs in this poetic ode to fall. Grownups, don’t forget to check the back pages for some great scientific extensions!
Get creative: These simple fall suncatchers are so much fun for kids of all ages, and all you need is a few autumn leaves and transparent contact paper!
5. Hush Hush, Forest by Mary Casanova, Woodcuts by Nick Wroblewski
University of Minnesota Press, c. 2018
Why we love it: Lyrical text and gorgeous woodcut illustrations make this quiet book one we’ll certainly come back to each autumn.
Get creative: The illustrations in this book are totally inspiring! Try this printmaking technique for a similar look.
6. Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C, Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Roaring Brook Press, c. 2012
Why we love it: As far as we’re concerned, Philip and Erin Stead can do no wrong. So of course we adore this sleepy bear, his busy friends, and the story he patiently waits to tell.
Get creative: There’s nothing quite as cozy as the smell of freshly baked bread, so how about whipping up your own with this simple Teddy Bear Bread recipe?
7. By the Light of the Harvest Moon by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Mark Jones
Blue Apple Books, c. 2009
Why we love it: Adorably illustrated leaf people celebrate all night under the harvest moon, and we’re here for it. Who wouldn’t want to join a dessert party?!?
Get creative: Try some of these watercolor techniques to make your own beautiful harvest moon.
(Unfortunately this lovely book is out of print, but be sure to check your local library for a copy… you don’t want to miss it!)
8. Leaves by David Ezra Stein
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, c. 2007
Why we love it: Simple and expressive, this story follows the plight of a bear throughout his first fall. You’re sure to find his sweet innocence totally as charming as we did.
Get creative: Once you start crafting with leaves this fall, it’s hard to stop! Luckily, we’ve got quite the selection of ideas.
9. Tidy by Emily Gravett
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c. 2017
Why we love it: The falling leaves throw a wrench in Pete’s tidy life, and your kids are going to LOVE the antics he pulls to get things back in order.
Get creative: Learn how to print with leaves to make these fancy cloth napkins. Even tidy Pete would approve of a craft that cleans, right?
10. If You Find a Leaf by Aimee Sicuro
Random House Studio, c. 2022
Why we love it: Aimee Sicuro has given us the perfect book for the unstoppable leaf collector. If you have a little one who loves to collect buckets and buckets of “treasure,” this story will be an inspiration and will certainly result in dozens of leaf creations!
Get creative: In the spirit of this book’s imaginative use of natural elements, try creating these adorable leaf people!
11. A Kiss for Akaraka by Richard Jackson, illustrated by E.B. Goodale
Greenwillow Books, c. 2018
Why we love it: With simple text that flows like an autumn breeze, this book perfectly captures the ordinary magic of having a loving family and an imaginary friend on a cloudless fall day.
Get creative: I’m sure any imaginary friends would be quite thrilled to move into a cute pumpkin house like this!
12. Lawrence in the Fall by Matthew Farina, illustrated by Doug Salati
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, c. 2019
Why we love it: It’s hard to resist a story full of adorable animal friends, a perfectly thoughtful parent, and an adventure in the woods.
Get creative: Of course your family will want to go on a fall walk and collect leaves of their own after reading this book together. How about crafting up a gorgeous fall wreath with your bounty?
13. The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming, illustrated by Nicola Slater
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, c. 2021
Why we love it: Your kids will be giggling throughout this whole book as squirrel searches for the scoundrel who stole his leaves. Delightfully fun, this book will surely be requested again and again.
Get creative: The vibrant illustrations of this book are so charming, you might just be inspired to create your own colorful fall leaf art.
14. Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak
Henry Holt and Co., c. 2016
Why we love it: Sparse text and lush illustrations combine for autumn perfection as readers follow a young girl through a gorgeous changing landscape.
Get creative: Celebrate the beauty and wonder of the changing season with one of these sweet DIY fall garlands!
15. Say It! by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Charlotte Voake
Candlewick, c. 2015
Why we love it: This author-illustrator duo have perfectly captured the extraordinary beauty of small moments in this unassuming story about a mother and daughter’s fall walk.
Get creative: Encourage your family to get outside and go on your own fall walk to gather supplies for these fantastic nature dioramas.
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