This post: Guide to the best fall read alouds and picture books.
I enjoy cozying up with a stack of fall picture books just as much as any kid. There’s something magically whimsical about the coming of fall.
I honestly can’t think of a better way to celebrate than snuggling with your kids in a fuzzy blanket, and delving into autumn picture books over cups of hot cocoa. With marshmallows.
You provide the cocoa + marshmallows; I’ll recommend this fuzzy blanket and provide you with a list of the BEST autumn books to read to your kids. (These are absolutely the most cozy + whimsical autumn books ever, by the way.)
I began compiling this list of autumn picture books last year + I added quite a few new favorites this season.
That means a fair warning is in order: If you end up reading them all, you’ll need more than one cup of hot cocoa. xo
About my reading guides.
All of my reading guides highlight books from our family’s personal library. The books you’ll see featured on this blog are ones we personally read and love.
My children’s book lists feature books with whimsical, old-fashioned or watercolor illustrations.
For this collection of autumn books to read, I chose:
- children’s books about pumpkins
- children’s books about apples
- children’s books about leaves + seasons
- Columbus Day books
- classic Halloween picture books
- fall read alouds + picture books
I hope you enjoy this guide to the BEST fall picture books.
If you do, will you please hit a “share” button and spread the reading joy?
I have a feeling that these are the kind of books that book-lovers of every age will enjoy.
Where to find these books.
Look for the titles in this guide anywhere quality books are sold.
Thanks for clicking through the links on this post when you purchase from Amazon. xoxo
Autumn Books to Read to Your Kids
A Tree for All Seasons // Robin Bernard // Looking for a beautifully illustrated book to introduce your child to the four seasons? Here you go! A Tree for All Seasons is a National Geographic photographic picture book that is sure to delight.
Autumn // Gerda Muller // This simple board book showcases engaging watercolor images of the season, and is pretty enough for your coffee table or book basket. Autumn is wordless and the pages are sturdy enough for little hands; perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
Autumn in the Forest // Rusty Finch // Here’s another child-friendly board book for little hands! This lift-a-flap picture book celebrates the autumn season with whimsical woodland creatures and beautiful illustrations.
Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn // Kendard Pak // The brightly illustrated pages of this book are a captivating celebration of the coming of autumn. Reading this simple picture book with your kids is sure to sharpen your awareness of the many ways to notice and welcome the season.
Hello, Harvest Moon // Ralph Fletcher // A lyrical bedtime story that’s ideal for the autumn months! Kids will enjoy the richly illustrated pictures in this book.
In the Middle of Fall // Kevin Hankes // This simple picture book narrates the colors, changes, and whimsy of autumn through brilliant illustrations and words that dance across the pages like falling leaves. Add this one to your fall book basket!
The Autumn Visitors // Karel Hayes // A lovable bear family travels the New England countryside in a delightful quartet of books called “the visitors.” In The Autumn Visitors, the bears experience many autumnal delights, starting at Columbus Day and ending at a Thanksgiving celebration. Also in this series are The Christmas Visitors, The Winter Visitors, and The Summer Visitors.
The Giving Tree // Shel Silverstein // If you haven’t already introduced your young readers to The Giving Tree, the season of generosity and giving is the perfect time to do that. This classic story will likely become a family favorite.
The Ox-Cart Man // Donald Hall // The Ox-Cart Man is a book for all seasons and and ideal addition to your reading basket. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the changing seasons and the life of a New England farmer.
The Road Not Taken // Robert Frost // This beautiful picture book is inspired by the beloved poem of the same name (one of my personal favorites). Although this book isn’t especially fall-themed, it’s a classic that is lovely to explore during this season.
The Scarecrow // Beth Ferry // The Scarecrow is a poignant tale of friendship, loneliness, and the joy found in helping others. The best thing about this book? The illustrations are breathtaking!
The Year At Maple Hill Farm // Alice and Martin Provensen // I love the folksy artwork featured on each of the pages as this book showcases life on a farm through each of the months of the year. Another timeless book to enjoy year-round.
Children’s Books About Leaves + Nature
Because of An Acorn // Lola M. Schaefer // Through whimsical imagery and simple words, Because of an Acorn relates the sequence of how a mighty forest grows from something as small as an acorn. The artwork in this book is delightful!
Fall Leaves // Ella MacKay // Fall Leaves narrates the beauty of the season through poetic story-telling and vibrantly illustrated pages. A must-have for your seasonal book basket!
Fall Walk // Virginia Brimhall Snow // If you’ve never gone on a fall walk, this book will leave you aching to meander through an autumnal woods! Beautifully illustrated.
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves // Julie Rawlison // This adorable picture book takes kids on a journey into the woods with Fletcher the fox as he discovers why the season is changing.
In November // Cynthia Rylant // In November celebrates the beauty of nature, family, and food during autumn. The watercolor illustrations in this book are among my favorites.
Leaf Man // Lois Ehlert // Leaf Man is a best-seller in children’s literature this season, and I think you’ll see why once you open the covers of this book! Perhaps THE classic of all autumn books to read.
Moon and Tree // Britta Teckentrup // Moon and Tree are best-selling “peek-through” books in a series which also includes Ocean and Bee. These books are truly timeless, but I think children (and adults) will especially enjoy the beauty of these elaborately illustrated books during the dark evenings of fall or winter.
The Leaf Thief // Alice Hemming // Kids will enjoy adventuring with Squirrel and his woodland friends as they explore the beauty of change, both seasonally and in all of life.
We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt // Steve Metzger // I’m a fan of this book’s cousins, We’re Going on a Book Hunt and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. When I discovered We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt, I knew we needed a copy! The book does not disappoint.
Yellow Time // Lauren Stringer // Yellow Time celebrates the swirl of yellow when ash trees release their leaves in the fall. A truly delightful and unique book for every leaf-lover!
Children’s Books About Apples
Apple Cake: A Gratitude // Dawn Casey // I discovered this sweet picture book at our local library and had to buy a copy because because I loved it so much! The illustrations are warm and captivating, and the simple rhythms of the story remind readers to give thanks for the joys of the season.
Apples, Apples, Everywhere // Robin Koontz // Have you ever gone apple picking? Apples, Apples Everywhere: Learning About Apple Harvests will take you on a story-style adventure and teach you everything you need to know about picking, munching, and even crafting apples!
Apples for Everyone // Jill Esbaum // This “picture the seasons” book by National Geographic is loaded with colorful photography and engaging facts about everything apples! Apples for Everyone is the educational companion book to A Tree for All Seasons and Pilgrims of Plymouth.
Applesauce Day // Lisa J. Armstutz // If you’re looking for a book for an apple unit study in your classroom or homeschool, Applesauce Day would be a delightful choice! This story follows Maria as she picks apples at an orchard, then makes her very own applesauce with her grandma.
How Do Apples Grow? // Betsy Maestro // Here’s another must-have for your apple unit studies this fall. How Do Apples Grow? is ideal for early elementary age kids and includes richly illustrated pages.
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World // by Marjorie Priceman // What says “fall” like a savory apple pie? This book is so fun and just a bit funky, and there’s even an apple pie recipe at the end.
Johnny Appleseed // Lori Haskins Houran // This Goldenbook classic about John Chapman (better known as Johnny Appleseed) is a delightful way to introduce your child to a bit of history while enjoying a beautifully illustrated storybook.
Children’s Books About Pumpkins
Apples and Pumpkins // Anne Rockwell // Here’s a delightful tale about fall, jack-o’-lanterns, trick-or-treating, and more.
In the Middle of Fall // Keven Henkes // If you’re a fan of leaves and pumpkins and anything orange, you’ll love In the Middle of Fall. This book celebrates autumn’s colors and foliage with expressive paintings and simple language that younger readers can enjoy. Also available in board book form for little book lovers.
How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow? // Wendell Minor // This book is a fun exploration of larger-than-life pumpkins alongside some of America’s most famous landmarks: the Capitol dome, Mount Rushmore, the Brooklyn Bridge, and more.
Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden // George Levenson // How does a pumpkin grow? This rhyming storybook-style book will guide you from summer pumpkin-planting to the chilly harvest time of fall. A perfect addition to homeschool unit studies or classroom use.
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever // Steven Kroll // Here’s a delightful story about two little mice, team work, and, of course, pumpkins!
The Pumpkin Book // Gail Gibbons // Looking for an everything-pumpkin book to read with your kids? Here’s a simple but fun book that showcases pumpkins from seed to harvest time. Includes interesting facts about how pumpkins fit into holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving.
The Roll-Away Pumpkin // Junia Wonders // In The Roll-Away Pumpkin, poor little Marla loses her pumpkin and is off to try and catch it. Diddle-dee-doo! Oh what shall I do? A fun and whimsical celebration of harvest time, nature, and the autumn season.
Too Many Pumpkins // Linda White // Here’s a fun story that features rich illustrations and an engaging tale about pumpkin gardening gone awry!
Columbus Day Books for Kids
Every list of autumn books to read to your kids should include stories about Christopher Columbus! Here are a few our family enjoys.
A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus // David A. Adler // This picture book narrates the life of Columbus from his childhood until his discovery of North America and his death. It’s beautifully illustrated!
Christopher Columbus // Stephen Krensky // Here’s a biography-style reader that explores the voyages and adventures of Christopher Columbus.
Follow the Dream: the Story of Christopher Columbus // Peter Sis // Follow the Dream tells Columbus’s story from his birth until the discovery of the New World. I especially enjoy the authentic illustrations in this book.
Classic Halloween Picture Books
Cranberry Halloween // Wende Devlin // If you haven’t discovered the “Cranberry” world of Mr. Whiskers and Maggie, you’re definitely in for a treat! This Halloween story doesn’t disappoint.
Fancy Nancy’s Fabulous Fall Storybook Collection // Jane O’Connor // Have a Fancy Nancy fan at home? This sweet book contains six classic, fall-themed tales, including Fancy Nancy’s “Halloween… or Bust!” story.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown // Charles M. Schulz // Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and Linus are up to their playful antics again, this time spying on the Great Pumpkin on Halloween night
Louie, the Hungry Little Bear and Halloween // James Belmont // Little ones will enjoy this delightful, rhyming tale about Louie, a little bear cub who ventures off to the Halloween fair with his woodland friends.
Popcorn // Frank Asch // This tale is reminiscent of one of my favorite storybook bears, “Little Bear.” Sam hosts a fun Halloween party and ends up with a popcorn catastrophe before the night is over.
Pumpkin Moonshine // Tasha Tudor // Beloved children’s writer and illustrator, Tasha Tudor, weaves an enchanting story of young Sylvie Ann and her prized Jack-O’Lantern pumpkin.
The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat // Stan Berenstain // The Berenstain cubs imagine the worst when they go trick-or-treating at a scary neighbor’s house, only to make a surprising discovery and learn an important lesson about making assumptions.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything // Linda Williams // This adorable storybook features whimsical illustrations and an engaging not-too-scary tale about a little old lady’s rather adventurous walk through the woods.
More Autumn Books to Read to Your Kids
Autumn and the Forest Guardians // Dustin Gibson // I took a chance on this tale by a newly published author and was not disappointed. The story and illustrations are simply delightful, and perfect for autumn reading.
Autumn Story // Jill Barklem // Autumn Story is part of the “Year in Brambly Hedge” collection, which features a storybook about each season of the year. My kids and I immensely enjoy the whimsical, Beatrix-Potter-style illustrations in these books.
Little Bear // Elsa Holmelund Minarik // Tales of the adorable Little Bear are some of my personal favorites from childhood. This particular story book feels especially enjoyable during the cozy autumn season.
The Adventures of Geraldine Woolkins // Karin Kaufman // The takes of Geraldine Woolkins are perfectly suited for a cozy reading time on chilly autumn days. You’ll want to check out the rest of Geraldine’s tales, More Adventures of Geraldine Woolkins (a winter story) and Springtime With Geraldine.
I’m always adding more books to our family library, so be sure and check out my reading guides for read aloud inspiration. xo
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What are your favorite autumn books to read?
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