These are some of our favorite autumn picture books for kids. This list has been accumulated over the last 2 1/2 decades and is still evolving. Be sure to check our other recommended reading lists for book for all seasons and holidays!
Apple Cake – An old lady wants to bake an apple cake. She has everything she needs except apples. So she sets off to market to buy some apples, taking a basket of plums to trade along the way, just in case …This is a classic story of sharing, trading and caring. Children will love guessing what the old lady will acquire next, and how, and seeing how her journey brings her a full circle as her kindness is repaid.
The Apple Pie Tree – From bud to fruit, two children follow the cycle of an apple tree as it is nurtured through the seasons. The book incorporates the role of bees and the weather in the production of the fruit. Another use of the tree is shown, as a pair of robins build their nest and begin a family. The story ends with a nice, warm apple pie being taken from the oven. The large pictures and text are suitable for young children. The colorful, clear-cut illustrations use a paint and paper collage technique.
Autumn Board Book – This is one of a series of four books without text, which lead the young child through the seasons of the year. Full of fun, active illustrations, this chunky board book shows the joys of playing in leaves, collecting conkers, flying kites and making jam.
Autumn is here! – Celebrate the coming of autumn with your child as you cuddle up and enjoy a sweet look at how the world changes along with the season. With beautiful watercolor illustrations and charming descriptions, you and your child will be wishing it was autumn year round!
Autumn Story – Step into the exquisite miniature world of the mice of Brambly Hedge in this beautiful new edition of the classic picture book. Bad weather is on the way and the autumn stores are still not gathered in! Quickly, all the mice of Brambly Hedge set to work to finish the harvesting before the rain begins. Primrose, Lord Woodmouse’s daughter, meant to help, but somehow she daydreamed her way over the cornfield and into the Chestnut Woods, and before she knew it, she was lost. The sun went down, the wind rose and it began to rain. Primrose was all alone in the dark and she was frightened. Poor Primrose, would she find her way home again?
The Busy Little Squirrel – The leaves have started to fall. The air is cold. Squirrel needs to get ready for winter. He cannot nibble with the mice. He does not have time to hop with the frogs or run with the dogs. Will this busy little squirrel ever slow down? Focusing on all the charming features of the fall season, this sweetly illustrated story features country animals, pumpkins, leaves, apples and other signs of autumn.
Christopher’s Harvest Time – Christopher meets the spirit of September in the garden, and is introduced to all the harvest folk: the Gooseberry girls and boys, old man Black-Currant, the misses Plum and the proud Strawberries.
Count Down to Fall – Count backwards from 10 to one during one of the most colorful times of year: fall. Learn about the bright, colorful leaves and the trees from which they fall: aspen, birch, maple, oak, chestnut, linden, pine, beech, dogwood, and sweet gum. Watch the animals frolicking in the crisp, autumn air as they get ready for the approaching cold winter. The For Creative Minds educational section includes: Plant parts, Leaves the shape of it all, What Good are Plants?, and Match the Leaves Activity.
Earl the Squirrel – Earl the Squirrel’s mom wants him to learn how to find his own acorns. But Earl doesn’t even know where to begin. He is determined, though, to show his mother that he can find them. With the help of his red scarf—and a few animals along the way—Earl embarks on an all-night search. But will he ever be able to locate an acorn?
Fall Leaves – Part poem, part silent stage, this luminous picture book puts autumn on display and captures the spirit of change that stays with us long after fall leaves. Unlock the secrets of this busy and beautiful time of year as the natural world makes way for winter.
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves – It’s autumn, and Fletcher’s favorite tree is slowly changing colors and losing its leaves. Fletcher is very worried. He tells the tree he’ll help. But when the very last leaf falls to the ground, Fletcher feels as though he’s let down his friend . . . until the first day of winter, when Fletcher sees that his tree has turned into a shining, glittering surprise.
Flower Fairies of the Autumn – This new edition of Cicely Mary Barker’s classic Flower Fairy title features a beautiful and catwalk-inspired cover. Intricate and reminiscent of lace, the new cover pays homage to the delicate beauty of Cicely’s original illustrations. The book includes all the original classic poems and illustrations of the Flower Fairies of the Summer Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies have been ethereal companions to girls and women around the world ever since the publication of Cicely’s first book in 1923. The magical illustrations have inspired generations of children to search for fairies at the bottom of their gardens. There is something delightfully charming about the delicate, childlike fairies of Cicely’s imagination. Once seen, they are never forgotten.
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World – An apple pie is easy to make…if the market is open. But if the market is closed, the world becomes your grocery store. This deliciously silly recipe for apple pie takes readers around the globe to gather ingredients. First hop a steamboat to Italy for the finest semolina wheat. Then hitch a ride to England and hijack a cow for the freshest possible milk. And, oh yes! Don’t forget to go apple picking in Vermont! A simple recipe for apple pie is included.
In November – In November, the air grows cold and the earth and all of its creatures prepare for winter. Animals seek food and shelter. And people gather together to celebrate their blessings with family and friends. Cynthia Rylant’s lyrical language and Jill Kastner’s rich, cozy paintings capture the cherished moments of this autumn month–the moments we spend together and the ones we witness in the world around us.
Leaf Jumpers – Graceful, poetic text celebrates the beauty of autumn leaves, while the simple text at the end explains why leaves change color. Readers learn how to identify all sorts of leaves from red maple to sycamore by their color, shape, and other characteristics. A great choice for science units and autumn displays.
Leaf Man – Fall has come, the wind is gusting, and Leaf Man is on the move. Is he drifting east, over the marsh and ducks and geese? Or is he heading west, above the orchards, prairie meadows, and spotted cows? No one’s quite sure, but this much is certain: A Leaf Man’s got to go where the wind blows. With illustrations made from actual fall leaves and die-cut pages on every spread that reveal gorgeous landscape vistas, here is a playful, whimsical, and evocative book that celebrates the natural world and the rich imaginative life of children.
Leaves – This simple, charming story of a young bear’s first autumn is perfectly suited to board book format. Bear is surprised when the leaves start falling off the trees, but when he tries to reattach them, it doesn’t work. Eventually, he gets sleepy, and burrows into the fallen leaves for a long nap. When he wakes up, it’s spring-and there are suddenly brand-new leaves all around, seeming to welcome him. With its childlike main character and graceful illustrations, Leaves is a great way to teach the youngest children about the changing seasons.
The Little Yellow Leaf – As all the other leaves float off and fly past, Little Yellow Leaf thinks, I’m not ready yet. As the seasons change all around, Little Yellow Leaf holds on to the tree. Still not ready. Will Little Yellow Leaf ever be ready? This is a story for anyone who has ever been afraid of facing the unknown—and a celebration of the friends who help us take the leap.
Mouse’s First Fall – It is autumn and Mouse, accompanied by Minka, a larger rodent wearing a pink jacket, go out to play. As they enjoy the day, Mouse learns about leaves, their colors and shapes, and the fun that comes from piling them up and jumping in them. When Minka hides in the heap, Mouse is confused, but readers will quickly see her tail curling above the fallen foliage. Bright hues evoke the season and realistically show the leaves in all their variety. Swirling brushstrokes and texture add interest to the paintings.
One More Acorn – When beloved and award-winning picture-book author and illustrator Don Freeman died in 1978, his son, Roy, inherited his father’s vast archive of art and stories. In that treasure trove, Roy recently discovered some artwork and a story set in Washington, D.C., about a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter. The project was promising but unfinished, so Roy decided to partner with his father, thirty years after his death, to bring the book to life. One More Acorn is more than an adorable, heartwarming story about a squirrel looking for that one last acorn. It is a son’s homage to his father. And having an all-new original Don Freeman picture book is a true publishing event.
One Red Apple – Follow the life cycle of an apple: from fruit growing on the tree to market, to picnic, to seed, to sapling and tree, and finally to a new apple. This simple, joyful book with radiant illustrations introduces readers to the amazing and delectable way the earth provides food.
Ox-Cart Man – The oxcart man packs his goods – the wool from his sheep, the shawl his wife made, the mittens his daughter knitted, and the linen they wove. He packs the birch brooms his son carved, and even a bag of goose feathers from the barnyard geese. He travels over hills, through valleys, by streams, past farms and villages. At Portsmouth Market he sells his goods, one by one – even his beloved ox. Then, with his pockets full of coins, he wanders through the market, buying provisions for his family, and returns to his home. And the cycle begins again.
Possum’s Harvest Moon – When Possum sees the biggest, brightest, yellowest moon shining down one autumn night, he decorates the grass with lanterns and berries and heads out to invite the mice, the crickets, Racoon, Rabbit and other friends to his “Harvest Soiree”.
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf – Lois Ehlert uses watercolor collage and pieces of actual seeds, fabric, wire, and roots in this innovative and rich introduction to the life of a tree. A special glossary explains how roots absorb nutrients, what photosynthesis is, how sap circulates, and other facts about trees.
The Scarecrow’s Hat – A resourceful chicken seeks the help of her farm animal friends to solve a problem, while giving something of herself along the way. Chicken really admires Scarecrow’s hat. Scarecrow would gladly trade his hat for a walking stick to rest his tired arms. Chicken doesn’t have a walking stick to trade — but she knows someone who does. Thus begins her quest to find items to trade among her farm friends, all to obtain a walking stick to swap for Scarecrow’s hat. But why does Chicken want an old straw hat? This clever story written and illustrated by Ken Brown poses a problem and offers a creative solution that young children will delight in discovering. Brown’s bright watercolors and gentle tone will keep readers captivated.
The Secret Life of Squirrels – You may think you know what squirrels do all day…but Mr. Peanuts is no ordinary squirrel. Instead of climbing tress, he plays the piano. (“Moonlight Sonutta” is his favorite.) Instead of scurrying through the woods, he reads books (such as A Tail of Two Cities). But everything is more fun with company, so Mr. Peanuts writes a letter to Cousin Squirrel and invites him for a visit! Featuring candid photographs of wild squirrels in handcrafted, homemade miniature settings, this irresistible book is sure to surprise and delight readers and animal lovers of every age!
The Story of the Wind Children – George is playing with his boats, but there’s no wind to make them sail. Then one of the wind children comes and blows especially for him – and together they embark on a great adventure. The wind child blows dandelions in the meadows, shakes apples from the tree and blows the leaves around and eventually she blows George home on a cloud. From the author of “The Story of the Root Children” and “The Story of the Snow Children”, this is another classic children’s story with beautiful illustrations in the art-nouveau style.
We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt – There are lots of beautiful fall leaves to find! Three friends have a big adventure hiking over a mountain and through a forest to collect leaves of all kinds and colors. What will they do with all their leaves at the end of the story? Jump and play in them, of course! With easy rhyming text and fun sound effects, children will delight in this rollicking autumn story.
Wild Child – “Time for bed,” Mother Earth said. “Not for a while,” said her wild child. “A song, first. I need a song to play in my head before going to bed.” So Mother Earth gave her child a song….But then this wild child wants a snack and PJs and a kiss…. Lynn Plourde’s text snaps and crackles like the leaves of fall as Mother Earth gently gets her daughter ready for bed. And Greg Couch’s extraordinary illustrations take readers from the soft greens of late summer through the fiery oranges of a fall sunset to the peaceful blues of early winter’s eve. Wild children and their parents will revel in this scrumptious, loving tribute to the wonders of nature and of family.
Woody, Hazel, and Little Pip – This delightful autumn story describes the woodland adventures of two acorn children who get carried away by the blustery autumn wind. Mr Squirrel and Hazel, the youngest Hazelnut child, go off in search of them and encounter a grumpy troll and the Chestnut boys along the way.