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They say that a child should have heard five hundred read-aloud books before entering kindergarten. It’s from hearing, and looking and following along as an adult reads that a child learns the basics of books. They see that words move from top to bottom and left to right, they see that those squiggles on the page translate into words and that the words have meanings. They begin to pick up the rhythms of words and the fact that letters make up the words, and even deeper understandings such as the emotion that words can convey. So reading aloud to young children is a must. But, once they start school, there’s no reason to stop read-aloud time. There is nothing that encourages growth in reading skills more than interacting with books from a wide variety of genres.

Picture books for young children are typically about 32 pages long. There are few if any chapters, and the pictures carry much of the meaning. Because of this, you will usually find rich, colorful pictures which can be scanned and examined by reader and child for even more enjoyment as the book is read. Typical fall topics for picture books are the outdoors; leaves, pumpkins, apples, changes in weather and gathering in the harvest. And so you can expect to see illustrations that are both beautiful and informative. Following are some excellent examples of fall picture books your children from babes up to age five will love. Some of these books are part of series on the seasons and most are from well-known children’s authors and illustrators. They are a lovely way to spend an afternoon with your child.

Fall:  the season

Fall by Maria Ruis

It’s Fall by Linda Glaser

The Autumn Equinox by Ellen Jackson


Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert

Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert


The Pumpkin Patch by Elizabeth Berg

Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White

Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell

Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor

Miscellaneous Fall Themes

Hello Harvest Moon by Ralph Fletcher

Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant

The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall

Waltz of the Scarecrow by Constance W. George

Picking Apples and Pumpkins by Amy Hutchings

The Little Scarecrow Boy by M.W. Brown

The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons

These and many other beautiful fall books wait for you at your local library or bookstore. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy cozy fall reading times with your young children. Just before naps or at bedtime are often the best times to do so. You will be building a strong relationship with the child at the same time that you are building important pre-reading skills and that’s a winning combination!