Greetings to fall! We're so glad to see you again. And now that we're over the back-to-school hump, we are ready to welcome you with open arms. The little kids especially can't wait for you to start turning the trees from green to red, orange, yellow and brown. They are eager to catch the leaves as they fall, and collect the most colorful. Parents are looking forward to cool, clear autumn weather, and to tromps through the foliage. The whole family is excited about picking crisp, juicy apples straight from the orchard, not to mention fresh apple cider and apple pies!
Here at Savvy, we're thrilled to have an excuse to pull out our favorite books about autumn. What could be better than curling up with a cup of warm cider, a cuddly child, and a beautiful book about fall?
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
Lois Ehlert has a special talent for showing children how plants and people are connected. We are very fond of her books Growing Vegetable Soup and Planting a Rainbow, and this book about autumn is just as appealing. It tells the story of how a sugar maple grows, with simple text for the youngest readers and an appendix full of fascinating facts for older kids. But what makes this book stand out are its beautiful collage and watercolor illustrations. Second to the view from under tree, this is best picture of fall we can imagine.
The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall
Some love to marvel at the beauty of fall foliage, while others take a more pragmatic view of trees in autumn. Specially, apple trees. In this sweet volume, two sisters describe the life cycle of an apple tree in their back yard. From bare limbs in winter to the blossoms of spring, to the cool shade of summer, this tree delights all year long. But best of all, fall brings the bounty of fruit and, of course, pie! With a pie recipe included at the back of the book, you will have no excuse but to get your kids out to an orchard, and then come home and start baking!
Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall and Barbara Cooney
With fall often comes nostalgia, don't you find? Looking back at the summer and spring gone by can make us feel historically inclined, too. What better moment to reach for poet Donald Hall's classic celebration of the family farms of New England's past. This book takes us back to a time when the harvest season was the culmination of a year's work. The ox-cart man of the story packs all of the goods he and his family have made during the year, and takes them to sell in a nearby town. Young readers are fascinated with the notion of a hand-made world, especially the children's contributions. Barbara Cooney's illustrations capture the spirit of old New England, and Hall's poetic repetitions and cadences make this a book you'll all want to read over and over.
This Is Not A Pumpkin by Bob Staake
If it looks like a pumpkin and feels like a pumpkin and smells like a pumpkin, is it a pumpkin? Apparently not... at least not according to this pumpkin mystery by the brilliant graphic artist Bob Staake. Preschoolers will have lots of fun with this puzzler and its surprise ending.
The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger
Carin Berger gives us something new here: a lyrical view of fall from the perspective of one small leaf. As all his friends drop from the branches and float away, Little Yellow Leaf thinks, I'm not ready yet. The season is changing, the wind is tugging and swirling, but Little Yellow Leaf clings to the tree: Still not ready. Will he ever be ready? Berger's collages, made of vintage and recycled materials, give a delicate rendering of this frail protagonist's fear of change and the unknown. When a friend helps him let go at last, any reader's heart, young or old, will leap.
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Last year, on Columbus Day weekend, a motley group of our extended family gathered an hour north of the city, on a steep bank above the Hudson River. We were going for a hike. Our crew included four adults and five children in the six- to eleven-ye... read more