While we wait for the first of the leaves to make their way to the ground, how about some seasonal reading, the kind that you can fall into to escape all the raking? Here are my autumn favorites–Each makes creative use of language and is richly illustrated.These are books you can fall into as if they were piles of crisp leaves.
1) The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg
This tale created and illustrated by the author of Jumanji and The Polar Express, puts a new twist on the story behind the changing the seasons.
Summer is winding down as Farmer Bailey accidentally hits a stranger with his pickup truck. The man suffers from amnesia as a result, and stays with the Baileys while he mends. Weeks pass, and autumn never quite arrives–could the mysterious man have something to do with the stalled fall?
2) The Lonely Scarecrow by Tim Preston (illustrated by Maggie Kneen)
A beautifully illustrated book and an uplifting story of friendship and belonging.
During the warmest months, the lonely scarecrow is avoided and loathed–his appreance frightens all of the animals away.
But when winter arrives and covers him in a thick coat of snow, he becomes a friendly snowman and is included in all the animal’s games.
What happens when spring arrives and melts the snow will warm hearts.
3) Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur, Leslie Evans (Illustrator)
This is clever word play at its best!
From Acorn to Zero, this book includes a riddle for each letter of the alphabet, following the transition from fall’s very first day to its last.
The illustrations provide sharp clues to help solve the riddles, but they really aren’t needed…the answers are spelled out in each poem’s first lines.
* Acrostics would be a great writing exercise. I’ll have to write about that at a later date.
4) In November by Cynthia Rylant (illustrated by Jill Kastner)
While I certainly don’t want to rush through what is left of September and all of October, I do want to read In November again, soon.
Illustrated in muted fall tones, it tells the story of what happens in November, when the “earth grows quiet,” “…the animals seek shelter and food.And people gather together to celebrate their blessings with family and friends.”