It’s starting to feel really autumnal now, so it’s time to cosy up at home with some lovely autumn books 🙂 We have just spent a lovely afternoon with our autumn books today, so I thought it was time to share what our favourites are.
We have picture books for every season and festival, which we enjoy rediscovering at the beginning of each season. It really is a joy to reacquaint ourselves with our seasonal favourites – everything feels fresh, yet familiar. When the season is over, I store them away with our nature table things in a big plastic box in the eaves.
Some of the Elsa Beskow and Sibillye von Olfers are kept on a shelf in the lounge in our reading corner. I love them so much, I can’t store them away for a whole year! And besides I am quite aware that my daughters will outgrow them someday and I want to savour them while I can.
We have quite a selection of autumn books, so as with the summer books, I am going to group them a little for you:
Books for Michaelmas :
St George and the Dragon – Margaret Hodges – quite a lengthy story for older children (7+) with lovely pictures. A retelling of the story of St George ( the red cross knight) and his calling to fight a dragon to save a kingdom from destruction.
Sweet animal stories for autumn:
Hodge the Hedgehog – Amy Sparkes – a rhyming story about a hedgehog who lives up to his name of hedge hogger: he refuses to share his hedge with any of the other animals. When he falls asleep from exhaustion, the animals go in and spruce the place up and Hodge realises what he has been missing – friendship. Heartwarming and autumnal.
Ferdie and the Falling Leaves– Julia Rawlinson – a very sweet story about a little fox cub who has never experienced autumn and is very worried when his favourite tree starts losing its leaves. Beautiful watercolour pictures and a lovely surprise picture at the end. A real favourite with us. (when I looked it up it, he is now called Fletcher! Don’t ask me why?!)
Who’s Been Eating My Porridge – M. Christina Butler – an easy read for the beginner reader, but a firm favourite for many years. A little bear won’t eat his porridge, no matter how many yummy things his family add to it. Lots of lovely descriptions about bears gathering their winter stores. Cosy story.
The Lonely Scarecrow – Maggie Kneen – a scarecrow is feeling really lonely in the field on his own as the animals are scared of him with his jagged metal mouth. When it snows, he looks more like a jolly snowman and attracts the animals to him. He is delighted and the animals realise,when the snow melts, that he is kind, despite his appearance. Although not strictly autumn, it has plenty of autumnal activity in it.
Tattybogle – Sandra Horn – a very upbeat story about a scarecrow who has a very positive outlook. When he is torn apart during a storm, he still tries to find a silver lining. Luckily what is left of him – a branch – takes root and he becomes a beautiful tree. Certainly makes you think there is always a positive for each negative if we look for it!
We also recommend:
After The Storm – Nick Butterworth – a story of Percy the Park Keeper and his animal friends. There is a storm in the park and a tree that shelters many animals falls down. It is a tale about working together and friendship, as the animals go in search of a new abode and make it their home. We love all the Percy The Park Keeper stories.
Brambly Hedge Autumn Story – Jill Barklem – a story from the popular Brambly Hedge series. An adventurous little mouse, Primrose, goes missing. She is quite unaware of the worry she has caused as she enjoys blackberries, tea and cake with harvest mice and other adventures until it gets dark and rather scary. Luckily the search party finds her and all is well after she is tucked up in bed with some acorn coffee. Adorable as always.
Books by Elsa Beskow, Sibylle von Olfers and Cicely Mary Barker:
Woody, Hazel and Little Pip – Elsa Beskow – a story about two cheeky acorn boys who get into trouble with the woodland gnomes and a little girl who goes to find them with the help of a squirrel. Very sweet pictures and storyline.
Christopher’s Harvest Time – Elsa Beskow – A lonely boy Christopher makes friends with a boy called September, who takes him around his garden in search of a ball he has lost. He meets all the characters in his garden whom he has never met or imagined were there, including Mrs Bramley who is on the front cover. He knows he will never be lonely there again. Beautiful illustrations and sweet old fashioned storyline.
The Story of the Wind Children – Sibylle von Olfers – Old fashioned, simple yet charming story about a little boy who is trying to sail his boats, but there is no wind. Luckily a wind sprite decides to create some wind for him and many an adventure, including meeting some rose hip and leaf children. This is the author of the much loved The Root Children.
Flower Fairies of the Autumn – Cicely Mary Barker – beautiful poems about all the flowers and berries that we typically see in the autumn. Always a favourite around here.
Books for Harvest Time:
The Gigantic Turnip – Aleksei Tolstoy – an fun and quirkily illustrated retelling of the traditional story by Aleksei Tolstoy, with illustrations by Niamh Sharkey.
County Fair – Laura Ingalls Wilder – a simple early reader story about a New York State farming family ( from the book Farmer Boy ) who bring various produce to a local County show for judging, including an enormous pumpkin that little Almanzo grew himself, which wins first prize. An incite into the farming community of the day and how much they could eat! Set in the late 1800’s. Based on real events.
Pumpkins – Mary Lyn Ray – a heartwarming story about a man who finds out his nearby field is for sale. He worries what will happen to it in the name of progress, so he decides he will buy it himself. This is no mean feat. He wants to grow a quick growing crop to sell, so he chooses pumpkins. He sends the pumpkins far and wide with instructions to carve Jack-O-Lanterns and with the proceeds he manages to save his field. A lovely story of hope and hard work.
Autumn – Gerda Muller – A simple board book with no words, but beautiful evocative pictures of the season instead. The children are seen jumping in leaf piles, collecting conkers, getting wet and all the other fun things you can do in autumn, including cosy autumnal crafts. Captures your imagination and a good way to get talking about autumn.
Autumn– Margaret Meyerkort – plenty of stories, poems and songs for the season. We recognise many of them from our Steiner (Waldorf) school.
Autumn books for older children ( 7+):
Autumn Activity Book – Clare Beaton – lots of ideas for autumn crafts from leaf rubbing, to foraging, to making baked apples. Plenty of factual information about autumn customs worldwide and what animals are busy doing at this time of year. Comes with a weather chart so children can keep track of the autumn weather each day.
Why do Leaves Change Colour? – Betsy Maestro – a factual book about why leaves change colour. Quite a bit of scientific information here so I don’t recommend it to young children who are still so dreamy. Very interesting read with lovely photos of autumn. A new book to us which we are enjoying.
We gather together – Wendy Pfeffer – a very comprehensive factual book about autumn with interesting scientific facts and cultural references that help us to understand how important the harvest season has been throughout the world in every culture over thousands of years. Very interesting.
Merlina and the Magic Spell – Daniela Drescher – beautiful watercolour pictures of a little witch Merlina and her Dragon friend Igor bringing the harvest in to preserve. There is quite a bit of comedy as Merlina tries out some spells to help Igor when he steps on a thorn. Things don’t go to plan, but all is well by the end and they carve some lovely pumpkins for their garden. The pictures let your imagination set sail.
The Best Hallowe’en Hunt Ever – John Speirs – each page is Hallowe’en themed and full of action (think Where is Wally?) You have a long list of Hallowe’en things to find on each page, which can be quite challenging, but after a few years, we are now finding them quite quickly! Enjoyable once a year fun.
These are the autumn books we are currently enjoying. We usually add a couple every year, so over the years we have accrued quite a collection! If there are any lovely autumn books that you would recommend, please write to me in the comments. I always love to follow up a suggestion!
I also have two Martinmas books in German that I will share when I write a Martinmas post soon. I couldn’t find any in English, but luckily we can read German 🙂
Wishing you many cosy times, curled up with a lovely book this autumn.