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Before the fall season sneaks up on us, I want to share the best children’s books about fall we’ve discovered in our home! Toddler books about autumn are always just so sweet, and there’s something about fall books illustrations that I just love.
If you have favorite fall children’s books or storytime books about fall you think I should add to this list, let me know!
Best Fall Books for Toddlers
Fall Books for Babies and Toddlers
Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
Tap the Magic Tree is a lovely, interactive picture book that teaches babies and toddlers about the changing seasons!
This book is fun, especially for the busy baby or toddler who needs a little more oomph for books to hold their attention.
Hungry Bunny by Claudia Rueda
Oh, we love the Bunny Interactive Picture Books in our home! Hungry Bunny is cozy, funny, and just plain silly.
Your littles will have the best time helping Bunny pick those tasty apples!
Fall (Bright Baby Touch and Feel) by Roger Priddy
Fall is the perfect touch-and-feel book for your baby, with seasonal pictures for autumn and Thanksgiving.
Pretty self-explanatory, but this is a great gift or addition to a fall-themed basket or shelf.
Little Acorn by Melanie Joyce, illustrated by Gina Maldonado
A sweet, beautifully illustrated book, Little Acorn is perfect for introducing nature-related vocabulary to your little ones. What a fun way to teach kids how trees grow!
We have a lot of conversations about trees in the fall, so this one really knocks it out of the park.
Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell
My daughter was obsessed with Apples and Pumpkins after we went apple picking last fall! This picture book is about a young girl who spends the perfect fall day picking apples and pumpkins with her family.
I’d say this is a great book for pre-kindergarten all the way to second grade. This would be an excellent first day of fall read aloud, too.
If You Find a Leaf by Aimee Sicuro
This might be my favorite fall book for toddlers! In fact, it’s one of my favorite picture books, period.
The illustrations are incredible—my daughter tried to pick up a leaf on the page because they looked so real! If You Find a Leaf is perfect for the imaginative, whimsical child.
Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman
We love the Bear Books in our home! Bear Says Thanks is so cozy and charming. It’s definitely one of the best children’s books about fall.
This is a lovely book about friendship and learning to be thankful, with a repeated line, “and the bear says thanks,” which makes it more engaging.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s First Fall by Eric Carle
Can’t go wrong with The Very Hungry Caterpillar! This book celebrates the different seasons and has beautiful illustrations as the leaves change colors.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s First Fall should definitely be a staple in your fall reading list for toddlers.
Can You Say It, Too? Hoot! Hoot! by Sabastien Braun
We’re owl obsessed in our house, so if we find a fall board or picture book with owls, it’s usually a win. Can You Say It, Too? Hoot! Hoot! is so colorful with big, recessed flaps, perfect for babies and young toddlers.
It’s also quite sturdy, which we appreciate.
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Patrick Benson
Another lovely owl book! This was a favorite in our home for a while. Owl Babies isn’t technically about autumn, but it has all of the autumn vibes, if you know what I mean. It also touches on separation anxiety, which can be helpful in autumn months as parents prep for their kids to go to school.
This story has repeated lines to encourage participation—and a compelling storyline about three baby owls who awake to find their mother gone. It’s a bit spooky, but the owl babies dance and bounce and cheer when their mother owl returns to the nest! It’s quite comforting and endearing.
RELATED: 8 Tips on How to Read More as a Mom
Autumn Books for Preschoolers
The Thank You Book by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
Oh, this book. One of the best fall children’s books! It’s just lovely, like a warm hug. The Thank You Book includes illustrations of fall trees, Halloween, and thanksgiving—and it explores the different, small ways we can be thankful.
The writing may be a little tricky for littles to understand, so I would recommend ages four to seven on this one.
Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
Sophie’s Squash is a cute book about Sophie, who adopts a squash, calling it Bernice. She becomes best friends with the squash . . . what a silly premise, right?
But on a more serious note, if you have a strong-willed child who tends to make intense attachments to objects (ahem . . . right here!), this book will be sweet and familiar.
The Little Kitten by Nicola Killen
Tilly was gifted this sweet book on her third birthday! It’s a special Halloween story about a girl, Ollie, and her cat, Pumpkin, who stumble upon a kitten who leads them deep into the woods, and . . . well, you’ll have to see what happens.
The beautiful illustrations are in a grayscale color palette with pops of orange and black and white. The Little Kitten is definitely one of the best fall storytime books we’ve found!
Pete the Cat’s Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean, illustrated by Kimberly Dean
We love Pete the Cat! And this one is made from the classic favorite children’s song, “Five Little Pumpkins”—but with a groovy spin, of course.
If you’re looking for songs about fall for toddlers and preschoolers, Pete the Cat’s Five Little Pumpkins is for you!
Pete the Cat’s Falling for Autumn by James Dean, illustrated by Kimberly Dean
Another Pete the Cat book because . . . why not?
Falling for Autumn is a sweet book about how Pete the Cat began to appreciate the change from summer to autumn and all the fun that comes with it, like corn mazes, hay rides, and apple picking!
Biscuit and the Great Fall Day (early reader) by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, illustrated by Pat Schories
Biscuit and the Great Fall Day (My First I Can Read) is perfect for emergent readers, i.e., new readers and preschoolers learning to sound out words and get used to longer books!
We love Biscuit books in our home, and this one is perfect for fall, with pumpkin picking trips, Halloween celebrations, and more.
Fancy Nancy: Apples Galore! (early reader) by Jane O’Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
Fancy Nancy is an I Can Read Level 1 book with a festive fall vibe that takes place at a fall field trip.
There are consequences in the book for not listening to a teacher, which can spark some helpful conversations, too. Apples Galore definitely stands out among autumn books for preschoolers.
The Scarecrow: A Fall Book for Kids by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Eric and Terry Fan
This is one of the best fall books for kindergarten! The Scarecrow is a tender story about two unlikely friends, and it’s a gorgeous book about love, kindness, and loneliness.
This book just might make you cry, but oh, it’s sweet. If you’re looking for fun fall read alouds, especially for the classroom, this would be a wonderful addition to your autumn reading list.
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson, illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
Fletcher the fox is worried something is wrong when the leaves begin to fall from his favorite tree. Fletcher and the Falling Leaves is a sweet book about understanding the changing of the seasons . . . not to mention these illustrations are absolutely gorgeous!
This might be a great first day of fall read aloud to your preschooler or toddler.
The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming, illustrated by Nicola Slater
The Leaf Thief is a funny picture book about adapting to change, and it’s perfect for the autumn season. It’s one of my favorite children’s books about fall.
It’s similar to Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, and it touches on the anxiety that comes with change—perfect for kids with school anxiety as summer closes.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Fall Children’s Books
What books can a three-year-old read?
Most three-year-olds don’t know how to read yet, but they’re working on learning to recognize and write their letters in the alphabet—as well as sounding out words.
How do I choose an age-appropriate book for my child?
Knowing how to choose age-appropriate books for your children, especially toddlers and preschoolers, can be a tricky process. Age appropriateness depends so much on the child!
For instance, some younger toddlers still do better with sturdy board books and fewer words with more compelling illustration, while other toddlers have longer attention spans for more words and can take care with books that have paper pages.
For preschool-aged children, look for the reading level printed on the back of the book or read descriptions of the book before investing in it.
In general, remember that every child is different. Some children may be frightened or upset by certain plot elements, and some children may not understand the humor, metaphors, et cetera, if they are below the average reading level of their age or grade.
What books should I get for my preschooler/emergent reader?
If your young reader is learning to sound out words, write letters, and read basic language, the My First I Can Read books are fantastic! The language is simple, repetitive, with lots of sight words and sweet illustrations. You can also get several in the same series, like the Biscuit books!
Remember, even if your child is ready to read early readers or chapter books, continue to read to your kids! Picture books with rich language, chapter books . . . all the books! Literary-rich experiences are crucial to early literacy!
What books should I read in autumn?
If you’re an adult looking for fall books to read, I have the best autumn reading list. The best books to read to your toddlers or preschoolers in autumn include Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, Pete the Cat: Falling for Autumn, The Little Kitten, and If You Find a Leaf.
Also, if fall is a short season where you live, one of our favorite winter books for preschoolers is a classic, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. The illustrations are gorgeous! Also, Owl Moon by Jane Yolen is a favorite.
How do I find a good children’s book?
A good illustrated and well-written children’s book is:
- Colorful, with captivating illustrations that align with the right amount of text
- Fun to read aloud with rich, age-appropriate vocabulary, perhaps with rhyming, rhythm, or even songs
- Made up of simple language, repetitive, predictable text and compelling word choices
- Well paced with funny and/or heartwarming characters
- Powerful and/or speaks to a larger topic or message without being overly didactic
Fall Reading Challenge for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Here’s the fall reading challenge we’ll be focusing on in 2023!
- Read a book with orange on the cover.
- Read a book about a witch or monster.
- Read a book about the changing seasons.
- Read a book about sharing.
- Read a book about food.
- Read a book with songs about fall for toddlers.
- Read a book about doing something brave.
If you join us in the reading challenge and curate your own fall reading list for toddlers, will you let me know?! Share your fun fall read alouds so we can add them to our list, too!