Fall Book Round Up

These are some of our favorite fall books we’ve reviewed . I will be editing this post as we add a few more. You can find round ups like this here on our

Book Review Page

One Green Apple by Even Bunting is a treat. The book is not about apples really at all, instead it’s about Farrah a little Muslim girl who has come to the United States from an unnamed country and her first day at school. The day is spent on a field trip to an orchard , where the children pick apples and make apple cider. I immediately related to this as my first day of work at a school in my new country was trying, although I could speak the language unlike Farrah it was still daunting to be new in unfamiliar territory. The melting pot analogy is turned into a apple cider one as all the children throw their apples in and work together to press it into cider, even Farrah helps. They all drink the collectively made cider. My son was too young for this book but I think it would be realistic for a PreK – 2nd grade.

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert was the inspiration for this craft and will leave you trying to find all sorts of things like butterflies, chickens and fish in leaf piles. The book is about a leaf man who blows away in the wind and the reader is taken past all sorts of animals like chickens and ducks, past rivers filled with fish and butterflies in the air. All are leaves pieced together to make these awesome images , some are obvious, some take concentration to see the animal among the leaves. Wonderful creative book to welcome the changing seasons.

Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber is a beautifully illustrated , informative book that all all about leaves in autumn. It’s not the most exciting book but is a good teaching resource and tool when you are teaching your child about the changing seasons. I can’t say this is a must read, but it’s useful and worth a look at your local library.

A Friend For All Seasons

A Friend for All Seasons by Julia Hubery is a gem! The book explains the change of seasons in a fun and easy to understand way for young children. Readers follow along with Robbie Raccoon as he notices the changes that are happening around his home, a big oak tree.  My favorite part of this book was when Robbie and a few woodland friends notice that the tree’s leaves are falling and they assume he is crying, so they give him a hug. I loved that! Robbie’s mama raccoon explains the changes and before they go to sleep for a long time during winter’s dark days, they plant 5 acorns . This was a fun part of the book because I had my son predict what would happen. I liked that it gives parents an opportunity to extend this into a science lesson about seeds, and a oak tree’s life cycle. Sure enough when Spring comes there are tiny baby oaks waiting for Robbie when he awakens. I loved this book and would recommend it happily!

When_Autumn_Falls

When Autumn Falls by Kelli Nidey is a stunning book, the illustrations which are painted paper collages, by Susan Swan are so richly colored you will want more after turning the last page. The text is clever as well. Readers will discover that fall is well named not just because of falling leaves, but also pumpkins falling from the vines, temperatures falling, seeds falling from their leaves and even football players falling! The text is the perfect length for toddlers but not too short for preschoolers too.  Cute book for this time of year.


Lucky Leaf
by Kevin O’Malley is a funny book about a boy kicked outside and off his video game by a parent and his quest for a lucky leaf. He waits and waits for the last leaf from a tree to fall, even after his friends give up and go home. The story is cute and my son thought it was funny. I liked the comic book format of the illustrations and the little boy’s dog has some pretty funny facial expressions throughout.

Apple Cider Making Days
Apple Cider-Making Days by Ann Purnell kinda surprised me, I don’t know what I was expecting but I loved this book. My son was sold on the tractor in it but I really liked how simply the author explained the whole process of making apple cider.  From picking the apples on Grandpa’s farm to sorting out the good ones to sell and the bad ones to press, to selling it it covers the details without being too much for a young child to process.  I loved that the whole family, aunts, uncles, cousins and more helped , seeing a family work side by side is heartwarming. My son loved the tractor but also the conveyor belt that took the apples to press! The illustrations by Joanne Friar  set the happy autumn tone for the book and I particularly liked the small details like the pumpkins and squash for sale at the farm.  No bad reviews today- all three books are worth a look !

Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur is a lovely book that is also a wonderful introduction into this form of poetry for young children. Each page has a poem about the season, from Acorns, to Owls to Pumpkins. Each letter of the words are a jumping off point for a sentence in the poem. The beauty of this book is that it reads well traditionally as well as individual poems which really makes it two books in one.

apple picking time

Apple Picking Time by Michele Benoit Slawson  was not what I was expecting , it was so much more. I was expecting a basic book about picking apples at an orchard.  This book is anything but basic, it’s dreamy and while reading it I almost felt as thought I was back in time when a whole community would come to a stand still for something like apple picking.  The protagonist is Anna a little girl who works hard in the orchard along side her parents and grandparents . She isn’t as fast as her parents, but with hard work and the support of her family she reaches her goal and fills a bin! I loved this book, I didn’t even try to read it to my son, he simply wouldn’t sit long enough. The text is long and I would suggest it for preschoolers and up.

iknowitsautum

I Know It’s Autumn by Eileen Spinelli  is much more age appropriate for my son and other toddlers. The book is a simple look at all the things that tell a small child that Autumn is here. Pumpkin muffins, apple picking, cooler weather,  hayrides and more all signal that the summer is gone and the fall has arrived. I like this book because there will be something a child will relate to and be able to identify with. I also love that the family is biracial and there is no mention of it at all. It’s nice to see and I wish more books were so nonchalant about representing all kinds of families.

The Apple Pie That Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson had me tricked into thinking that it was a new edition of an old book. The retro look to the illustrations hooked me and I was shocked to see it was only published 2 years ago. The reader is taken through all the elements that go into making a pie, not the recipe though. The story works backwards from pie to the apples, the tree, the roots and more . The message is one of interconnectedness and makes me feel equally important and small all at the same time. I think it’s useful to teach how everything in nature is dependent on other elements and can’t work alone. My son enjoyed the illustrations of the sun with a face and the little girl helping her father at every step.


Apple Farmer Annie
by  Monica Wellington is another  favorite in our house. My son loves this author and I like how simple but informative this book is. Your little reader will learn about the basics of what happens at an apple orchard , but you can take it further if you want. On many of the pages there are chances to learn more, like the page about sorting and classifying, where there are apples ready to count 1-10, and sorted by colors. I love the last page that says that Annie is so happy to have her own apple farm. I loved that message and think it’s a lot more powerful than some may think, women on farms in most books are “farmer’s wives” and I love that there is no one but Annie doing her own thing.

Apple Picking Craft

Basket of Apples

Apple Kids Craft

Sometimes I think of kids craft and in my mind it’s simple, when in reality it’s not. This is one of those crafts but I still wanted to share, we had fun doing it but it was definitely a mom and little man joint effort, I helped with almost every step.  All the steps were worth it though, he was so proud to show off his” tricky art ” to his dad when he got home from work.  If you are looking for a more toddler friendly apple craft try this or this or this .

  1. Gather your materials . You will need 1 sheet of  plain construction paper( or paper grocery bags would be awesome too),1 sheet of orange construction paper ,  some green paper, red, brown  and green  markers (crayons or paint would work as well), popsicle sticks, glue and scissors.Art Materials
  2. Start by drawing some apples ( yes those are apples) on the plain construction paper.Apple Craft
  3. Have your child color the apples. 2October 065
  4. While they color draw a basic basket on the orange paper, leaving room under for the grass.  This is just a guide for your child. Cut a strip of green for the grass, set aside.2October 067
  5. When they are done cut the apples out.2October 069
  6. Have them make cuts along the green strip to make grass, do not cut all the way through. I folded it in half to make it easier for him to hold it .2October 068
  7. Time to glue.
  8. Add a line of glue on the bottom for the grass.2October 070
  9. Add the grass.2October 071
  10. Add glue to the basket.2October 072
  11. Add the apples.2October 073
  12. Add stems and leaves with a green marker2October 074
  13. Add glue for the sticks.2October 075
  14. Add the sticks, let dry.2October 076

Books!

apple picking time

” Apple Picking Time” by Michele Benoit Slawson  was not what I was expecting , it was so much more. I was expecting a basic book about picking apples at an orchard.  This book is anything but basic, it’s dreamy and while reading it I almost felt as thought I was back in time when a whole community would come to a stand still for something like apple picking.  The protagonist is Anna a little girl who works hard in the orchard along side her parents and grandparents . She isn’t as fast as her parents, but with hard work and the support of her family she reaches her goal and fills a bin! I loved this book, I didn’t even try to read it to my son, he simply wouldn’t sit long enough. The text is long and I would suggest it for preschoolers and up.

iknowitsautum

“I Know It’s Autumn” by Eileen Spinelli  is much more age appropriate for my son and other toddlers. The book is a simple look at all the things that tell a small child that Autumn is here. Pumpkin muffins, apple picking, cooler weather,  hayrides and more all signal that the summer is gone and the fall has arrived. I like this book because there will be something a child will relate to and be able to identify with. I also love that the family is biracial and there is no mention of it at all. It’s nice to see and I wish more books were so non challant about representing all kinds of families.


“Apple Farmer Annie” by Monica Wellington is another instant favorite in our house. My son loves this author and I like how simple but informative this book is. Your little reader will learn about the basics of what happens at an apple orchard , but you can take it further if you want. On many of the pages there are chances to learn more, like the page about sorting and classifying, where there are apples ready to count 1-10, and sorted by colors. I love the last page that says that Annie is so happy to have her own apple farm. I loved that message and think it’s a lot more powerful than some may think, women on farms in most books are “farmer’s wives” and I love that there is no one but Annie doing her own thing.

Go Apple Picking !

Check out  pickyourown.org
to find local pick your own farms near you!

Food Coloring Leaves

Autumn Leaves Craft

This craft was one of those ideas that I had and hoped I wouldn’t regret. Food coloring , small eye droppers that squirt and a toddler could have been a recipe for disaster but not only did we have fun and survive , how awesome are those leaves? I was planning on posting this next week but couldn’t wait to share. We have been talking a lot about the changing colors we see on our tress but this could also be used for a fun garland if you don’t want to make a branch.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some coffee filters, a large piece of construction paper ( white or brown), red, yellow and green food coloring, eye droppers,3 small dishes , water ,crayons,  scissors and glue.Elmers glue and materials
  2. Start by drawing a branch .autumn craft
  3. Have your child color the branch they can add more branches if they like too!fall leaves and emma 004
  4. While they do that draw leaves on the coffee filters.  fall leaves and emma 002
  5. Pour some water along with the food coloring into the small containers, pop the eye droppers in ( one per color)- a big tip put a thick fabric place mat under your child when they are doing this step. It will absorb the coloring so it doesn’t get on other things.  Of course this will stain it so do not use your new William Sonoma ones !fall leaves and emma 005
  6. Using the eye dropper drop the colors onto the coffee filter leaves. fall leaves and emma 006
  7. Use multiple colors for each leaf if you want.  Using an eye dropper is intricate and helps develop your child’s  fine motor skills.fall leaves and emma 007
  8. Let dry- ours dried over night.
  9. Cut out the branchfall leaves and emma 009
  10. Cut out the leavesFall Craft
  11. Add glue to the branchfall leaves and emma 010
  12. Add your leaves and let dry.fall leaves and emma 012

Fall Butterfly Craft

butterfly 009

The book Leaf Man inspired this craft. I had a different leaf craft planned, which we will do later but as we were leaving the park today I picked two leaves up and put them together, asked my son what they looked like and after he said “Butterfly” I knew we’d be doing this instead.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 large leaves with stems, some cardboard, markers, tape, glue and googly eyes.
  2. Start by drawing a butterfly body on the cardboard.
  3. Have your child color it – red was the only color he wanted to use today.
  4. While they are coloring snip the stems off the leaves, don’t loose the stems they will be made into antenna in a bit.
  5. Cut the body out.
  6. Tape the antenna on underside of the head.
  7. Tape the leaves on as wings. Tape works way way better than glue since the leaves can still have some moisture , they can take forever to dry sometimes.
  8. Glue the googly eyes on add a smile!

Books

“Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert was the inspiration for this craft and will leave you trying to find all sorts of things like butterflies, chickens and fish in leaf piles. The book is about a leaf man who blows away in the wind and the reader is taken past all sorts of animals like chickens and ducks, past rivers filled with fish and butterflies in the air. All are leaves pieced together to make these awesome images , some are obvious, some take concentration to see the animal among the leaves. Wonderful creative book to welcome the changing seasons.


“Lucky Leaf” by Kevin O’Malley is a funny book about a boy kicked outside and off his video game by a parent and his quest for a lucky leaf. He waits and waits for the last leaf from a tree to fall, even after his friends give up and go home. The story is cute and my son thought it was funny. I liked the comic book format of the illustrations and the little boy’s dog has some pretty funny facial expressions throughout.


“Autumn : An Alphabet Acrostic” by Steven Schnur is a lovely book that is also a wonderful introduction into this form of poetry for young children. Each page has a poem about the season, from Acorns, to Owls to Pumpkins. Each letter of the words are a jumping off point for a sentence in the poem. The beauty of this book is that it reads well traditionally as well as individual poems which really makes it two books in one.

 

Pumpkin Printing for Toddlers & Preschoolers

pumpkin printing for toddlers I had the pleasure of having our neighbor over for craft time today and wanted to show how the same craft can be done differently for a toddler, a 4.5 year old and one done by an adult. So often we think toddlers can’t do the same things as older siblings, or vice versa but easy little add ons or subtractions make all the difference. This pumpkin printing project is perfect for fall.

  1. Gather your materials. I totally forgot to take a picture! ( I am beyond sleep deprived , my son is getting 2 year molars and demanding mommy, and ONLY mommy multiple times a night! ) phew I feel better. Okay back to the materials, a plate, a mini pumpkin, some cool fall colored paint, construction paper and markers.
  2. Cut your mini pumpkin in half.Clean out or have your child if they are old enough clean out the seeds.Halloween craft
  3. Spread a mixture of paint on a plate.pumkin craft
  4. Use the pumpkin as a stamp and press onto the paper. Our guest had a great time making prints and carefully pressing the pumpkin down.
  5. My toddler had a blast using the pumpkin more like a brush and pressing it all around the paper.pumpkin craft
  6. After you are done printing you can add stems and leaves to the pumpkins with markers. My toddler skipped this step and his masterpiece looked like this  but my neighbor added a few to his prints!
Hopefully this helps illustrate how even if the outcome is a little varied all ages can participate in the same activity and have fun doing it!