Monday, November 18, 2013

Giving Thanks for Books about Autumn

If it seems late in the season to read books about fall - don't fret. There may be just a few stubborn leaves clinging to the branches, but there are plenty on the ground for raking and jumping and walking through. Fall's not over yet, and with Thanksgiving coming up we thought we'd serve up some seasonal books from the shelves.
These two picture books are full of vibrant, warm illustrations in yummy fall colors. Count Down to Fall, by Fran Hawk starts at ten and counts backwards. It's a fun way to learn about the leaves, trees, and animals we see in the autumn - and there's activities at the back.
 Let it Fall, by Maryann Cocca-Leffler is a rhyming book featuring apple picking, hayrides and lots of leaves. Here's a sneak peek: "Mounds of color raked up high/ jump right in and watch the sky!" Granted, the leaves this month are not as pretty as they were a few short weeks ago... but they're still good for raking and jumping.
In November, by Cynthia Rylant is filled with luscious lyrical language and soft paintings that will draw you into the world of a curious mouse. “In November the earth is growing quiet. It is making its bed, a winter bed for flowers and small creatures. The bed is white and silent, and much life can hide beneath its blankets.” November is filled with dancing leaves and orange smells... it's a time for gathering and sharing with your family.

A perfect book for sharing with someone is I Spy Thanksgiving, with riddles by Jean Marzollo and photographs by Walter Wick. Children will have fun finding an apple pie, an autumn leaf, a pumpkin and more. The I Spy books are not only great fun (they're like miniature mysteries for young children), but they help sharpen observational skills and - most important - a great way to engage a child while you're trying to bake that apple pie, or as a backseat book while driving over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house...

 If you are looking for a different sort of holiday book, check out An Outlaw Thanksgiving by Emily McCully.  It's based on a true incident in the 1890's Wild West, when Butch Cassidy and his gang threw a Thanksgiving banquet for the ranching community that was their favorite "hideout". McCully imagines this feast through the eyes of a young girl traveling from New York state to California. A blizzard stops the train and Clara ends up sharing dinner with Butch and the gang.