But even with all those books, we still wait with great anticipation for the seasonal book boxes to come out of storage at the beginning of each new season. This week, after picking up our first batch of Honey Crisp Apples a few days ago, all of the Autumn Picture Books came out of the boxes into my kids eager little hands. They haven’t seen them since autumn last year, so they’re practically brand new from my kids’ perspective.
We’ve been collecting and reading these Autumn Picture Books for a few years now and these are the best of the best. We’ve read every single book on this list, probably more times than can be counted on two hands, and we think they all properly capture some aspect of the wonderful Autumn Season we’re heading into.
There are books about Apples, Pumpkins, the Autumn Harvest, and Falling Leaves. We’ve also got our favorite Halloween Books and some good Thanksgiving Reads for you too. This list will keep you pretty busy until it’s time to pull out the winter reads. Make yourself a batch of these Sweet Potato Apple Muffins and pull up a chair. Happy Autumn Reading!
Scroll to the bottom of this post to download a printable checklist that you can take to your favorite library or bookseller.
General Autumn Picture Books
1. Apple Cake by Nienke Van Hichtum.
A sweet, old fashioned story of an old woman who wants to make an apple cake but has to keep trading for the apples.
2. Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor.
With Tasha Tudor’s gorgeous illustrations, little Sylvie Anne turns the biggest pumpkin into her very own Pumpkin Moonshine (Jack’o’Lantern)
3. The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson.
A cumulative story that gives you the whole story of how Papa got those apples for the pie he baked. Perfect rhymes and illustrations too!
4. Leaves by David Ezra Stein.
It’s Bear’s first Autumn and he can’t figure out why all the leaves are falling off the trees.
5. Woody, Hazel, and Little Pip by Elsa Beskow.
The classic Swedish book about two acorn children who get blown away on an Autumn day adventure.
6. Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper.
A duck, a cat, and a squirrel squabble over their favorite pumpkin soup recipe, but friendship prevails.
7. South by Patrick McDonnell.
A beautiful, wordless story about a bird who wakes up to find all of his friends have gone south without him.
8. Johnny Appleseed by Reeve Lindbergh.
Rhyming text and gorgeous illustrations about the life of John Chapman.
9. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll.
A field mouse and house mouse have to work together to grow the biggest pumpkin ever!
10. How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman.
When the store is closed and you want to make an apple pie, sometimes you have to take a journey to get all the right ingredients.
11. The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall.
A sweet and simple story about the tree that makes all those apple pies possible.
12. Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson.
The leaves are falling off Fletcher’s favorite tree and he is terribly worried.
13. Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall.
Follow one 19th century New Englander family through the seasons. This is one of my favorites!
14. Hello, Harvest Moon by Ralph Fletcher.
After all the day’s work is done, the harvest moon lights up another fascinating nocturnal autumn scene.
15. Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson.
A non-fiction photo essay about the interesting life cycle of a pumpkin.
16. By the Light of the Harvest Moon by Harriet Ziefert.
A sweet, short story about the leaf people enjoying the Autumnal equinox.
17. A Tree for All Seasons by Robin Bernard.
A photographic essay about a Maple tree through the seasons.
18. This is Not a Pumpkin by Bob Staake.
A favorite toddler board book with a happy surprise ending.
19. The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger.
All the leaves are flying away but the little yellow leaf isn’t ready to let go.
20. Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington.
Apple Farmer Annie grows lot’s of apples and you’ll get to see just what she does with them.
21. Zero is the Leaves on the Tree by Betsy Franco.
A lovely book about the concept “zero” as shown through the passing seasons.
22. Why do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro.
A clear and easy to understand non-fiction look at the process that makes leaves change color.
23. How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin by Margaret McNamara.
Mr. Tiffin brings three pumpkins into class for a math and science lesson, but some of the discoveries will surprise you!
24. Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur.
An Acrostic poem with autumn themes for every letter of the alphabet.
25. Fall Ball by Peter McCarty.
The kids are looking forward to a fall game of football, but this book captures all the childhood magic of autumn.
Halloween Picture Books
26. Mouse and Mole: A Perfect Halloween by Wong Herbert Yee.
Mouse likes Halloween, but Mole is just scared.
27. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams.
The little old lady may not be afraid of anything, but she’s in for the scare of her life. This is one of our favorites!
28. Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson.
An adorable and hilarious rhyming book about a Witch, her broom, and some friends she picks up along the way.
29. Dear Vampa by Ross Collins.
A vampire family is frightened by their new neighbors who sleep all night and go out during the sunny daylight hours.
30. The Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat by Lynne Berry.
A Witch is trying to get ready for a party but her contrary cat refuses to help.
31. Ghosts in the House by Kazuno Kohara.
A girl with a haunted house problem gets help from a witch who knows just how to handle all the ghosts.
32. Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex.
A really fun book of poems about all the famous monsters, who, as it turns out, have some problems of their own.
33. By the Light of the Halloween Moon by Caroline Stutson.
A cumulative tale about a girl on a bridge and all the ghosts and ghouls lurking underneath.
34. Spooky Pookie by Sandra Boynton.
A sweet, simple Halloween book that every little will love.
35. Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds.
Jasper Rabbit loves carrots until they start creeping him out. Are they really following him home from school?
36. Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody by Rick Walton.
It looks like Ludwig Bemelman’s famous Madeline, but really it’s Frankenstein, the scariest of all the monsters in Miss Devell’s castle.
37. Angelina’s Halloween by Katharine Holabird.
For me, all the Angelina books are about the gorgeous detailed illustrations, and these Halloween themed pictures are absolutely perfect.
38. And Then Comes Halloween by Tom Brenner.
Lovely collage illustrations and a simple story about deciding what to be and making costumes for the big night.
39. Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O’Connell.
A fun, rhyming countdown as the ghosts get kicked out of their house by a witch.
40. Zen Ghosts by Jon J. Muth.
Stillwater, the zen panda, has a spooky but wonderful tale to tell.
41.Click, Clack, Boo by Doreen Cronin.
Farmer Brown doesn’t like Halloween but his farm animals really like the tricks and the treats.
42. The Bones of Fred McFee by Eve Bunting.
Fred McFee was just a toy skeleton until he vanishes and things get a little spooky.
43. Bone Dog by Eric Rohmann.
Gus is so sad after his dog dies, but then he runs into a bunch of skeletons and finds his dog transformed.
44. Hansel and Gretel by Cynthia Rylant (Pictures by Jen Corace).
It’s the classic story, but beautifully retold and illustrated perfectly by Jen Corace.
45. Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett.
Leo is a kid’s best friend. He’s also a ghost. Perfect Mac Barnett.
Thanksgiving Picture Books
46. Samuel Eaton’s Day by Kate Waters.
A non-fiction photographic book detailing a day in the life of a boy in an early American settlement.
47. Sarah Morton’s Day by Kate Waters.
A non-fiction photographic book detailing a day in the life of a girl in an early American settlement.
48. The Thankful Book by Todd Parr.
It’s not specifically about the holiday, but a lovely reminder of how to be thankful and all the things we have to be thankful for.
49. Thanksgiving is Here by Diane Goode.
A perfect portrait of a big family gathering with all the holiday festivities. I love the pictures in this one!
50. A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman.
The turkeys in Squawk Valley are too smart, but the townspeople are going to do their best to trick one for the holiday.
51. Turkey Trouble by Wendy Silvano.
Turkey knows what’s coming, so he comes up with some clever disguises to keep himself safe.
52. This First Thanksgiving Day by Laura Krauss Melmed.
A counting story with lot’s of details hidden in the pictures.
53. The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgving by Anne McGovern.
A realistic, but child appropriate, account of the first Thanksgiving.
54. Mayflower 1620 by Plimoth Plantation.
A fantastic non-fiction, photographic depiction of the legendary Mayflower voyage.
Did you notice how I added 4 more books? We have too many and I just couldn’t choose! I hope you find some you love here too.