We absolutely love books in this house. Every time I declutter my hand hovers over the bookshelf, crammed with books and I just cant bring myself to get rid of any. But I know that too many of anything makes it hard to appreciate the things you love, and so I am strict about where the books live and how many we have out at once. We always have a basket downstairs with easy to grab books for quick stories or looking at as inspiration for drawings or conversation prompts. Its always full of books for that season, and it tends to be the first thing I change at the first sign of a new leaf bud or a warm summer breeze, or more recently the cold, crisp mornings. It really helps cement to me that we are moving through the year and it has made me look forward to certain stories more, knowing we have to wait a year to read them again.
I know I am always looking for new books and good resources, so though I would share our book basket with you all. I look out for seasonal books all year round and tuck them away so we have a mix of old and new-to-us books each year. I also make sure there is a balance of stories, field guides and non-fiction books, and often a new book basket will spark a conversation or project. I love getting books from charity shops or book sales, and that means we have a nice mix of vintage, old and new stories so not all of my books are still easily available to buy but it will give you a flavour of what we have so you can go and be inspired to put together your own seasonal collection.
We have a few favourite series that we use throughout the year. These are :
Bramley Hedge. The most adorable stories about little mice who live in the hedgerow and go on adventures each season – the illustrations are wonderful and the stories are gentle and full of lovely messages about the countryside and animals. I often see these second hand so keep an eye for them!
Gerda Muller has a wonderful series of seasonal board books. I had these when the boys were little and we looked at the pictures, they are a bit old for them now but I still love including them and they are great as visual prompts and inspirations for crafts and drawings. I also like the rhythm of having them in each box year after year, I don’t think I’ll ever take them out.
Flower Fairies are a child hood classic aren’t they? We have each seasonal book, and I just love them. My boys don’t reach for them, if I am honest , but I will pick them up and read them a page or two if we have found a new flower or plant and that sparks their interest in the illustration. Its lovely to have poems too.
I have a few of these lovely old Ladybird books so try to chose a few different ones, whatever suits the season or time. I also add in field guides, bird spotting books or other guides. For autumn the ones we use the most are the handy river cottage guides, which are full of information, and also recipes too. We especially love this Mushroom guide, and use it a lot at this time of year. The other book we read every year is Why Do Leaves Change Colour by Betsy Maestro , its a really great book to explain the science behind why the leaves change colour and great for some curriculum linked learning.
We also have a collection of lovely stories and picture books, and our favourites include
- Woody, Hazel and Little Pip by Elsa Beskow , a story of two acorn children blown away on an autumn adventure
- Scarecrows Wedding By Julia Donaldson is a great one for early autumn when the harvest is in full swing.
- Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson – a classic and so perfect for Halloween fun without being too scary.
- The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter – because every season needs a Beatrix Potter story!
- The Owl who was afraid of the Dark. by Jill Tomlinson . As the nights draw in this is a lovely way to welcome the dark.
- Percy’s Park, After the Storm by Nick Butterworth. Percy is our favourite park keeper, and we love reading about him and his animal friends in the storm.
There are lots of other great posts about Autumn books for ideas and inspiration, some of my favourites are Some the Wiser, Allison has lots of great book resources although some are American and hard to find in the UK. This list of autumn and fall books is full of great ideas and has a printable list for the library. Good Reads is a great resource for book lists, and they have a great list of Autumn picture books here . Rhythms of Play also has a lovely list of picture books for fall.
We are always looking for new books, and especially chapter books so please let me know your favourite autumn books, or if you share some of our favourites let me know which ones!
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