Fall Stories are Fun!

By on October 31, 2013

by Meribeth C. Shank    

As the calendar moves us closer to Thanksgiving, consider these new autumn books to read with your dear ones. And, don’t be afraid to re-read favorites – you can always leave a gap for a listener to fill in the missing word(s). Like well-loved songs, treasured tales encourage repetition. Both new and prized stories can create a sense of wellbeing, gratitude, and comfort: a salute to the season.

Sophie’s Squash

sophiesquashby Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf.

Sophie surprises her parents with her affection for a squash from the farmer’s market. So, the family eats pizza for supper instead! Meanwhile, Sophie uses “markers to give her squash a face.” She wraps it in a blanket, and rocks it to sleep.  In the days that follow, Sophie takes the squash with her everywhere. But, “Bernice” gets spots, and even starts to soften. At the farmer’s market, Sophie asks for advice. Cheerful, busy, watercolor, ink and China ink cartoon-like paintings, lighten this unique and charming love story. The pictures reveal movement, as Sophie decides she has everything the farmer recommends.  Illustrations show winter snowfall after Sophie makes a “bed of soft soil” in “Bernice’s favorite spot.” Then, in the spring, there’s a “small green sprout” in the garden that looks “strangely familiar.”  Based on an incident in the author’s family, this picture book brings new meaning to one of autumn’s best-known produce items! Also much laughter!  Enjoy. Random House, $16.99 (hardcover) Interest Level: Pre-K–Grade 2 (This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online: www.booksandbooks.com)

Come Back, Moon

moonby David Kherdian, illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian.

Moonlight keeps Bear awake. So, Bear hides the moon.  Fox, skunk, opossum, raccoon and crow notice the moon is missing. They agree to ask wise owl, “Do you know where the moon is?” Award winner Hogrogian uses watercolor and pencil to show the creatures in action. Expressive animal faces are turned up toward Owl. “I saw Bear take the moon,” Owl tells them. And they hurry to “get the moon back from Bear.” The power of a story to satisfy Bear, putting him to sleep, is disarmingly simple. This perfect bedtime tale comes full circle, as the cheering animals dance under the freed moon, while Bear happily snoozes. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (hardcover) Interest Level: Jr K–Grade 3 (This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online: www.booksandbooks.com)

 

Turkey Tot

turkeytotby George Shannon, illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann.

Turkey Tot and his friends Chick, Pig and Hen want to eat the fat blackberries growing just out of reach. But alas, no sweet treat, they think. Then, Turkey Tot finds some string. He asks his friends to help him find balloons, so they can float up to eat the blackberries. They think it’s a silly idea. Hen says, “He’s been different since the day he hatched.”  Watercolor, pencil and digital collage set up the action with bright colors, and Turkey Tot’s enormous imagination. Repeated lines, plus found objects, and in Turkey Tot’s view, “good luck” and “more luck,” combine with his own brand of inventiveness and determination. Snappy text matches with resourceful illustrations to demonstrate Turkey Tot’s spunk, creativity and itch to share in this delightfully comic story. Holiday House, $16.95 (hardcover) Interest Level: Pre-K–Grade 1 (This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online: www.booksandbooks.com)

Additional titles you might want to try:

When the Leaf Blew In by Steve Metzger, illustrated by Kellie, Lewis.  Scholastic, $5.99 (paperback) Interest Level: K–Grade 3 (This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online: www.booksandbooks.com)

Pumpkin Countdown by Joan Holub, illustrated by Jan Smith. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (hardcover) Interest Level: Junior Kindergarten – Grade 2 (This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online: www.booksandbooks.com)

How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow? by Wendell Minor. Penguin, $16.99 (hardcover) Interest Level: Jr K–Grade 2 (This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online: www.booksandbooks.com)

Meribeth Shank works in the Media Center at Miami Country Day School, an independent school in Miami Shores, Florida, teaches classes on Writing Books for Children, and earned her MFA in Writing for children from Vermont College. You can also find her on the web: meribeths.blogspot.com

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