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Autumn is Here!

August 30, 2013


After a humid, soggy summer in the city, we’re ready for the cool, crisp air of autumn. Not to mention, of course, the gorgeous explosion of red, gold, and orange leaves we’re treated to in our parks. There are so many cues that the new season is just around the corner: stores put out Halloween decorations and candy, coffee and treats becomes pumpkin-flavored, and those cozy knits and boots are pulled out. If you find yourself feeling the need to bring some of that spirit into your classrooms and libraries to celebrate the season with your young students, we have a couple of fantastic new recommendations for you:





Duck & Goose, Find a Pumpkin
By Tad Hills
Recommended for 2-5 years | Pages: 22 | ISBN: 978-0-307-98155-4
New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Tad Hills brings our favorite feathered friends out to find a big, beautiful pumpkin in this sturdy, large-sized board book. Duck & Goose look everywhere for a pumpkin—in the apple tree, in the leaf pile, inside a hollow log…. Where will they find one? The large size of this edition makes it a perfect book for sharing during storytime or lap time.


Sophie’s Squash
By Pat Zietlow Miller; illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
Recommended for 3-7 years | Pages: 40 | ISBN: 978-0-307-97896-7
On a trip to the farmers’ market with her parents, Sophie chooses a squash, but instead of letting her mom cook it, she names it Bernice. From then on, Sophie brings Bernice everywhere, despite her parents’ gentle warnings that Bernice will begin to rot. As winter nears, Sophie does start to notice changes…. What’s a girl to do when the squash she loves is in trouble? With absolutely delightful text by Pat Zietlow Miller and downright hilarious illustrations from Anne Wilsdorf, it’s no wonder this story received four starred reviews! Sophie’s Squash will be a fresh addition to any collection of autumn books.


How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?
By Margaret McNamara; illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Recommended for 3-7 years | Pages: 40 | ISBN: 978-0-375-84014-2
Here is an adorable picture book for curious kids, which explores skip counting and estimation in a fun pumpkin-themed classroom experiment. “How many seeds are in a pumpkin?” Mr. Tiffin asks his class as they gather around the big, medium, and small pumpkins on his desk. Robert, the biggest kid, guesses that the largest one has a million seeds; Elinor, sounding like she knows what she’s talking about, guesses the medium one has 500 seeds; and Anna, who likes even numbers better than odd ones, guesses that the little one has 22. Charlie, the smallest boy in the class, doesn’t have a guess. Counting pumpkin seeds is messy business, but once the slimy job is done, to everyone’s surprise, the smallest pumpkin has the most seeds! As Charlie happily exclaims, “Small things have a lot going on inside of them.” This book makes a wonderful read-aloud companion to any math or science curriculum, and it’s a fun way to reinforce counting skills at home.


The Apple Orchard Riddle
By Margaret McNamara; illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Recommended for 4-8 years | Pages: 40 | ISBN: 978-0-375-84744-8
Mr. Tiffin and his students from the perenially popular How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? are back in this picture book about a school trip to an apple orchard! In this playful, humorous, and child-friendly classroom story, the students learn a lot about apples and apple orchards—including how apples are harvested, how cider is made, and what the different varieties of apples are—while trying to solve a riddle. The book also celebrates how some children learn differently than others. Margaret McNamara and illustrator G. Brian Karas bring us another fun and educational picture book.


Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
By Grace Lin
Recommended for 3-7 years | Pages: 32 | ISBN: 978-0-375-86101-7
This simple, young, and satisfying story follows a Chinese American family as they celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Each member of the family lends a hand as they prepare a moonlit picnic with mooncakes, pomelos, cups of tea, and colorful lanterns. And everyone sends thanks and a secret wish up to the moon.
Grace Lin’s luminous and gloriously patterned artwork is perfect for this holiday tale. Her story is simple—tailor-made for reading aloud to young children. And she includes an informative author’s note with further details on the customs and traditions of the Moon Festival for parents and teachers. The Moon Festival is one of the most important holidays of the year along with the Lunar New Year, so this book makes an excellent companion to Grace Lin’s Bringing In the New Year, which features the same family.