10 Perfect Autumn Books

Curated by Emma Kerr, Early Childhood and Elementary Librarian

Brrr!  It’s getting cold outside!  Are you ready to curl up with a wonderful autumn-themed book?  Here are some wonderful examples of books that will help you celebrate this lovely time of year and reflect on the beauty of nature in all its autumn glory.  You’ll notice too that we have some titles that celebrate Native American Heritage Month as well as Diwali, celebrated by many of our faculty and students this month. All these books are available in our library.

Younger Readers

Arthur’s Thanksgiving

By Marc Brown

“Arthur’s Thanksgiving” is the eighth book in the Arthur series by Marc Brown. In this installment, Arthur is tasked with directing his school’s Thanksgiving play. As he assigns roles to his friends, they go to great lengths to secure the parts they desire, with a humorous twist—no one wants to be the Turkey! The story unfolds with the challenges and mishaps during the play’s rehearsal, providing an entertaining take on the Thanksgiving theme.

The Thank You Book

By Mo Willems

“The Thank You Book” by Mo Willems is the final installment in the Elephant and Piggie series. In this heartwarming book, Piggie wants to thank everyone who has been a part of their adventures. The story is a delightful exploration of gratitude, friendship, and the joy of acknowledging those who have made a positive impact. With its charming illustrations and simple yet meaningful narrative, the book is a fitting conclusion to the beloved series.

Apples to Oregon

By Deborah Hopkinson

“Apples to Oregon” is a captivating children’s book that narrates the (slightly) true narrative of a brave pioneer father. In the story, Papa decides to pull up stakes and move his family from Iowa to Oregon, bringing along not only his children but also a variety of fruit trees—apples, peaches, pears, plums, grapes, and cherries. The narrative unfolds as the family faces the challenges of the trail, highlighting their determination and resourcefulness. The subtitle humorously notes the inclusion of “children” among the cargo of fruits. The book provides an engaging blend of history and whimsy, making it an enjoyable read for young audiences.

Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey

By Joy Cowley

“Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey” is a charming holiday story set in New York City. The narrative revolves around Miguel, who receives a turkey from his father to fatten up for Thanksgiving dinner. However, Miguel develops an unexpected attachment to the turkey, named Gracias, treating him more like a pet than a future meal. The tale unfolds with the challenges Miguel faces in balancing his affection for Gracias and the traditional purpose of the turkey. With elements of humor and heart, the story explores themes of family, attachment, and the spirit of Thanksgiving in a unique urban setting.

The Story of Diwali

By Katie Daynes

“The Story of Diwali” is a children’s book that narrates the tale of the Indian festival of lights, Diwali. The book explores the origins of Diwali in Hindu and Sikh traditions, tracing its historical roots to its contemporary celebration. It provides insights into the cultural and religious significance of the festival, offering a comprehensive view of how Diwali is observed today. The narrative is tailored for young readers, making it accessible for children with varying reading abilities.

Older Readers

Cranberry Thanksgiving

By Wende and Harry Devlin

“Cranberry Thanksgiving” is a delightful picture book. The story revolves around Maggie and her grandmother, who live near a cranberry bog. Grandmother hosts Thanksgiving, and her famous cranberry bread is a highlight. The plot includes a touch of mystery when Grandmother almost loses her secret recipe to a guest. The book combines elements of fun, interesting characters, and generosity, concluding with the valuable lesson that generosity is reciprocated.

Giving Thanks

By Katherine Paterson

“Giving Thanks” is a beautifully illustrated collection of poems, prayers, and praise songs celebrating the joy of gratitude. Paterson, a Newbery Medal winner, and cut-paper artist Pamela Dalton collaborate to create a special book about gratitude. The collection includes short reflections by Paterson on why people should have grateful hearts, followed by poems and verses on Thanksgiving. The book is not only near-universal but also deeply personal, offering a unique blend of universal themes and individual perspectives on gratitude.

Premlata and the Festival of Lights

By Rumer Godden

“Premlata and the Festival of Lights” is a poignant story that unfolds in an Indian setting. The narrative revolves around Premlata, an impoverished girl facing challenging circumstances. Forced to sell the family’s Diwali lamps to buy rice, Premlata fears her home will be the only one in the village without light during the festival. Despite the adversity, she devises a plan to surprise her mother and rescue the family’s celebration. The tale is a tender rags-to-riches narrative with universal themes, showcasing resilience and the spirit of Diwali.

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message

By Chief Jake Swamp

“Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message” is a book that presents the Native American Thanksgiving Address, a traditional message of gratitude offered to Mother Earth. The address expresses thanks for the Earth’s abundance and the diversity of its creatures. Chief Jake Swamp’s work beautifully captures the essence of this ancient message, providing readers with a meaningful reflection on gratitude and interconnectedness with nature. The book serves as a cultural and educational resource, offering insights into Native American traditions and the importance of expressing thanks for the gifts of the Earth.

Pilgrims: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House

By Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce

“Pilgrims: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House #27” is an informative and engaging nonfiction book. Serving as a companion to the Magic Tree House series, specifically the 27th book titled “Thanksgiving on Thursday,” this nonfiction guide provides additional insights into the Pilgrims and their journey to the New World. The book is designed to complement the fictional narrative with factual information, offering young readers a more comprehensive understanding of the historical context and events surrounding the Pilgrims’ experiences. Through rich content and illustrations, “Pilgrims” aims to enhance the educational experience for children interested in history and the Magic Tree House series.

Happy Reading!

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