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Wonderfall!

Bid goodbye to summer, embrace the natural beauty and coziness of autumn, and prepare for the coming cold with these seasonally appropriate new picture books.

pak_goodbye summer hello autumnKenard Pak‘s Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn offers a warm welcome to fall. “Hello, late summer morning,” says a young girl in a red scarf as she leaves her house on a spread suffused in soft greens. Digitally enhanced watercolor and pencil art captures the changing season as the girl walks through woods and into town, greeting trees, animals, flowers, thunder, and leaves. The colorful bouquet the girl acquires in the woods dwindles, while, in her wake, people look pleasantly surprised to find flowers in their hands. The story comes full-circle in a final spread of the girl outside her home, now surrounded by trees in reds and oranges: “Hello, autumn!” (Holt, 3–5 years)

stringer_yellow-timeWith Yellow Time, Lauren Stringer evokes the experience of watching leaves falling en masse from ash trees, celebrating the time when “everywhere fills with yellow. A symphony of yellow.” Full of anticipation, a diverse group of children sniffs the air and watches the trees, waiting for the moment when the wind lifts and — “WHOOSH!” — the leaves begin to fly. Together they dance and rejoice in the “yellow air.” Luminous acrylic and watercolor paintings feature swirls and swoops of yellow leaves against black tree trunks and branches, reinforcing the beauty of the natural world. (Simon/Beach Lane, 4–7 years)

hall_wonderfall

In Wonderfall, Michael Hall replaces the suffix -ful with his own created suffix -fall to invent new autumn adjectives such as beautifall, plentifall, and wistfall. These words form the titles of a series of very brief verses that take readers through the season. Hall’s exuberant style, with bright colors and crisp, digitally rendered shapes, is engaging, and the closing sequence leading up to the snowfall is one that all children will understand and enjoy. (Greenwillow, 4–7 years)

doyle_sleep-tight-farmIn Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter, a family of four — wearing increasingly warmer clothes as the weather becomes colder — works together to accomplish the many tasks needed to put their small farm to bed for the season. On each double-page spread, author Eugenie Doyle gives specifics for what needs to be done, in language both practical and lyrical (“Dad cuts back the raspberries before wind and snow can crack the canes….The promise of late summer’s plump fruit lies in roots tucked underground”), Becca Stadtlander’s detailed paintings alternately capture the stark beauty of the landscape and the snug, communal feeling of the family kitchen and farmstand. (Chronicle, 5–8 years)

From the November 2016 issue of Notes from the Horn Book.

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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