Posts Tagged ‘autumn’

You’ll Just Fall For These Autumn Books!

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

It’s fall! My absolute favorite season! The first chill is in the air. The trees are changing colors. And there’s nothing I love more than crunching leaves under my feet, wearing sweaters, drinking tea, picking apples, eating apples, dehydrating apples, making apple pie…

You get the idea.

Plus, there’s no better time to snuggle up with a blanket and a book. So here are a few of our fall favorites for you to read. And tell us yours!

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert (1991, HMH Books for Young Readers)

True to Ehlert’s style, this book’s bright colors and mixed media explain the story of a sugar maple: leaves, seeds, roots and all!

Four Friends In Autumn by Tomie DePaola (2004, Simon & Schuster)

It’s autumn! Four friends meet to feast and talk about fall, their favorite season. But a mishap sends them on a new adventure…

Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber & Leslie Evans (2004, Charlesbridge)

In delightful rhyme, this book details the shapes and colors of sycamore leaves, maple, willow and more. Plus, it reminds us the best part about all these leaves: jumping in the piles!

Applesauce Season by Eden Ross Lipson & Mordicai Gerstein (2009, Roaring Brook Press)

MacIntosh. Honey Crisp. Cortland. Red Delicious. Do you have a favorite apple? With all those apples and all that sauce, this book is the perfect addition to any apple-loving family!

The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson & Jonathan Bean (2007, Simon & Schuster)

Folk-art illustrations and a cumulative text take this adventure of pie to the apples, to the tree, to the rain, to the clouds, sky, sun and world!

The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger (2008, Greenwillow Books)

Stunning colors and collages tell the story of the leaf who isn’t ready for winter, and the path to acceptance.

Interested in purchasing one of these lovely fall favorites? Visit our website here.


Top of the Shelf: A Story for Bear

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

A Story for Bear by Dennis Haseley, illustrated by Jim LaMarche

Anyone who enjoys books – both children and adults – will delight in this fantasy about the friendship of a woman and a bear – brought together by the love of reading. Haseley’s enchanting tale is made real by LaMarche’s glowing and realistic illustrations.

Click here to buy A Story for Bear or click here to read more Top of the Shelf book reviews.

Falling for Fall: Autumn Picture Book Round-Up

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

Happy October! I’m so happy that autumn is finally here. It’s hard not to fall in love with autumn in the Pioneer Valley. I mean, seriously. Look at this view:

It’s the time of year for pumpkin patches, corn field mazes, apple picking and trees ablaze in color. But even if you’re not in the Northeast (or in the Northern Hemisphere) you can still share our love for fall by curling up with one of our favorite picture books. These books are great all year round, but they do just happen to be extra cozy and fun right around now…

The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger is a sweet story of friendship, risk taking, and embracing change and this book evokes all the sensations of the fall season. The color palette of the illustrations move from the greens of summer, to the yellows, oranges and reds of fall, into the cool blues of winter all within 32 pages. The illustrations are intricate collage of recycled paper, uniting old-school graph and lined paper, envelopes, and book pages in an unique and inspiring way. Here’s some of my favorite spreads:

To see more about the creation of this book and learn about the author/illustrator Carin Berger, check out this wonderful interview.

Another all-time favorite picture book is A Story for Bear by Dennis Haseley, illustrated by Jim LaMarche. This book was first introduced to me as an adult by my mentor at Barefoot Books. Not only does the main character share my name, but I instantly felt we shared the same love of books, nature and wildlife, and as my family might complain, a love for reading books aloud. A Story for Bear shows an unusual friendship between a woman and a bear, who are drawn together by the love a good story. A sweet, quiet book, this makes a great laptime read, perfect for cozy cuddles on a crisp fall night. Let me share with you my absolute favorite page of the book:

For gardeners and farmers, autumn is the time when all of the summer’s sweaty, dirty hard work pays off and you can eat good homegrown food well into the cold winter. Look at all the beautiful squashes from my local farm!

There are so many great picture books that explore gardening and farming through the seasons, showing the gratifying rewards of a bountiful harvest. Kathy Henderson’s And the Good Brown Earth and Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall, filled with Barbara Cooney’s rustic illustrations of New England, are two of my favorites.

Another newer title is Strega Nona’s Harvest by Tomie dePaola. Using the comical antics of familiar characters, dePaola explores not only the process of gardening, but also how a good harvest can really bring together a community. And as always, dePaola uses such beautiful and vivid colors that evoke the harvest season. This is my favorite illustration from the book:

Click here to read Barbara Elleman’s Top of the Shelf review of Strega Nona’s Harvest.

Speaking of food bringing community together, Applesauce Season by Eden Ross Lipson highlights the spirit of the fall apple season without ever stepping into an orchard. In the urban setting of New York City, the book still evokes the smells and tastes that an apple harvest can bring as a family cooks and eats together. I especially love how illustrator Mordecai Gerstein captures the details and differences of various apple types. These endpapers are not only fabulous, but actually quite educational as an apple identification guide!

Another picture book that provides a great fall identification guide is Carole Gerber’s Leaf Jumpers, which offers easy definitions for recognizing fall leaves, while Leslie Evan’s colorful lino cut illustrations are simple and gorgeous. And, of course, who doesn’t love jumping in a pile of raked leaves?

I’m sure I could go on and on about favorite fall picture books, but I’d rather hear about the books you’d recommend. Share your favorite picture books to read in the fall in the comments.

Back to School…with Mordicai Gerstein!

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

September is creeping up on us and while I’ll miss summer, Autumn in the Pioneer Valley has to be one of my most favorite things. Apple picking, fields of cornstalks and pumpkins, the gorgeous leaves and crisp hiking weather…  And for many of you teachers and students, fall means back to school! I graduated from my Master’s program from Simmons College at The Carle back in May and it’s really hard for me to believe I won’t be going back to class when the rest of the grad students come back through our doors in a few weeks. 

Especially when I hear that this fall for the first time they are offering a class in picture book illustration taught by Caldecott-winning illustrator Mordicai Gerstein! Students will learn the thought and process behind creating picture books straight from a master. I can’t imagine a better opportunity than that.

Many people have observed that The Carle is perfectly situated in the heart of children’s book country. We can boast the names of so many amazing children’s authors and illustrators who call the Pioneer Valley home. (Seriously, get me started and we could be here all day.) I feel so fortunate to have been able to take Simmons classes with their amazing Boston professors as well as have access to The Carle’s local resources, such as their original art archives, extensive research library and, oh yeah, visits to local artist studios. It’s the very best of both worlds.

So even though I won’t be attending class this fall, I’ll still look forward to seeing the students and teachers coming through each week. We’ll also have to take this opportunity to stock up on autographed Mordicai Gerstein books! Click here to see what signed books we already have in stock.

Top of the Shelf: Crow Call

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Crow Call by Lois Lowry and Bagram Ibatoulline

When Liz’s father returns from the war, he seems a stranger and she is not quite sure how to connect with him. A walk in the woods to look for crows, however, revives and strengthens their special relationship. Ibatoulline captures the ambiance of the day through vivid facial expressions and stunning background depictions of the autumn day.

Click here to buy Crow Call or see more of Top of the Shelf books.