26 Picture Books You Won’t Want to Miss This Fall
by Devon A. Corneal
Fall brings with it many things — back to school shopping, fading tans, alarm clocks, routines, homework, chilly temperatures, darker evenings, and warmer dinners. Fall is something else as well. It’s the time of picture books, in time for classroom story time, “just right reading levels,” accelerated reading quizzes, and bedtime procrastination.
Get ready for eagerly anticipated sequels like The Day the Crayons Came Home and The Full Moon at the Napping House and new creations from beloved authors like Eric Carle. Discover talented first-time writer/illustrators like Joseph Kuefler and dive into the latest collaborations from award winners like Philip and Erin Stead. Imaginary friends make an appearance, as do inquisitive animals, demanding monsters, and curious children. If you want touching or funny or unusual or classic, there’s something here to pique your interest. Put in your pre-orders now and enjoy the latest in children’s literature along with apples and autumn leaves.
Everyone who has ever had an imaginary friend (mine’s name was Ginny) will love this story of Fred the imaginary friend, who floated “like a feather in the wind” until Sam wished for him. Fred and Sam’s friendship is one for the ages, until Sam meets Sammi and her imaginary friend Frieda. What happens to these four characters will enchant young and old alike.
We Forgot Brock!
Along with Imaginary Fred, We Forgot Brock! reminds us of the joy and troubles invisible playmates can bring. Philip and Brock are best friends, but one night Philip forgets Brock at the Big Fair. The two will need all the help they can get if they hope to be reunited.
The Nonsense Show
Beloved author Eric Carle is back with a book as gorgeous as The Hungry Caterpillar and as funny The Mixed-Up Chameleon. Cars without wheels, bottoms without tops, and mice chasing cats are just part of The Nonsense Show!
The Day the Crayons Came Home
Duncan has some interesting crayons. Mine just sit there until I use them to color things. Duncan’s crayons, however, get fed up and leave home or take adventures or complain about their names or ask to be rescued from the couch. They’re anything but dull. If your child loved The Day the Crayons Quit, this newest colorful adventure should be at the top of your reading list.
Lenny & Lucy
Peter has just arrived at his new house on the edge of the dark woods. Peter is in need of some new friends and someone to keep the unfriendly thicket on its side of the bridge. That’s where Lenny and Lucy come in. A boy couldn’t ask for two more trusted companions.
I Will Chomp You!
As a child, I loved The Monster at the End of This Book because the story made its readers part of the action. I remember gleefully ignoring Grover’s pleas not to turn the page because it brought the monster one step closer. (Spoiler alert — the monster was Grover.) Today’s readers get their own version of this classic in I Will Chomp You!, as a new monster threatens and pleads with them to stop turning pages and discover the secret at the end of the book. (Spoiler alert — it’s something delicious, not scary.)
Nerdy Birdy wears big round glasses and has tiny little wings and prefers reading and video games to hunting and eating worms. Nerdy Birdy is not very popular with the cool birds. In fact, Nerdy Birdy is just plan lonely until he learns that being cool is exhausting and it’s much better to be a good friend.
The Full Moon at the Napping House
Did you love The Napping House with its pile-up of animals and people sleeping together in one big bed? If you remember the snoring granny and her assorted family, you’re going to love the Woods’ sequel, The Full Moon at the Napping House, where a moon keeps everyone awake.
Seen and Not Heard
Sometimes pictures on the wall are just pictures, but on occasion the people in those paintings don’t want to stay put. Get ready for midnight feasts and pillow fights when the Shiverhawk children decide they want to leave their frames behind and have a little fun.
Officer Panda: Fingerprint Detective
When Officer Panda starts his shift, he discovers fingerprints in all sorts of unexpected places. Read along to find out who has been leaving their grimy prints where they don’t belong.
We’re in the Wrong Book!
Bella and Ben are minding their own business in their own book until their dog pushes them off the page and into a completely different story. Will Ben and Bella get through puzzles and counting and comics and scary monsters to find their way back to where they belong? Or will they be stuck in the wrong book forever?
Kids hate waiting, and yet, they spend a lot of their time doing just that. This lovely picture book turns waiting on its head, showing that waiting with friends isn’t a bad way to spend your days. In fact, you just may see some wonderful and amazing things.
Beyond the Pond
A boy with a trusty dog, a grand sense of exploration, and a fabulous vocabulary are at the heart of this story which asks us each to imagine what we would find if we were brave enough to explore beyond what we know. When Ernest D. discovers that the pond in his backyard has no bottom, he uncovers an unexpected place of darkness and beauty and his world will never be quite the same.
Peg + Cat: The Race Car Problem
I am totally freaking out that there is another Peg + Cat book to read with my son! Based on the Emmy award-winning TV series, Peg and Cat have moved on from chickens and are now focused on winning the Tallapegga Twenty with their hot rod Hot Buttered Lightning. Get ready for wheels and laps and problem solving at its best.
Little Red Gliding Hood
The newest take on Little Red Riding Hood is a fractured fairy tale full of fun. Little Red needs a new pair of ice skates, but the only way to get them is to win a pairs competition. With most of the fictional characters already taken, she may need to team up with a very unexpected partner. Let’s hope his big eyes focus on the judges’ scores and not the delicious spectators.
The NATO phonetic alphabet has been around since 1956, but never has it been so inventively illustrated or creatively interpreted. Don’t be surprised if you hear your children using this code in their daily lives after an hour with this lively alphabet book.
Little Shop of Monsters
The author of the Goosebumps series, which has scared the pants off kids for years, and the creator of "Arthur & Friends," have joined together to delight readers with Little Shop of Monsters. Only in this particular store can you pick a monster to your specific tastes. But you’d better be quick before one of them chooses you!
Most of us are familiar with Christopher Robin, the Hundred Acre Woods, and the befuddled but beloved Pooh Bear, but few people realize that a real bear named Winnie inspired A.A. Milne’s classic stories. In 1914, a veterinarian named Harry Colebourn rescued a baby bear, took it to war with him, and later brought him back to England and the London Zoo where the bear met the real Christopher Robin. The rest, as they say, is history.
How to Be a Dog
I’m sorry cat people, but this one’s for the dogs. A clever canine wants you to understand how to be the best dog you can be. It’s super simple — eat anything that falls on the floor, sleep anywhere you can, and pick the right human. Easy peasy.
Bug in a Vacuum
There’s nothing worse than taking your daily constitutional and getting sucked into a vacuum. Bugs everywhere know this is true. In an instant, your entire world changes, and not for the better. Once inside the dark vacuum bag, this little bug works his way through the five stages of grief while wondering what comes next. Is darkness all there is? Or is there light at the end of the tunnel? Clever, funny, and poignant all in one.
Lizard from the Park
When lonely Leonard brings home an egg from the park, he hopes he’ll finally have a pet to keep him company. When the egg hatches, Leonard becomes the proud owner of a small lizard he names Buster. Unfortunately, Buster doesn’t stay little for long and Leonard must come up with a plan to set him free. We won’t spoil the ending, but think balloons. Lots and lots of balloons.
The Power of Henry’s Imagination
While some friends are imaginary, others are quite real. But even inseparable friends like Henry and Raspberry can lose each other, and when that happens, maybe the only thing to do is imagine you’re together again.
Green Lizards vs. Red Rectangles
The green lizards and the red rectangles are at war. Until they find a way to live together in peace, that is. This vibrant conceptual piece introduces young children to issues of conflict and conflict resolution in a developmentally appropriate (and visually captivating) way.
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova
Aspiring dancers will be captivated by both the story and delicate artwork of Swan. The story captures a small girl’s enchantment with ballet and her rise to become one of the world’s most revered prima ballerinas. Gorgeously illustrated and inspirationally told, this is a beautiful addition to any library.
Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Sprit of New Orleans
In the wake of horrible events, a single person can make a remarkable difference. Marvelous Cornelius tells the true story of a garbage man in New Orleans whose heroic actions changed the city for the better in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight
Forget old ladies and tiny insects — this kingdom has a bigger problem. A dragon with an insatiable appetite is laying waste to the land and eating everything in sight! When will he stop and what will happen when he does?