I am really more of a summer person, but I do love fall books — fall has a ton of options for storytime, too!

Because I have a wide variety of ages in my storytimes (6 months to 4 years), I started off with “Mouse’s First Fall” by Lauren Thompson.

The text in this book is pretty predictable (and I have the book memorized after just two storytimes!), but you cannot beat the bright colors, and the adorable characters. It’s also a great introductory to a few of the traditional fall activities. I followed up with “Who Loves the Fall?” by Bob Raczka.

In Raczka’s series, there is always a page where you turn the book vertically and read — the kids absolutely love this part! In “Who Loves the Fall?,” it’s a spread about butterflies, and I had to do two full pans before the kids seemed ready to move on.

Next, the kids got up and we did some action rhymes, and our flannelboard for the week.

“Pumpkin, Pumpkin”
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground (touch the ground)
How’d you get so big and round? (make a big circle)
Once you were a seed so small (pinch fingers together)
Now you are a great big ball (make a big circle overhead)
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground (touch the ground)
How’d you get so big and round? (make a big circle)
Credit: Step by Step — Pumpkin Theme

And, of course, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.”

And our flannel:

Flannelboard: “Five Little Leaves”
Five little leaves on the tree next door
One fell off and then there were four
Four little leaves all over the tree
One fell off and then there were three
Three little leaves where the wind blew
One fell off and then there were two
Two little leaves sitting in the sun
One fell off and then there was one
One little leaf in the tree all alone
The wind blew and blew now there are none!

I redid the flannelboard that the library had for this rhyme (it was this old transfer paper-like felt and hand-drawn) into bright new felt colors for this year’s season. Simple — took me about a half hour.

Then, I read “Old Bear” by Kevin Henkes.

“Old Bear” is a book that talks about all seasons and you better believe that I use it at almost every season storytime I do. It’s a great way to introduce the concept of our seasons cycling, and I absolutely adore Henkes’s illustrations. They are just gorgeous and so eye-catching. Next up, another favorite — “Fall Leaves Fall!” by Zoe Hall.

Now, I had three Zoe Hall books to choose from: “It’s Pumpkin Time,” “The Apple Pie Tree,” and “Fall Leaves Fall.” And it was a hard choice! I went with “Fall Leaves Fall” because of the linear story and that the story covered most of the highlights of the season (including a brief mention of Halloween!). Next, we switched gears a bit as I began prepping the kids for our craft with our fingerplay/action rhyme:

“Way Up High in the Apple Tree”
Way up high in the apple tree (stretch arms up high)
Two red apples smiled at me (hold up two fingers)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (make a shaking motion)
Down came the apples… (make a downward motion)
And mmm, they were good! (smile and rub stomach)

And then, we read “Apple Farmer Annie” by Monica Wellington.

This is such a great story about apples and I love Monica Wellington’s books. (Especially “Pizza at Sally’s!”) We finished up with a different closing song than normal with:

“The Leaves are Falling Down”
The leaves are falling down
The leaves are falling down
Red, yellow, green, and brown
The leaves are falling down
Tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”

Our craft was super simple — I got a tree template, had my teen volunteers cut out tree trunks and leaves and then let the kids crumple up tissue paper squares to make apples. They had a ton of fun crumpling!


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