Starting mid-August, and through the end of the harvest my kids celebrate their favorite season: “Pumpkin Patch Season”. They wish for it and they anticipate it all year round; they might even like it more than Christmas! Even though the pumpkin patch hasn’t opened up, by mid-August my kids ask to go on daily drives out near Waterloo to check the corn fields for readiness.
They note the color of each field, noticing where the colors have changed from the previous day. With excited anticipation, they wait for the day when all of the fields finally turn yellow and the pumpkin patch opens up. As part of Pumpkin Patch Season, they also start requesting their favorite fall books from the local library. I used to let them check out these books all year round, but then we literally had them all year round and read nothing else.
My kids would take them back to the library, only to check them out again as soon as they were placed back on the shelves. I thought that the other patrons should get a chance to read them, so I instigated the Pumpkin Patch Season Book Rule: only check out fall books during Pumpkin Patch Season! A couple of weeks ago my son noticed that some of the fields were turning yellow, so I took my kids and a huge blue IKEA bag to the library to check out their Pumpkin Patch Season books.
They were thrilled to be able to check out their favorite books again and we’ve been reading nonstop. If your kids also like to celebrate Pumpkin Patch Season and are looking for fall themed books here is our list (just don’t bother looking for them at the Elkhorn library). All of them are available through the Omaha Public Library system, as long as my kids aren’t still hoarding them.
Fall Specific Books:
Awesome Autumn by Bruce Goldstone: “Autumn is awesome! Leaves change color. Animals fly south or get ready to hibernate. People harvest crops and dress up as scary creatures for Halloween. And then there are pickup football games to play, Thanksgiving foods to eat, leaf piles to jump in―all the amazing things that happen as the air turns crisp and cool.”
Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead: “In this endearing tale of friendship, animals are helped by Bear to get ready for winter. But will they be awake long enough for him to tell his story?”
Counting on Fall by Lizann Flatt: “Counting on Fall couples poetic prose with evocative artwork to introduce basic math and number sense. By observing the natural wonders of fall – such as falling leaves, animal migration, and hibernation – kids can learn math concepts like counting, estimating, and simple addition and subtraction.”
Fall Mixed Up by Bob Raczka: “‘Every Septober, Every Octember, Fall fills my senses with scenes to remember.’ ‘Bears gather nuts. Geese hibernate. Squirrels fly south in big figure eights.’ Fall is all mixed up in this silly book from Bob Raczka! Can you find his mistakes in the words and pictures?”
Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber: “How many shapes and colors can you see in autumn leaves? Jump in and find out!”
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White: “Rebecca Estelle has hated pumpkins ever since she was a girl. When an enormous pumpkin falls off a truck and smashes in her yard, she shovels dirt over the pieces and forgets about them. But those slimy pumpkin smithereens sprout up in autumn, and Rebecca Estelle finds herself with a sea pumpkins. What will she do with so many pumpkins, when she can’t stand the sight of even one?”
On a Windy Night by Nancy Raines Day: “On a dark and windy Halloween night, a young boy makes his way home from trick-or-treating. As he walks through the woods, he hears a strange voice whisper in his ear: Cracklety-clack bones in a sack. They could be yours – if you look back. The faster the boy runs, the louder the voice gets. He spots a bat in a tree and skeletons dancing in a nearby field. Have the woods come to life, or it just his imagination? With hidden images to find and a refrain that encourages readers to chant along, this engaging book is perfect for sharing at Halloween or on any dark, windy night.”
Room on The Broom by Julia Donaldson: “The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom. But is there room on the broom for so many friends? And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?”
Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler: “What’s the best way to help a skeleton get over his hiccups?”
Where’s My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi: “Little Baby Mummy wants just one more game of hide-and-shriek with Big Mama Mummy before bedtime. The night is deep and dark, full of friendly creatures that click their clacky teeth and whoosh past on flippy-floppy wings. But who will comfort Little Baby Mummy if a small, scritchy-scratchy someone gives him a scare? Big Mama Mummy, of course!”
Books for Younger Friends:
It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond: “Join Mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie as he decorates all the pumpkins in the patch!”
Little Blue Truck’s Halloween by Alice Schertle: “It’s Halloween! Little Blue Truck is picking up his animal friends for a costume party. Can you guess who is dressed up in each special costume?”
New to our Line-up:
Our new favorite Halloween book is, A Halloween Scare in Omaha by Eric James. It was written in 2016, so it’s not technically a new book, but it’s new to our Pumpkin Patch Season book line-up. I would definitely recommend reading it, especially because if you’re reading this, you probably live in Omaha.
What are your favorite fall-themed books? Let us know in the comments.