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Haylee is the CEO of Whimsy + Wellness and the brains behind the business. She has her hand in every area of the company...from product creation to supply chain solution to online marketing. When she's not looking at spreadsheets she's mom to Mason, Posey, and Golden. Her kids inspire her to run a company that values community over competition and people before profit.

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19 Fall Books for Kids (Including BIPOC Authors/Illustrators) + Tips for Making Autumn Reading Extra Cozy!

Fall is magical–and there’s something extra whimsical and beautiful about fall books for kids! It’s a fun way to learn about science, celebrate the beauty of change, and practice gratitude.  

We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites for you and your littles (meaningful AND just plain fun fall books for kids!), and we’ve made sure to include fall books for kids from BIPOC authors and illustrators. 

Plus, we’ve included some lovely, fun ideas for making reading time extra-snuggly and comfy (couldn’t we all use a little extra love this fall?). And we’re also sharing my favorite tips for saving money on books and finding amazing new ones your kids will love. 

So much fall reading goodness–let’s get started! 

Making Fall Reading Extra Meaningful & Cozy This Year

Not that these fall books for kids need the extra help, but there’s something so sweet and cozy about reading together during the fall. I like to think it helps create lifelong reading habits that will follow my kids well into adulthood! 

Many of these stories below lend themselves well to discussions with your kids–and these are great ways to make those times extra meaningful and memorable. 

Here are some of my favorite ideas: 

  • Hang twinkly twinkly lights and turn them on while you read (or light a few tea lights)
  • Create a cozy little reading nest or blanket fort
  • Read on a picnic blanket outside  
  • Pour some tea to sip on while you read (pumpkin spice tea anyone?) 
  • Diffuse one of the following fall essential oils diffuser recipes 
  • Give your little one a crystal to hold while you read (very grounding and super helpful if your little one is extra fidgety–learn more about crystals here)   

3 Fall Essential Oil Diffuser Recipes for Reading With Your Littles 

I have more season essential oil + crystal recipes in my new book, DIY essential oil recipe book Beyond Lavender, but here are three more fall essential oil recipes: 

Woodland Fall 

  • 5 drops cedar 
  • 5 drops juniper 
  • 5 drops wintergreen 

Summer to Fall 

  • 5 drops cinnamon
  • 5 drops clove 
  • 5 drops nutmeg 
  • 2 drops orange 
  • 2 drops lime 

Fall Gratitude

  • 5 drops orange 
  • 5 drops cinnamon
  • 5 drops clove
  • 5 drops vanilla  

Note: defer to your diffuser’s instructions, but most diffusers use 3-5 drops of essential oil per 100ml. 

19 Fall Books for Kids (Including BIPOC Authors/Illustrators)

To help support small bookstores, we’re linking to Indiebound.org, a great site that helps you shop your own local, independently-owned bookstore (yay small business and shopping local!). If you don’t have a local store near you, you can find a link to my Amazon bookstore below!  

19 fall books for kids BIPOC

1. Pumpkin and Penguin (Salina Yoon) (ages 2+) 

A pumpkin and a penguin might seem like a silly combination for a children’s book about autumn, but this story is a charming addition to Salina Yoon’s Penguin series (you can also grab Penguin and Pinecone or Penguin’s Christmas Wish if you want to get a jump on winter reading ;)! If you have a little/big brother/sister combination in your home, all of you will love this plot about a big brother who doesn’t want his little brother to be left out! 

2. Leaf Man (Lois Ehlert) (ages 2+)

Exactly zero lists of fall books for kids do NOT have this book from Lois Ehlert–but we can’t blame anybody here! This book is stunning and captures the imagination with a leaf “man” made of leaves who blows wherever the wind takes him. If your kids are like ours, they’ll be inspired to make their own leaf portraits with leaves they collect outside.

3. Thank You, Omu! (Oge Mora) (preschool+)

In Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria, “Omu” (pronounced “AH-moo”) means “queen.” In this story, Omu has made a delicious-smelling stew, and she’s sharing it with everyone who asks. But who will take care of Omu when she gives away all of her stew? The author and illustrator’s cut-paper designs are stunning, and bring to life this really beautiful story about sharing, kindness, and gratitude. If you’re looking for a gratitude-themed book for this fall, we can’t think of a better story!   

4. Fletcher and the Falling Leaves (Julia Rawlinson) (ages 4+)

Change can be hard for all of us, and especially little ones. Fletcher and the Falling Leaves features a sweet little fox who is so worried when his favorite tree’s leaves keep changing color and falling off. This fall read-aloud is a great opportunity to begin conversations with your kids about change–and how it can really be a good thing in the end.   

Apple Cake, Fry Bread, Because of An Acorn BIPOC

5. Apple Cake: A Gratitude (Dawn Casey) (ages 3+) 

What a sweet, sweet story! Gratitude can be hard to nail down for little ones, and this story doesn’t bother trying to explain it. Instead, it shows you! The child in the story thanks everyone who helps make a delicious apple cake–the farmer, the cow, the bee, the rain, the sun. There’s also a yummy-looking recipe for apple cake at the end of the book, which might pair perfectly with your family’s apple-picking adventure this fall! 

6. Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story (Kevin Noble Maillard) (ages 3+)

This is a truly incredible book for your fall books list. Fry Bread’s rich poetry and language from author Kevin Noble Maillard, a member of the Seminole Nation, Mekusukey band, will make you and your family think differently about food, culture, and family–fitting in a season of eating, gathering, and thankfulness. Don’t sleep on the author’s note in the back of the book! This book is an education-through-story for any age. 

7. Because of an Acorn (Lola M. Schaefer) (ages 2+) 

This book is often classified as a STEM book because of its intricate, artful way of explaining ecosystems! If you’ve got a budding biologist on your hands, she’ll love this story. You might even find yourself having conversations with your kids about how we all matter–no matter how small we think we are.

Leaves, Gracias Thanks, Pumpkin Pie, A Big Mooncake For Little Star

8. Leaves (David Ezra Stein) (ages 4+)  

Similar to Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, Leaves is the story of a gentle young animal (Bear) who worries when the leaves start to fall. These two stories would be great to compare and talk about, but Leaves is certainly beautiful enough to read on its own for the fall. 

9. Gracias Thanks (English and Spanish Edition) (Pat Mora) (Kindergarten+) 

Author Pat Mora’s grandparents were born in Northern Mexico, and Pat herself wrote this beautiful bilingual story to highlight the joy of gratitude and noticing the little things. The story is laugh-out-loud funny and absolutely whimsical. If you want to expose your children to children with different cultures and histories without making them “other,” this is a great book to read and celebrate. 

10. You’re My Little Pumpkin Pie (Natalie Marshall) (ages 0+) 

We had to include a book for babies! This little board book is adorable, perfect for tiny little ones who aren’t ready for full-sized books yet. This one is a little more Halloween than Thanksgiving, which makes it extra fun. Really, it’s just one fun fall-themed excuse for a good cuddle!

11. A Big Mooncake for Little Star (Grace Lin) (ages 4+) 

Grace Lin, A Big Mooncake for Little Star’s author, wrote this story to explain the Chinese Mid Autumn Moon Festival to her daughter. It’s imaginative, magical, and absolutely joyful. The art is incredible, too, making this a rich way to expand your family’s knowledge of other heritages. It’s fun to read alongside other harvest books about falling leaves and pumpkins, and is a chance to explain how other cultures celebrate this time of year! 

12. Tap the Magic Tree (Christie Matheson) (ages 4+) 

If your kids love Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, they’ll love this fall-themed interactive board book from Christie Matheson! You’ll start by tapping the tree…and who knows what wonders will happen next?! These little interactive books are extra great for those kids who just can’t sit still….

13. Sophie’s Squash (Pat Zietlow Miller) (ages 3+)

WHELLL this is just adorable and so much fun! Sophie goes to the farmer’s market with her mom, and there finds a butternut squash who she adopts and names Bernice. Sophie loves Bernice and won’t let her mother eat her…but eventually, Sophie is going to have to make a big decision. All about imagination, connection, and letting go. 

14. Tractor Mac Harvest Time (Billy Steers) (ages 2+)

Calling all tractor lovers! There are two tractors to love in this cute story–Small Fred and Tractor Mac. Both are doing jobs they’re just not right for, and they have to work together to share their chores and make a great harvest for everyone. This one is a tad long, so it might be best for older preschoolers on up. 

15. Goodby Summer, Hello Autumn (Kenard Pak) (ages 4+)

The main character in this book sets out on a walk; on the way, she talks with the animals and plants she finds. Each one tells her how they’re getting ready for the fall. By the time our friend arrives back home, summer has ended, and autumn has begun. A gentle way to talk about transitions.  

fall leaves, how many seeds in pumpkin, autumn leaves, we are grateful fall books for kids

16. Fall Leaves (Loretta Holland) (ages 4+) 

If you’ve got a child who definitely prefers nonfiction to fiction, he or she will love this book! It’s an inside look at how planets rotate around the sun–which causes changing seasons. 

17. How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? (Margaret McNamara) (ages 4+) 

This book is a terrific way to combine STEM thinking with fall fun! In this story, a classroom full of kids has to figure out how to count pumpkin seeds. The class divides into a counting by Twos Club, a counting by Fives Club…you get the idea. Your kids will get a chance to hypothesis and count right alongside the classroom in the story, and they won’t even notice how much they’re learning! 

18. Autumn Leaves (Ken Robbins) (ages 4+) 

Really cool book alert! This book uses gorgeous photographs to illustrate what happens to all different kinds of leaves–everything from prehistoric Gingko leaves to Sassafras leaves! Definitely a fun book to take into the forest with you…

19. We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga (Traci Sorell) (ages 3+) 

Traci Sorell, this book’s author, is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, and shares how the word “otsaliheliga” is used to express gratitude throughout the seasons, beginning in the fall. This book is rich and educational no matter how old you are, and it’s a beautiful addition to any home library seeking to honor and explore important cultures. 

Need to shop all of these books in one place? You can shop my Amazon favorites list HERE

Tips for Saving Money on Fall Books for Kids 

I love children’s books, but I’m always on the lookout for ways to build my kids an incredible library without spending an arm and a leg. 

Here are a few great ideas my team and I have come across: 

  • Thriftbooks.com (used books for less) 
  • Hpb.com (similar to Thriftbooks) 
  • Little Free Library (so neat–see if there’s one in your area!) 
  • Your local library! Get to know your children’s librarian–he or she can be a TERRIFIC resource! 

My Favorite Way to Find New Books My Kids LOVE 

As the creator and owner of an (ahem) extremely busy online shop, my husband and I LOVE Literati. It’s like a library + book club all in one. Each month, they send us multiple age-appropriate books for our kids. We have a week to check them out, and we only pay for the ones we want to keep! We have found some of these most amazing books that I wouldn’t normally have found any other way. I especially love this option since libraries are a challenge these days (thanks, Covid). You can use my link to start your membership

Reading is one of our favorite ways to celebrate any season–what are your favorite fall books for kids?! Share in the comments below!

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