31 Days: Toddler Board Books for Fall

Just a few years ago, your board book options were pretty dismal. A few classics (think Goodnight Moon) were easy to find in an indestructible style, but most other choices, well, stunk. Lately, publishers have figured out that parents (and preschool teachers!) really like quality literature presented in an easy-to-hold, easy-to-eat format, and the world of board books has exploded. Here are three of our family favorites for this time of year.

Leaves

My mother actually picked up this little gem for us when my oldest daughter was tiny. Leaves, by David Ezra Stein, tells the story of a young bear experiencing his first fall. Completely flummoxed by the leaves he finds falling from a tree, the bear struggles to correct the situation by reattaching the leaves. Eventually, he learns that seasons come and go, and he makes a little peace with the loss of his beloved leaves. (I’m sure there’s a meaningful metaphor in there somewhere.)

The Busy Little Squirrel

I’ll be honest and tell you that people in our house have a love/hate relationship with this book. We love it, because Nancy Tafuri is just plain masterful with words.  Her retellings (The Itsy Bitsy Spider is my favorite) and original stories work beautifully with kids from around age three through age seven. We hate The Busy Little Squirrel just a little bit because we had to read it repeatedly to a certain two year old to get her to nap. More than once, the adult passed out before the toddler. Ahem. In all seriousness, this is a delightful book for preschoolers who are just noticing the change of seasons. Squirrel spends her days getting ready to hibernate, and my little ones love looking at all the food she is collecting in her tree trunk nest.

Autumn

Finally, we come to Autumn, by Gerde Muller. This is part of a four-book seasonal set that is common to Waldorf schools and homes. While we are not a Waldorf family by any means, I do love the structure that seasonal recognition and celebrations can bring to our days. This book (like the others) is set far north of where we are in Atlanta, so some of the activities are unfamiliar to my girls. Nonetheless, the wordless structure and warm, almost candlelit, illustrations make for a cozy reading experience. This is a great book to simply snuggle up and talk through, without any worry to plot or characters. Sometimes, I think that’s the most important part of reading together.

Thanks for reading along with us this month! Please feel free to share any fall favorites you might have. We’re always looking for something new to read!

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