20 Best Family Read-Aloud Books for Fall


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What better way to embrace this beautiful autumn season with your little ones than by cozying up with the best fall books? This list is filled with some classic fall tales and some new stories sure to become instant favorites. If you are looking to expand your family library or for the sweetest fall books to add to your homeschool repertoire then you’ve come to the right place! Enjoy our complete list of the best read-aloud books for fall!

Fall is in the air, and I love nothing more than curling up on the porch with my five kids to sip hot cocoa and read books! 

I adore children’s books. In fact, I’m a firm believer that children’s books should be the best books. 

Fall-themed books are not hard to come by, but this list is filled with some options that capture the magic of Autumn through some of the best illustrations and lovely words fall picture books have to offer. 

This list of fall books is filled with family favorites that invoke all the best feels of the autumn season!

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The 20 Best Family Read-Aloud Books for Fall

1. Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak is the perfect way to say hello to the new Autumn season. This book is filled with colorful pictures that encourage us to say goodbye to the summer sun and hello to the chilly Autumn days ahead.

Children are taught all kinds of fun fall facts through the pages of this book. Like what the animals do to prepare for the cold months ahead and which flowers bloom in early Autumn. 

As excited as we are for the new season, this year we have all had a difficult time saying goodbye to the long afternoons of summer.

goodbye summer, hello autumn by kenard pak, fall books, and a pumpkin

This book is a gentle reminder that this isn’t an ending, but rather a new beginning. This season is filled with a wonder all of its own and Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn reminds us of that. 

From the silent fallen leaves littering the tops of puddles to the late blooming asters and phlox, and all the fall foliage this magical season brings us. This book is a perfect read to welcome it all!

2. In the Middle of Fall

In the Middle of Fall is a classic autumn picture book! 

The adorable illustrations are vivid and filled with all the wonder and color of a bright fall day. 

You can almost feel the chill in the air as you curl up and read about the Autumn season together!

3. Otis and the Scarecrow

The Otis series by Loren Long is filled with heart. One of my favorite things about her writing is the choice of vocabulary she utilizes. A lot of children’s book authors dumb down the language in their books, but the best children’s writers are those who write just as beautifully as if it were for the Queen herself. 

That’s Loren Long’s style. 

Her books are eloquently written and filled with thoughtful stories about the loveable tractor named Otis. 

Otis and the Scarecrow is a perfect fall read!

When a new face arrives on the farm, the animals stare in wonder at the strange new scarecrow. But their friendly advances go unmet by the Scarecrow who only wears a frown. As the cold Autumn rain sets in, the animals and Otis curl up together to play the quiet game. Though their laughter overtakes them, Otis can’t seem to get past that Scarecrow alone in the field with the permanent frown stitched upon its face. 

This sweet story reminds us that even the coolest of seasons are warmed by compassion and companionship. 

4. The Scarecrow

This tale is one that I purpose to search out each year at our local library around this time. 

This book follows two unlikely friends as they share a season together, 

Ironically, the crow finds a home with the scarecrow and nestles down deep in his cozy straw to raise her little family. 

This book is filled with joy and beautiful fall illustrations that make it a must-read again and again!

fall books laid out with pumpkins and fall decor

5. Thank You Omu

If you haven’t read Oge Mora’s Thank You Omu, then this fall is the perfect time. 

This is a great story to remind us all that this is a season of giving and being thankful for the people we have around us.

Omu cooks up a giant pot of her thick, red stew to enjoy for her dinner. But the smell of her beautiful feast allures guests from all over town who arrive in search of Omu’s delicious stew. 

Each leaves with a bowl full of stew and a gracious “Thank you Omu,” as they head back into their day. 

When dinner time arrives at last, Omu finds that there is none left for herself. 

But that’s the beautiful thing about giving to others, sometimes they may give back. 

You’ll have to read the full book to know what happens in the end, but I assure you it is worth the read!

6. Winter Days in the Big Woods

I realize this is Winter Days in the Big Woods, but this small book based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, Little House in the Big Woods is filled with fun Autumn scenery. 

winter days in the big woods

The house is laden with pumpkins, squashes, and beautifully preserved foods that Ma has spent all winter storing up. Pa’s fiddle is itching to be played. And that small little cabin in the great big woods becomes a home filled with warmth and joy, despite the frigid temperatures outside.

These colorful illustrations and delightful tales of the Pioneer days give all the cozy fall feels!

7. The Ox Cart Man

I can’t bring myself to make any kind of book list for children that doesn’t include Barbara Cooney. 

If you aren’t familiar with Mrs. Cooney’s illustrations, then my friends, I have a treat for you! 

Donald Hall’s lyrical masterpiece, The Ox Cart Man is filled with beautiful pictures from the exquisite mind of Barbara Cooney. 

a page from Donald Hall's The Ox Cart Man, opened alongside a cup of hot cocoa and a pumpkin

It is the story of a farmer who prepares his cart of goods from the previous seasons to take into town and sell. The feathers the geese have dropped, the apples ripe from the trees, the yarn his wife has spun from sheep sheared in the spring.

The whole family pitches in to create handmade goods, grow the very best crops, and raise the best animals- and then the Ox Cart Man takes it all to town to sell before starting over once more. 

This book is one of my personal favorite fall books- or books in general for that matter!

8. The Basket Moon

When I announced this was the blog I was about to start, my son yelled from the other room, “Do the Basket Moon, Mom!” 

I’m so glad he suggested it because it wasn’t on my original list, and it absolutely deserves a place here!

This is another book filled with beautiful illustrations by none other than Barbara Cooney. Commit her name to memory and purchase any book you find written or illustrated by her. I’m telling you, it is worth it. 

The Basket Moon has that old-world charm about it, as many books on this list do. A nod back to a simpler life and days gone by.

Mocked by the town as a “hillbilly”, a young boy watches as his father tirelessly weaves baskets. But beneath the bright light of a full harvest moon, he is at last invited to go out and learn the family craft. Seeing the workmanship of his father and the other men up close changes his perspective. 

I want to offer so much more here, but this is really just one of those stories you need to read for yourself! 

(I’m under the impression that this book must be currently out of print, but copies are still being sold online. This is an Amazon link in this post, but you may find cheaper options for The Basket Moon on ThriftBooks!)

9. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

This is the time of year when the mighty grizzlies slink into their caves for a long winter nap, so what better time to go on a bear hunt than right now? 

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is a classic that will have your family repeating the lines time and time again! 

Join an adventurous father and his children as they brave the elements and hunt for the great bear tucked away in his cave! 

But what happens if they actually find him? 

See for yourself!

10. Brambley Hedge

This is my go-to fall read right now. 

I needed a book a couple of years ago to gift one of my children after a Christmas program. I scrolled through a blog list, much like this one, and came across Brambley Hedge. 

All I knew was the illustrations looked like the style we liked, so I grabbed it. 

And oh, what a great choice that was! 

brambley hedge, Autumn story page, fall books

Brambley Hedge is almost like a mix of Beatrix Potter’s classic stories, Little House on the Prarie, and A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh. 

Meet the mice of Brambley Hedge and see their precious homes filled with hand-sewn quilts, fresh pumpkin pies, blackberry juice, and antique china! These little mice have the ideal community, within which no one wants because they all work together to see that everyone’s needs are met. 

Pour a cup of acorn coffee, cozy up beside the warm fire, and read classics like Autumn Story and The High Hills for the best fall experience a little book can offer! 

11. Crow Boy

My husband would insist that Crow Boy is not an Autumn book, but crows are certainly associated with fall so I say it is! 

Honestly, Taro Yashima’s Crow Boy is not a book I probably would have picked up on my own. It was recommended by a trusted source, so we decided to give it a try. 

After many, many read-throughs, I can safely say that this book is worth the read. 

Taro Yashima's Crow Boy surrounded by pumpkins and fall decor, fall books

The story revolves around a small Japanese boy called, “Chibi”. 

He is not thought well of by his peers as he attends school each day. 

But that all changes when a new teacher notices something in Chibi that no one else has ever paid attention to before. He admires his odd drawings and recognizes this small boy’s daily struggle to attend school. 

When the year wraps up and the talent show takes place, Chibi exhibits something that leaves the entire audience in awe and admiration, earning him an entirely new name! 

Grab the book here, and share it with your whole family this autumn!

12. Strega Nona’s Harvest 

I love anything by Tomie DePaola, and I love Strega Nona. 

The Strega Nona books are filled with vivid artwork and stories that always keep us on our toes.

Strega Nona’s Harvest paints a beautiful picture of the work that goes into gardening and the benefits that come at the end of the season. But as always there’s a little magic and a lesson in the midst- for Big Anthony anyways! 

In your search for the greatest pumpkin patch, don’t forget to visit Strega Nona’s garden!

13. The Thanksgiving Story

The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dagliesh is the perfect way to incorporate some History into your fall festivities and Thanksgiving celebration. 

We read this book each year in homeschool, and my children have grown to love it so dearly. 

And now when we read through history books and hear about the baby born at sea, they leap to their feet shouting, “That’s Oceanus!” as though he is some long-lost friend. 

This non-fiction book reminds us of all of the best traditions of fall while retelling the pilgrimage to America. Painting a thoughtful picture of life on the Mayflower and the early days of settling amongst foreign land and Native Americans. 

Add this to your list of favorite fall books!

The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh surrounded by fall decor, fall book club

14. The Berenstain Bears’ Harvest Festival

I learned only recently that a lot of people do not know who the Berenstain Bears are. I was shocked by such a revelation, but if you do not know already- I will be so happy to introduce you! 

The Berenstain Bears- written by Stan and Jan and later Mike Berenstain- follows the tales of the Bear family who live in a little tree house down a sunny dirt road deep in Bear Country. 

These books are filled with life lessons (many from Scripture itself), loveable characters, and even some twists and turns along the way. 

This fall read is packed with fall leaves and beautiful scenery. 

The Berenstain Bears Harvest Festival is a great read to remind us of the bounty this season has to offer as well as a point back to God who so graciously blessed us with it! 

15. Farmhouse 

This book is really tugging at my heartstrings this season. My sister just moved into our great-grandmother’s farmhouse after spending the last few years fixing it up. It is assumed to be well over 100 years old, making it one of the oldest homes in our county. (That’s a story in and of itself that perhaps she will let me share sometime!) 

The book, Farmhouse, is written after the author finds an abandoned, toppled-down farmhouse and dreams of the family who may have once inhabited its walls. 

Filled with pictures- like that of ruddy children gathered around the dinner table with the Mama nursing the smallest baby in the corner of the room- rings so true to my own season of life that I can’t help but smile. 

Time will tear away at our homes, but the love and memories that bloom within its walls will live on forever, 

16. The Very Last Leaf

This is a fairly new read for us, but as fall sets in and the homeschool year begins anew, this is a perfect autumn read! 

The Very Last Leaf follows Lance Cottonwood- a bright leaf who sails through every test with ease. As the final exam draws near, Lance begins to wonder if he can actually let go and float to the ground beneath like his peers are doing. 

Enjoy this fun fall book and the lesson together with your school-aged littles!

17. The Bears of Hemlock Mountain

The Bears of Hemlock Mountain, also by Alice Dagliesh, is a perfect book for young children just making the transition from picture books to novels.

It is short, intriguing, and endearing. The repetitive verse will have your whole family chanting, “There are no bears on Hemlock Mountain!”

Unless of course, there actually are– you’ll just have to find out for yourself!

18. The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree is timeless.

In fact, most of us probably remember it from when we were kids! 

I loved this book as a kid, but I’m sure I didn’t quite get the full picture at the time. 

This story is all about a tree who loved a little boy, and a little boy who once loved the tree. But as he grew, his love moved on to other pursuits and the tree gave all it had at every turn. In the end, all they had left, was all the other one needed. 

This book is perfect for older readers and young readers alike!

Read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and then spend an afternoon gratefully apple picking!

19.  Blueberries for Sal 

There is room for Robert McCloskey on any children’s book list. 

Join a young girl, Sal, and her mother as they comb the mountainside in search of berries to can for the winter, but they aren’t the only ones stocking up for the cool months ahead.

With a kerplink, kerplank, kerplunkBlueberries for Sal is a classic fall read that engages parents and children alike. 

And the artwork- well I would happily hang any Robert McCloskey page in my home! 

blueberries for sal, robert mccloskey

20. The Tale of Squirell Nutkin

If it’s by Beatrix Potter, then you know it is going to be good, 

From the beautifully written words to the delightfully illustrated pages, Beatrix Potter’s works are laden with lessons inspired by Aesop. 

The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin may not be as common as Peter Rabbit, but it certainly holds its own in the line of her best works. 

What happens when an unruly squirrel taunts an old owl with his wise-cracking riddles? It may cost him a little more than he bargained for! Find out in The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin! 

Cozy Up and Read the Best Fall Books Together!

It’s never a bad season to curl up and read to your littles.

I’ve always loved reading so I consider reading to my kids to be one of the greatest highlights of my day. But you may not feel the same way- and that is totally fine.

I’m not the crafty mom. I don’t like messes and generally, crafts stress me out, but I break out the glue sticks and feathers from time to time because I know it is worth it in the long run. The same can be said for books.

We often put such an emphasis on learning to read that we forget that the most important part is loving to read. If you want to raise life-long learners, raise children who love to read. And that starts with you, Mama, reading One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish way more times than you care to admit.

a little girl reading Little House books

The cooler temperatures and early nights call us indoors more and more, and what better time of year to curl up and learn to love reading together?

I hope you enjoy this list of autumn-themed books.

Let us know your favorite fall books in the comments below!

For more fun fall inspiration check out our Autumn Homemaking blog! And if you’re a homeschooling Mama, check out our full library of homeschooling content here!

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Happy Reading!

Happy Aiming!


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