Now that fall is here, it’s time to open the book bin and exchange our summer books for fall ones. Since we have so many books, and a good portion of them are for particular seasons and holidays, we store the off-season books in a big bin under the bed.

Pulling Out Fall Books

As you can see, we have lots of books to share, but I thought I’d start with one of our favorites—The Very Best Pumpkin by Mark Kimball Moulton, illustrated by Karen Hillard Good.

pumpkin_bookIn this sweet, beautiful book, we meet Peter, who lives on a farm with his grandparents. They grow lots of things, but the most wonderful thing of all is pumpkins. One summer day, Peter finds a tiny little one at the edge of the farm. He tends to it all summer long. When fall comes, he picks the perfect pumpkin for each person who visits the farm, but who should get the one at the edge of the farm, the best pumpkin of all? Will he share it with a new neighbor, who could also grow into a friend?

I love The Very Best Pumpkin for many reasons. The illustrations are charming. The message is subtly woven into the story with prose that is calm and quiet. Something about this book makes the boys settle down and listen. (If that doesn’t scream, “WINNER,” I’m not sure what does. It could make our list (I have to post one) as one of our favorite “sleepy time” books.) But the best thing of all is it reminds us of all the adventures we have in the fall, many at farms similar to Peter’s. The boys and I find it tough to see the days get shorter and mornings get cold, but there’s so much to do and look forward to in the fall like…


Apple picking


Hay rides (and/or posing by a tractor)—we did both


Playing in the leaves

Whether it is this book or another that gets you into an autumn attitude, pull it out and read. And if you haven’t already, start planning some fall outings. If you don’t have a book that reminds you of why you’re fond of fall, find one. It is a great way to relive memories with your kids.

Ideas for Reading and Beyond

  • pumpkin_verybestMake Connections to the Book: Peter’s family farm grows strawberries, corn, and pumpkins. Talk with your kids about what other things farms grow. Of those things, what do they think is the most wonderful crop of all?
  • Live the Story: Go on an outing to a farm with pumpkins or an outdoor place that sells them. (Investigate “pumpkin patches” in your area. One of our local churches does one on their lawn. Or try a farmer’s market.) Look at all the pumpkins and have your kids find their “very best pumpkin.” Discuss what made it the best.
  • Decorate and/or Display the Pumpkin(s): With whatever art supplies are appropriate for your kids (paint, paper & glue, stickers, or carving tools with your assistance), decorate the pumpkin(s) or make jack ‘o lantern(s). Or, if your child loves the pumpkin as is, encourage them to find the perfect spot to display it, maybe adding some leaves and acorns around it.

Most important, have fun and make some memories! Make sure to take a few pictures and share them with us on Instagram. Or share your favorite fall memory below.