Tuesday, November 20, 2007

'Tis the Season... Fall

As Thanksgiving nears and autumn draws to a close, I thought I'd take a moment and share some of my favorite readalouds of the season. These aren't new books, just seasonal books I've come across and had success with in preschool storytimes. The autumn books seem to fly off the shelves in September, October, and November, but these are great books to consider for your storytimes.

Fall is Not Easy by Marty Kelley.

This is a perennial favorite with our kids. A tree talks about how winter, spring, and summer are easy, but when it comes to fall things get a little more complicated. The tree's leaves are trying to change, but they end up looking ridiculous (a rainbow, a hamburger, etc.). The book itself is small (and, sadly, looks to be out of print). Some kind person way before my time at our library turned the story into a felt and it is wildly popular. The kids laugh and laugh and there is one notable piece (an "Eat at Joe's" sign) that gives the parents and teachers a laugh, too.

Ten Little Mummies by Philip Yates.

Come Halloween time, you might be looking for some "slightly scary" books to share at storytime. Ten Little Mummies is more silly than scary, but it would certainly fit the bill in a Halloween-y program. You start out with ten little mummies, but one by one each mummy disappears leaving nine little mummies, eight little mummies... you get the drift. The pictures are fairly detailed, so make sure all the kids can get up close to see. My particular favorite picture has a mummy sticking his head out of a sphynx's nose.

The Hallo-wiener by Dav Pilkey.

This is one of my long-time favorite Halloween books. It's silly and funny and the wiener dog gets the last laugh. All the other dogs make fun of his silly costume (but, really, what else is a dachshund supposed to wear on Halloween??). But when push comes to shove, the wiener dog shows his true courage and ends up saving the day.

The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis.

Pumpkins are a very popular item in the fall, I've come to notice. I first read this one for a pumpkin-carving storytime at a local farm. This book tells the story of a gigantic pumpkin that starts rolling down a hill, wreaking mayhem as it goes. The most wonderful thing about this book is not the story (although it is kooky and entertaining), but the beautiful rhythmic language. This would be a good one to demonstrate phonemic awareness and explain how hearing rhythm helps kids learn to read.

All for Pie, Pie for All by David Martin.

I read this one just this morning for our drop-in storytime and instantly fell in love. This is a very sweet story of a family of cats who eat all but one slice of apple pie. The one slice goes to feed a family of mice who eat all but six crumbs. The six crumbs go to feed a family of ants who eat it all up. They all fall asleep and when they wake up, they decide to all bake (and eat) another pie together. It's not Thanksgiving-y per se, but I introduced it by asking what kinds of foods people ate for Thanksgiving ("Turkey!" "Potatoes!" "Salami!" ... yes, all real responses...). It's a sweet story about eating and sharing and what can be more Thanksgiving-y than that?

So, that's my list of favorite fall readalouds for the under-5 crowd. Hopefully my lists will continue to grow as I continue to spend seasons reading stories to small children. What are some of your favorite fall readalouds?