Tag Archives: fall

The Importance of Book Series

bear

by Melissa Perry
Program Coordinator
Family Reading Partnership

Some of the greatest books of all time have been part of a series. The Little House books, Winnie the Pooh, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, to name a few. What compels us to start a series and what keeps us reading until the very end? More than that, why do book series matter?

There are two basic types of book series. The first involves books with interwoven plots, meant to be read sequentially, from the first book to the last. The second type may feature the same characters and setting but, lacking a chronological plot, these books can be read in any order without missing major pieces of the story. Both are equally appealing to readers for each of these reasons.

So what draws us into a series and what keeps us coming back for more? When reading a series, we know there is the promise of more adventures with beloved characters to come after finishing the first book. Having a blank slate stretching multiple volumes, an author is able to develop more complex scenarios and character personalities, deepening our relationship with these fictional friends. Seeing characters work through conflict, take on increased responsibility, and grow in their relationships throughout a series is especially rewarding for children and allows them a type of reference for their future experiences. All of this, in turn, captures our attention and sparks our interest, bringing us back for more. And the more we read, the more we love reading- and that’s what’s important.

Visit your local library to rediscover the book series of your childhood or to fall in love with a new favorite you can share with the young readers in your life.

Favorite Book Series:
“The Magic School Bus” by Joanna Cole
The “Bear” series by Karma Wilson
“If You Give a….” series by Laura Numeroff
“Berenstain Bears” collection by Stan and Jan Berenstain
“Skippyjon Jones” books by Judy Schachner
“Llama, Llama” books by Anna Dewdney

“The Boxcar Children” by Gertrude Chandler Warner
“Mr. Putter and Tabby” by Cynthia Rylant
“Imagination Station” by Paul McCusker
“The Magic Tree House” by Mary Pope Osborne
“The Wingfeather Saga” by Andrew Peterson
“Tales of Magic” by Edward Eager
“Mercy Watson” by Kate DiCamillo
“Time Warp Trio” by Jon Scieszka
“Binky the Space Cat” by Ashley Spires

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Filed under activities, autumn, award winners, bedtime, children's books, classics, family reading, friendship

Explore the Fall Season with Children’s Books

Experience the colorful, bountiful season of autumn in new ways with ideas from children’s books. Read a book to your young child and then extend the book experience with crafts, cooking, counting, and learning.

Enjoy your time reading and exploring together with some of these books about fall:

Leaf Man

“Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert. With just a few leaves of different shapes and colors, “leaf man” is created and off on an adventure, sailing through the autumn sky. After reading this book you’ll be inspired to make your own leaf people and animals. Go on a walk and collect leaves, nuts, and other fall treasures to arrange into a story you and your child can make up together. There are also facts in the back of the book so you can learn the names of the trees in your neighborhood.

“Johnny Appleseed” by Steven Kellogg. Enjoy a crunchy red apple as you read the story of the American frontier hero, Jon Chapman, know best as Johnny Appleseed. The text is a bit long, but younger children can see the story unfold in the dynamic illustrations. Facts about the early 1800’s are woven together with some tall tales about Johnny Appleseed’s adventures to make an entertaining story.

“Pumpkin Soup” by Helen Cooper. A cat, a squirrel, and a duck work together to make pumpkin soup the same way, every day, until… Duck decides to do it a different way. Oh no! The three friends have to figure out how to still be friendly to each other. There’s a pumpkin soup recipe included if you want to try cooking up some of your own.

“Apples and Pumpkins” by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Lizzie Rockwell. Apple picking, pumpkin carving, and marveling at red and yellow leaves are all part of autumn fun. Bold, colorful illustrations and simple text introduce young children to the wonders of the season. The book ends with jack-o-lanterns shining and trick-or-treating.

RunawayPumpkin“The Runaway Pumpkin” by Kevin Lewis, illustrated by S.D. Schindler. This is a rollicking, frolicking rhyming journey of the Baxter family trying to catch up with a runaway pumpkin. Preschoolers will giggle at the antics of the chase and silly sounding words in this story.

“Why Do Leaves Change Color?” By Betsy Maestro and Loretta Krupinski. Learn why autumn leaves are so colorful and discover lots of activities you can do with the leaves in your own backyard. This is a “Let’s Read and Find Out Science” book for young children.

“How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?” by Margaret McNamara, illustrated by G. Brian Karas. This is a story of children in a classroom, but also an estimating game using math and science knowledge. Pumpkins seeds are slimy when they come out of a pumpkin, and there are so many to count. Which has more seeds–a small pumpkin or a big one?

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Filed under activities, autumn, colors, family reading, humorous, non-fiction, science books

Fall Leaves, Pumpkins, and More!

Its Pumpkin TimeThe landscape will soon be swathed in fiery red, brilliant orange, and tawny yellow colors. The nights are getting longer, the days shorter, and there is a nip in the air. Children are back at school and a routine is setting in for your family. We are thick in the autumn season! Curl up in a blanket with your children, get cozy, and read some books about fall. Here are some ideas:

“It’s Pumpkin Time” by Zoe Hall, illustrated by Shari Halpern. The illustrations are in Eric Carle-style collage made with beautiful hand-colored paper. The story tells about how a pumpkin grows from a small seed to big orange globe that can become a jack-o-lantern.  

“Mouse’s First Fall” by Lauren Thompson and Buket Ergodan is a board book for babies and toddlers. Simple descriptions of autumn and charming illustrations give young children words for the colors and shapes they and how much fun it is jump in a pile of leaves. This is just one in the series of  “Mouse’s First” board books.

MousesFirstFall

“Fletcher and the Falling Leaves” by Julia Rawlinson, pictures by Tiphanie Beeke.  Fletcher is a young fox. He is alarmed when he sees a leaf fall off a tree in autumn. Then more leaves float to the ground. He wants to put them all back! But, he is finally convinced that it is ok for the leaves to fall off the trees when he sees how other animals use them for nests and to keep warm. When the first frost comes, the bare branches of the tree look magically glittery and Fletcher appreciates how a tree is beautiful in every season.

”The Biggest Apple Ever” by Stephen Kroll. Mouse characters Clayton and Desmond join a contest to find the biggest apple ever. Will they compete with each other, work together, or come up with another way to enjoy the contest? For school-aged children, the theme of this story is friendship.

“Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf” by Lois Ehlert. Colorful fall leaves are just one part of the life-cycle of a tree. Ehlert starts with the planting of a small maple sapling and then shows how it grows to maturity, using language that a young child will understand. A glossary in the back gives more details such as how a tree absorbs nutrients and uses photosynthesis. Illustrations are collage with cut paper, real seeds, fabric, wire, and plant material.

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Filed under autumn, children's books, family reading