Fall is my favorite season, and I love reading about fall with my kids. There are hundreds of picture books about the autumn season, but not many that feature children of color in their illustrations.
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Representation matters; all children need to see diverse characters in the books they read. The books I’ve listed below are both great stories and books that feature a multicultural cast of characters. It’s my hope that no matter what our kids look like, they will always find people they can relate to in the books they read.
12 Diverse Fall Picture Books
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We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger — This book is an awesome read aloud! Three friends are hunting for fall leaves of different shapes, sizes, and colors. At the end of the story, they jump and play in the leaves together. Little ones will love this rhyming story.
In The Leaves by Huy Voun Lee — Xiao Ming is so excited to visit a farm with his friends! While he’s there, he shares with them some of his favorite Chinese characters. This book features a diverse group of children, and introduces readers to the beauty of the Chinese language.
Let It Fall by Maryann Cocca-Leffler — Autumn is so much fun! This book shows all the fun activities to enjoy in the fall. I love this book not only because of its diverse illustrations, but also because it shows parents breaking out of traditional gender roles as well.
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara — The kids in Mr. Tiffin’s class are trying to figure out how many seeds are in a pumpkin. They have a small, medium, and large pumpkin, and they are using their best estimation skills to figure out the answer. Their end result is surprising! This engaging book is a great way to introduce math and science topics.
Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kendard Pak — A little girl walks in the forest in late summer, and along the way she says goodbye to all the elements of nature that are a part of summer, and welcomes the elements of fall. This book is gorgeously illustrated and captures the special things that make fall my favorite season.
Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev — This sweet book, set in the fall, tells the story of a little boy and his pet elephant. He wants to join the pet club with his friend, but he’s told that elephants are absolutely not allowed. When he meets a new friend who also has an unusual pet, they decide to start a club where all pets and people are welcome. My boys love this story about kindness and acceptance.
Fall Leaves: Colorful and Crunchy by Martha E. H. Rustad — This bright and engaging nonfiction book discusses why leaves change color, and teaches the life cycle of leaves. It also has fun instructions for making your own autumn art project.
Welcome Fall by Jill Ackerman — Even the littlest readers need diverse books! This board book introduces babies and toddlers to the autumn season. The story encourages your little ones to use their five senses to explore all the elements of autumn.
People In Fall by Martha E. H. Rustad — My kids have always enjoyed books that show “real” kids having fun and playing. This book shows kids playing outside, having fun, and getting ready for winter to come, and it features a diverse group of kids enjoying the season together.
Apple Countdown by Joan Holub — My kids loved Joan Holub’s books when they were learning to read, because her upbeat, rhyming stories have patterns they could easily follow. This one is no exception; it’s great for early readers or as a read-aloud. A class is going on a field trip to the apple orchard, and as they count down from 20 to 1 readers learn lots of fun facts about apples.
The Shadow in the Moon: A Tale of the Mid-Autumn Festival by Christina Matula — Two young sisters are excited to celebrate the Chinese mid-autumn festival with their Ah-Ma. They love making mooncakes and hearing the story of the brave archer Hou Yi and his equally brave wife Chang’E. This book does a great job of blending modern traditions with ancient folklore to create one beautiful story.
How Many Days to America: A Thanksgiving Story by Eve Bunting — A refugee family is forced to leave their home in the Carribean and sail for America. They make a dangerous journey toward American, hopes of finding safety. The day they arrive is also Thanksgiving day, and they are welcomed with open arms and a Thanksgiving meal. A beautiful story of how we should welcome all asylum-seekers, this book is as relevant today as when it was published in the 1980s.
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