with original recommendations, descriptions and references by Kristin Addington Culpepper (Parenting Expert and Author)
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Little Fur Family
Down Down the Mountain
A little fur child leaves his cozy home to explore the world around him—some unfamiliar—then returns home to the comfort of his loving family, familiar routine and cozy bed. This was an all-time favorite of mine as a little girl…perhaps it was the feeling of safety in the predictable.
A corn-cob pipe smoking grandma, turnips, shoeless children running around... a story of life in Appalachia in the 1930’s that will draw you right in.
Mr. Putter & Tabby Pick the Pears
An elderly man and his cat, pear jelly, cranky legs, harvesting with sling-shots, elderly bull-dog owning neighbors and more. SUCH a favorite that we named our own kitty after the endearing character, Mr. Putter!
Woody, Hazel and Little Pip
The Kissing Hand
An exciting adventure that connects your little one with the little ones of the forest. The illustrations are captivating and precious and you learn a bit about those living in the forest...squirrels, oaks and more.
This story and the forest friends in it can help little ones who aren’t quite sure they are ready to leave “the nest.”
Helps children understand how other school-aged children around the world (Chad, Africa) look at education and how they learn.
The Lumberjack's Beard
Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep
This one warms my heart every time. It tells the tale of natural consequences, conservation and shows how everyone can win in the end.
My children have seen generations of mama squirrels raise their babies in our yard, building various nests, depending on the age of her little kits. We have had the great honor of watching her build a nest high up in a maple and then, one by one, transport these little ones from their original nest (under our deck) to the “big kid” nest. ;) One of our favorite pastimes as a family has been watching all the squirrel babies and siblings grow up to be the frisky, energetic and clever little stinkers they are—hours of entertainment!
This is one of the most endearing books I’ve read in a while. It flows with such ease as it is the natural dialogue between a little girl and her daddy—maybe it sounds familiar to you! ;) The love between them is so evident and I found myself wanting to follow their conversation into the next day. Such a sweet relationship and strong bond is demonstrated. The way they adore each other just drew me in and makes me hopeful that all little girls and daddy’s can experience a relationship like this one.
How to Make a Pie and See the World
A fantastically ridiculous story about a girl who is quite resourceful and absolutely determined to make an apple pie! Nothing will stop her as she travels the world gathering ingredients—learning as she goes. Her can-do spirit is amusing and the manner in which the story unfolds is reminiscent of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie—you can hardly wait to turn the page. At the end there is a recipe for a delicious homemade apple pie—I made it with my little ones years ago.
Christopher's Harvest Time
Tales of the Mushroom Folk
An only-child meets an unexpected playmate in the garden one autumn day. This new friend, named September, takes Christopher on an adventure to meet his friends. There are the gooseberry boys, a recurrant girl, Old Man Blackcurrant, Mr. Scarecrow, Mrs. Brambly, Misses Plum, the Strawberry family, Mr. Pear, Mrs. Cabbage, Mrs. Dahlia and more! The story draws children in with the colorful characters and illustrations, connecting children with the bounty of the season. It is quite lengthy, but read in sections would be a lovely bed or naptime read-aloud.
This is a book similar to those of Elsa Beskow’s forest folk stories. Though written in 1909, it is still completely relevant since not much has changed in the world of mushrooms since then. You will encounter 12 mushroom families and learn interesting facts about each one as you meet them in a way that really helps your child make a connection.
Apple Cider Making Days
The Best Gift of All
While I’m not convinced all of these trees would naturally exist in the same place (“grammy’s house”), this book does a splendid job highlighting the leaves of each tree. I am a tree-lover and believer that we can honor things (people, nature, etc.) by taking time to understand them. Identifying them/ know their names is a big part of that. This book is an incredible resource for doing just that and the sweet story of the grandchildren exploring the trees at their grammy’s helps the little ones stay interested. ;) Don’t miss the seasonal leaf activities in the back.
This is one I set out in our seasonal book basket year after year. We have visited many apple orchards and several cider houses through the years. We harvested our own apples and watched the cider presses in action. This book makes the process understandable & interesting. Our children can also watch how three generations work together to make it all happen. Beautiful.
Another favorite at our house. Just a sweet book about autumn, true friends and how nothing can keep Mole, Squirrel, Hedgehog and Rabbit apart.
A classic with fun surprises inside. The book has a mysterious tone, with illustrations that combine the layering of pages to create the landscape and photographs of items in nature to create these leaf creatures. It can be fun for younger ones to identify these creatures. For your older children, identifying the leaves and seeds can become an easy homeschool nature/science lesson.
One of my daughter’s favorites that we read over and over and OVER again. It’s so cute, I can’t say that I minded. This is one many of us can relate to—having non-human friends, the theme of change, letting go, sadness, cycles in nature and life. It’s a darling story that can naturally open conversations with your little one around all of this and more.
This is the Way We Go to School
This one helps children feel connected with others their age around the world as everyone heads back to school. They can see how students in other countries physically get to school and what the landscape looks like along the way. A variety of countries are included such as Italy, Norway, Egypt, Switzerland, Kenya, Australia, China, India, Mexico, Siberia, Canada and the U.S.A.
Kate, Who Tamed the Wind
A hill dwelling hermit in distress gains an unlikely friend and advocate in a little girl. Together, they work to solve the problematic wind‑the solution? TREES and cooperation!
Autumn Harvest (tresselt)
An oldie, but goody (1951). The use of color and illustration techniques are unlike those you see today in most children’s books. This book is another celebration of the season of Autumn.
Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn
Connecting with what is happening in the seasons helps children feel safe and grounded. In our home we have always made it a practice to bid adieu to the season that is passing and greet the season coming in. We do this through music, nature table changes, etc. Sometimes this change is easier for our children than others. If we share all the blessings of each season with our little ones, they can create their own relationship with each one and cope more easily with the transitions. This book can be part of making that transition special.