Picture Book Pair for a Fun Fall Story Time

by Rebecca J. Gomez Pairing two or more picture books with similar themes can open up a world of discussion possibilities, and those discussions are great ways to connect with your children or students. It can be fascinating to see how different authors and illustrators approach different topics and themes. Pairing books with similar themes during story time will help children learn that everyone sees the world a little differently, and it's good to see other people's perspectives. Read : Leaves by David Ezra Stein and The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming, illustrated by Nicola Slater Discuss :  What is the main theme in each of these stories? How are these two books different? How are they similar? What were Bear and Squirrel both confused about?  Have you ever been confused or curious about something in nature? Talk about it! What is fall like where you live? Do you see leaves changing, then falling from the trees?  What other books about fall or leaves have you read? Are any of

NORTH WOODS GIRL Review and Nature Collage

North Woods Girl by Aimée M. Bissonette, illustrated by Claudia McGehee, is a story about a young girl, her relationship with her unconventional grandmother, and their adventures trekking through the north woods together. This book, with its simple but engaging text and stunning illustrations, is as lovely as it is charming. I personally related to this book because the grandmother in the story is so much like my own grandmother, who enjoyed treks through the woods around her home in Minnesota. But even readers without unconventional, woods-trekking grandmothers will appreciate this heartwarming story, and may be inspired to explore the natural world with someone they love.

Read: North Woods Girl 


  • How is the grandmother in the story different from many other grandmothers?
  • Do you live in or near the woods? If not, what kind of natural areas are near your home?
  • How many woodland critters do you recognize from the book's illustrations?
  • In the story, the grandmother loves winter. Do you enjoy winter? What is your favorite season?

Do: Take a walk through a nearby forest, park, or other nature area. While you're there, collect items to use in a nature collage. Some items you might find are:

  • small sticks and twigs
  • leaves of various shapes (avoid poison ivy and stinging nettles)
  • pebbles
  • flowers
  • snail shells 
  • bits of bark
  • acorns or other nuts
Once you've gathered your items, arrange them in a collage! A collage can be any kind of design you want, such as a repeating pattern, an animal, a plant, even a building. Arrange your collage where it will be visible to others and maybe bring a smile to their face. A sidewalk is a good spot. Even better is a grassy area near a sidewalk where your collage won't be disturbed as much by footsteps or a breeze. Be sure to take a picture of your creation when you're finished!

Collage I made from plants in my yard and garden.

Don't be sad when nature takes over and your collage gets "ruined." That's just another reason to go exploring again.


Mindy Baker said…
Fun outdoor activity! I’m going to look for this book!