It's the end of August and, since a couple of days, we can already feel the signs of autumn. In some cultures and countries autumn has well and truly started since a couple of weeks already. We have learned in China that a new season starts before even we can see its signs. Spring, for instance, starts when the sap starts traveling from the ground towards the branches to form the buds. That's why we are often celebrating the Spring Festival, know in the Western countries as The Chinese New Year, in February.
Despite the fact that autumn is in the air, we are still enjoying some beautiful and hot summer days. I love these transitions between seasons and I always prepare a book rotation for these special days.
Here are the books we are reading about the end of summer:
On the first row:
"La fête des fruits" by Gerda Mulller ("How does my fruit grow?" in English, "Was wächst denn da?" in German). The End of Summer is really the season of all sorts of delicious fruits and Gerda Muller's book is a brilliant way of discovering how they grow.
"La pomme rouge" by Kazuo Iwamura Apples! Our local organic market is filled with freshly harvested juicy apples and this is the best book about how to mindfully eat an apple. We love Kazuo Iwamura's books for their simplicity, the beauty of their illustrations and the poetry of the text. Unfortunately I didn't find any translation in English for my English language readers but there is one in German, "Der rote Apfel" and one in Spanish "La Manzana".
"Marul" Again, about apples. We are reading this book in Romanian and you can find it in many other languages : "Fruit (My first Discoveries)", "Der Apfel: Meyers kleine Kinderbibliothek", "La pomme (et d'autres fruits)- "Mes premières découvertes to name just a few.
"La fête de la tomate" by Satomi Ichikawa. In German "Das Tomatenfest" If you are following our adventures on Instagram you have probably seen our mini-tomatos harvest. This is our second year growing organic tomatoes in our garden and the third year we are reading the book about a little girl Hana who knows her own mind and decides to grow a little tomato in a pot. She takes her tomato to her grandma during the summer holidays and the adventure of growing tomatoes continues in her grandma's garden. This beautifully illustrated and written book has given us the idea and the motivation to start growing our own tomatoes.
"Jour de pluie" by Kazuo Today and Chiaki Okada This is another book by a Japanase author, I think you can tell by now that we are in love with Japanase authors. The illustrations are gorgeous and I love how this book gently helps the readers make a change into their perspective: a boring rainy day becomes the occasion for adventure and play.
On the second row:
"Une journée avec les cigognes" by Thomas Müller. In France we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of storks this summer and they are truly beautiful birds. At the end of August they start their migration to warmer countries. This is a very interesting book about their habitat, their migration, their way of living. In German the tittle of this book is "Ein Jahr kit den Störchen" and Thomas Müller has published other captivating books about birds (in German, translated into French)
"La promenade" by Eve Hermann If you are one of my French readers, I'm sure you are already familiar with Eve Hermann's books and Montessori materials. We are big fans of Liv and Emy's stories and we have almost all the books from this collection. They have been translated into Italian, Spanish and Romanian and you can easily find them online. Each book captures the story of a discovery that Liv and Emy make and then there is a Montessori activity at the end of the book. In "La promenade" (The Nature Walk) the two little girls discover the treasures of nature, end of summer, beginning of autumn. The activity that is suggested is about how to start a Nature Table. I know that this book has inspired my daughter to make her own Nature Tables. I did them when she was little, but now she is the one who creates them.
Mon arbre by Gerda Muller (in German: "Unser Baum: Vom Leben einer alten Eiche", in English "A Year Around the Great Oak") This book doesn't need an introduction anymore. Like all Gerda Muller's books, it is beautifully illustrated and the story is captivating. We read it because it captures so well the transition between seasons, particularly from summer to autumn.
"Emy et les tournesol" by Eve Hermann that we also read in Romanian "Emy si floarea soarelui" Another book by Eve Hermann. We love the minimalistic illustrations and the story of Emy who dances with a sunflower and the sunflower loses all its petals is pure poetry. As a multilingual family, we read this book in French and Romanian an this is a fun and efficient method to build a child's vocabulary in different languages.
"Camille and the sunflowers" by Laurence Anholt A beautiful story about a little boy named camille who meets Vincent Van Gogh. A wonderful way to build familiarity with an artist's work and life story. I love the illustrations, my daughter likes them less than I do.
As you might have already guessed, my daughter is fascinated by sunflowers since she was a baby so we have been collecting books about sunflowers for a while (not all of them are on the shelf at the moment).
On the top of our shelf we have displayed two books about the mood of these last days of summer. We keep them open: the last page of Gerda Muller's book "Summer" and the page about the beginning of autumn in "Le temps- Mes premières découvertes" (The Weather from My first discoveries) collection".
We have also displayed the gorgeous "Arbre" by Amandine Laprun. It's a book shaped as a tree and each page shows the evolution of tree through the four seasons. We have added some wooden animals (by Ostheimer, Holztiger and some bought on our local handicraft markets) and some treasures collected by my daughter during our nature walks.
If you would like to look into autumn books, I have written this post about "Books to celebrate autumn" when my daughter was 20 months. We are still reading these books and they are amongst my daughter's favorite ones.
If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, enjoy the End of Summer! If you are in a Tropical country or in the Southern Hemisphere, know I envy you as you have so many hot and sunny days above you! :) I do love autumn (and all the seasons actually), but I'm already missing summer!