Archive for the ‘Fall Children’s Books, Learning Games and Printables’ Category

Halloween Theme Picture Book Treats!

Posted on October 23rd, 2016 by Carolyn Hart

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Fill your home with Halloween Fun from Storytime Standouts

Sharing some Wonderful Halloween Theme Picture Book Treats for Young Readers

As the days grow shorter and cooler weather arrives in the Northern Hemisphere, October is a wonderful month to share a variety of Halloween theme picture books with children. Halloween is also a great time to enjoy concept books with children and more than one of our featured books highlights counting.

Here are some of our favorite stories featuring friendship, tolerance, learning about others all accomplished while trick or treating, wearing costumes and enjoying the fun of Halloween.

Scroll down for our free Halloween-theme printables for children

A Very Brave WitchA Very Brave Witch written by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Harry Bliss
Halloween theme picture book published by Simon & Schuster / Paula Wiseman Books

A Very Brave Witch is the tale of a green-skinned, broomstick-flying, costume-loving witch. She thinks she knows all about humans and decides that Halloween night is the perfect opportunity to take a closer look. After a flying mishap, she meets three, costumed human trick-or-treaters including one girl who is dressed up as a witch. Together, the pair manage to shatter stereotypes as they discover friendship and celebrate Halloween together.

Young readers will enjoy investigating a recently-decorated haunted house and collection of costumes. The witches’ fear of humans is good fun.

Well-suited for a group read-aloud, the colorful watercolor illustrations nicely match the tone of the story.

Suitable for preschool and older

Scare Factor = 1

A Very Brave Witch at Amazon.com

A Very Brave Witch at Amazon.ca

A Creepy Countdown by Charlotte Huck and Jos. A. SmithA Creepy Countdown written by Charlotte Huck and Jos. A. Smith
Halloween theme picture book published by Harper Trophy

Beautifully-detailed, dark and creepy illustrations are a highlight of this Halloween-theme counting book. Rhyming text includes alliteration and guides readers as they count from one to ten and back down to one).

Five furry bats hanging upside down
Six skinny witches flying through the town

Recommended for children aged 5 and up. Illustrations are well-suited to a group setting and could be used to inspire young artists to work primarily in black.

Scare Factor = 2

A Creepy Countdown at Amazon.com

A Creepy Countdown at Amazon.ca

Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for HalloweenScaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween written and illustrated Mélanie Watt
Halloween theme picture book published by Kids Can Press

Scaredy Squirrel is a fun series of picture books written and illustrated by Mélanie Watt. In Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween, Scaredy has put together eight short chapters featuring panels with maps, lists, illustrations and diagrams intended to keep trick or treaters safe and happy. Best suited to independent readers or a one-on-one read aloud, this is a fun book with rich vocabulary and detailed, engaging illustrations. Not great for a large group setting, this will be a very satisfying “chapter book” for a child in grade one or two and will produce lots of giggles when read by a parent to a child.

Scare Factor = 1

Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween: A Safety Guide for Scaredies at Amazon.com

Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween: A Safety Guide for Scaredies at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts looks at Halloween theme picture books including Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O'ConnellTen Timid Ghosts written and illustrated by Jennifer O’Connell
Halloween theme counting book published by Cartwheel Books, an imprint of Scholastic

When a moving truck pulls up to a haunted house, the ten resident ghosts watch nervously. Before too long, a green-skinned witch is scaring the ghosts with a skeleton, a bat and various costumes. Ms. O’Connell provides fun clues for readers to notice including buttons that look like eyes, white face powder and a roll of toilet paper.

Repetitive, rhmying text adds to the fun in this counting book. Young children will love finding the ghosts in each of the illustrations.

Scare Factor = 1

Ten Timid Ghosts at Amazon.com

Ten Timid Ghosts at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts looks at Halloween theme picture books including Trick or Treat by Bill Martin and Michael Sampson, illustrated by Paul MeiselTrick or Treat written by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson, illustrated by Paul Meisel
Halloween theme picture book published by Aladdin Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster

It’s Halloween night and time to trick or treat in a ten story apartment building. A young, wide-eyed boy goes from floor to floor, meeting all sorts of costumed neighbors with wonderful names like Wiggle Waggle and Limbler Lamber. When the boy reaches the top floor, Merlin answers the door and waves his magic wand and tells the boy that everything is “WackBards“, sending the boy back to each apartment for Belly Jeans and “Twicorice Lists

Great use of alliteration and wordplay along with colorful, fun illustrations make this an excellent read aloud for kindergarten and older children. In a classroom setting, children could have fun illustrating a favorite candy WackBards.

Scare Factor = 1

Trick or Treat? at Amazon.com

Trick or Treat? at Amazon.ca


Halloween Theme Printables for Kids

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Witch Hat

Halloween, Witch theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Pumpkin

Fall theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Halloween Picture Dictionary

Free printable Halloween picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Five Little Ghosts

Use as an action chant or a felt board story

image of PDF icon  Five Little Pumpkins

Use as a action chant or a felt board story

image of PDF icon  The Wheels on the Halloween Bus

image of PDF icon  Halloween Crossword Puzzle

image of PDF icon  Halloween Word Search


First Day of School Jitters? Try Splat the Cat

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts reviews Splat the Cat by Rob ScottonSplat the Cat written and illustrated by Rob Scotton
Picture book about starting school published by Harper Collins Publishers

There’s no doubt about it, going to school for the very first time can be nerve-wracking. It is no wonder that Splat is wide awake bright and early.

When mom opens his bedroom door, his first instinct is to pull the covers over his head. When that doesn’t work, Splat tries all sorts of tactics to delay leaving for school. He can’t find socks and his hair is a mess. One thing he knows for sure, having a friend in his lunchbox is certain to help. Splat pops Seymour the Mouse into his lunchbox and sets out to meet his new teacher and classmates.Splat the Cat spread

Mrs. Wimpydimple and Splat’s new classmates are very welcoming and soon Splat is full of questions. He is especially curious to know why cats chase mice! (A definite opportunity to introduce the concept of foreshadowing) When it is finally lunchtime, Splat opens his lunchbox and his small rodent friend, Seymour is suddenly the centre of attention – and not in a good way. Splat’s new classmates do exactly what readers will predict – the chase is on!

Engaging, playful illustrations provide many details for young children to notice and enjoy. A mostly grey and black color palette is highlighted with vibrant yellow and red details that pop off the page. Those who are able to read will love the signs in the storefront windows and Mrs. Wimpydimple’s blackboard illustrations.


Harper Collins has some terrific Splat the Cat printables for children to enjoy.

Splat the Cat at Amazon.com

Splat the Cat at Amazon.ca


Pumpkin Patch Fun! Picture Books and Printables

Posted on October 20th, 2015 by Carolyn Hart

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Pumpkin Patch Fun!  Picture Books and Printables to Extend Your Child's Learning

We live very near to several pumpkin patches. At this time of year, the leaves have died away to reveal gorgeous orange fruit. If you and your family have an opportunity to trudge through muddy fields to select just the right pumpkin, be sure to extend your child’s learning with pumpkin theme picture books and printables.







The Biggest Pumpkin Ever written by Steven Kroll and illustrated by Jeni BassettThe Biggest Pumpkin Ever written by Steven Kroll and illustrated by Jeni Bassett
Preschool picture book about growing pumpkins published by Cartwheel Books, a Division of Scholastic

Clayton and Desmond each fall in love with the same pumpkin and are soon working night and day to water and fertilize it. Before long, it is absolutely enormous! One night, as they work to protect the pumpkin from frost, the two young mice meet and discover that they have both been working on the same pumpkin project. Before long, it is time for a pumpkin contest and, together, the new friends enlist the help of dozens of field mice to transport the pumpkin into town.

With only a brief reference to carving a smiling jack-o-lantern face, this story is primarily about caring for the growing pumpkin, discovering a new friend and working cooperatively together. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever is a great opportunity to explore the life cycle of a pumpkin. It will be enjoyed by preschool, kindergarten and early primary age children.

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever at Amazon.com

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever at Amazon.ca

Pumpkin Town written by Katie McKay and illustrated by Pablo BernasconiPumpkin Town written by Katie McKay and illustrated by Pablo Bernasconi
Preschool picture book about growing pumpkins published by HMH Books for Young Readers

José’s family grows pumpkins and usually they are very careful to only grow the best. One day José and his five brothers discard some ‘lesser’ seeds carelessly. The seeds are blown into town and land on straw roofs and in soil. When spring arrives, the seeds began to grow. Soon intrusive vines push through windows and heavy pumpkins threaten to drop out of trees and off rooftops. José and his family are blissfully unaware of the problem until the brothers venture into town.

Acknowledging their mistake, the boys set about harvesting the pumpkins and returning the town to normal. Observant readers will accurately predict the impact of rewarding the brothers’ hard work by giving them watermelons to eat.

Very good fun for preschool, kindergarten and early primary age children. No reference to Halloween.

Pumpkin Town! Or, Nothing Is Better and Worse Than Pumpkins at Amazon.com

Pumpkin Town! Or, Nothing Is Better and Worse Than Pumpkins at Amazon.ca

Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins written by Dianne Ochiltree and illustrated by Anne-Sophie LanquetinSixteen Runaway Pumpkins
Rhyming, counting picture book about harvesting pumpkins written by Dianne Ochiltree and illustrated by Anne-Sophie Lanquetin

Sam Raccoon is confident when she heads out to the pumpkin patch. She pulls a large blue wagon behind her and she is soon filling it with big, lumpy pumpkins. At last the wagon is stacked with sixteen bright orange pumpkins that wiggle and wobble as she pulls it down the bumpy road. Soon, the pumpkins tumble out of the wagon and roll and bounce down the hill to the farmhouse.

Sam runs after the tumbling pumpkins and is disappointed when some are cracked but Grandpa knows exactly what to do with cracked pumpkins. The family gets to work and soon enjoy a delicious dessert.

Engaging illustrations, rollicking rhymes and the chance to count along will have great appeal for preschool, kindergarten and early primary age children.

Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins at Amazon.com

Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins at Amazon.ca

Pumpkin Theme Free Printables

image of PDF icon  Five Little Pumpkins

Use as a action chant or a felt board story

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Pumpkin

Fall theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


Cozy Picture Book about Generosity and Gratitude – Bear Says Thanks

Posted on November 20th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

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Bear Says Thanks picture book about generosity and gratitudeBear Says Thanks written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman
Picture book about generosity and gratitude published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster



Bear is bored. He misses his pals. He decides to hold a feast for his friends but when he looks in his cupboard, he finds that it is empty. When Mouse arrives with a delicious pie, Bear is happy to see his friend and he expresses thanks for the delicious treat. Moments later, Hare arrives with muffins and Badger brings fish. Soon all the forest friends are celebrating in Bear’s cozy den.
picture book about generosity and gratitude Bear Says Thanks spread
Bear mutters and he stutters and he wears a big frown. Bear sighs and he moans and he plops himself down.
“You have brought yummy treats! You are so nice to share. But me, I have nothing. My cupboards are bare!”

Bear’s many friends are not at all troubled by the fact he can’t contribute food to the meal, they know there are other ways he can share.

Part of a series of Bear books (Bear Feels Sick, Bear Stays Up for Christmas….) Bear Says Thanks is a lovely celebration of friendship, generosity and gratitude, well suited to preschool age children. Gorgeous illustrations beautifully depict Bear’s emotions and the animals’ sense of community.

Bear Says Thanks at Amazon.com

Bear Says Thanks at Amazon.ca

Interlined paper for Thanksgiving

image of PDF icon  Today I am Thankful for...

"Today I am Thankful for..." interlined writing paper - great for Thanksgiving.


Picture Book About Divali – Lights for Gita

Posted on October 31st, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts looks at Lights for Gita, a picture book about Divali and  adjusting to life as a new immigrant.Lights for Gita written by Rachna Gilmore and illustrated by Alice Priestley
Picture book about Divali and a child’s experience as a new immigrant published by Second Story Press



When Gita arrives home from school, she is excited to celebrate Divali. She fondly remembers how Divali was celebrated in New Delhi. She recalls large family celebrations that included glowing diyas, delicious sweets (perras and jallebies) and brilliant fireworks.

Gita has invited five friends from her class to celebrate Divali with her family but a sudden ice storm means that most of her friends are not able to come. Gita and her mother light the diyas just before the electricity in the apartment fails. Darkness envelopes the street and the apartment building except for the shining diyas. When Gita sees one of her friends arriving at the apartment building, she rushes outside to meet her. She is overjoyed to step outside into an icy wonderland.

Lights for Gita provides an explanation of many of the traditions associated with Divali. As well, it is a thoughtful look at the adjustments faced by new immigrants when living in a new country.

Rachna Gilmore’s Teacher’s Guide for Lights for Gita

Lights for Gita at Amazon.com

Lights for Gita at Amazon.ca

Lights for Gita by Michel Vo, National Film Board of Canada

Note – in Lights for Gita, the author refers to ‘Divali.’ The Festival of Lights is also called ‘Diwali.’

For additional information about Diwali…

Celebrations in my World Diwali picture book about DiwaliCelebrations in My World – Diwali written by Kate Torpie
Children’s book about Diwali published by Crabtree Publishing Company

Generously illustrated with photographs, Celebrations in my World – Diwali explores the Hindu holiday, also known as the ‘festival of lights.’ Photographs and text explain Diwali decorations (including rangoli), dancing (Garba), desserts (includes a recipe for Chocolate Barfi), symbols and clothing (dhoti kurta, henna tattoos). One two-page spread provides information about Hinduism and another explains Rama’s victory. Celebrations in my World – Diwali includes a table of contents and a glossary.

Diwali (Celebrations in My World) at Amazon.com

Diwali (Celebrations in My World) at Amazon.ca

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Diwali for Kids on Pinterest.

Squeak Went the Door is a Fun Halloween felt board story for preschool and kindergarten

Posted on October 30th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

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Squeak Went the Door a fun Halloween flannel board story for preschool and kindergarten




My copy of Squeak Went the Door makes no attribution – it is printed on three pages that have been stapled together. I have had it for 30+ years.

This is a fun Halloween flannel board story I used to tell at Girl Guide and Brownie Halloween events. The felt pieces I use are very plain – I should probably add some glitter glue and trim. Predictable text and a hint of suspense make this fun for prek and kindergarten.

Download a PDF copy

image of PDF icon  Squeak Went the Door

A repetitive, predictable Halloween story that is great for a felt board.

Storytime Standouts Fall printables for preschool and kindergartenYou will also be interested in our Halloween and Fall printables for preschool and kindergarten.

Squeak Went the Door

There was an old, old lady who lived all alone in the woods, and who wanted someone to come and visit her. While she waited, she spun cloth.
Children But still she sat (fold hands)
And still she spun, (roll hands)
And still she waited
For someone to come.

Then, one dark, dark night when the old lady was sitting spinning, she heard a knock at the door, and she said, “Come in.”

S-Q-U-E-A-K went the door and in came two black, black boots. They walked across the floor and then set themselves down.

The old lady thought, “Oh, how strange to see those black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

Children But still she sat (fold hands)
And still she spun, (roll hands)
And still she waited
For someone to come.

Soon the old lady heard another knock at the door, and she said, “Come in.”

S-Q-U-E-A-K went the door and in came two short, short legs. They ran across the floor and then set themselves down on the black, black boots.

The old lady thought, “Oh, how strange to see those short, short legs on the black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

Children But still she sat (fold hands)
And still she spun, (roll hands)
And still she waited
For someone to come.

Before long the old lady heard another knock at the door, and she said, “Come in.”

S-Q-U-E-A-K went the door and in came a wee, wee waist. It came, bending up and down and set itself down on the short, short legs.

The old lady thought, “Oh, how strange to see that wee, wee waist on the short, short legs on the black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

Children But still she sat (fold hands)
And still she spun, (roll hands)
And still she waited
For someone to come.

And while the old lady was looking, she heard another knock at the door, and she said, “Come in.”

S-Q-U-E-A-K went the door and in came two broad, broad shoulders. They lifted themselves across the room and set themselves down on the wee, wee waist.

And she thought, oh how strange to see the broad, broad shoulders on the wee, wee waist on the short, short legs on the black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

Children But still she sat (fold hands)
And still she spun, (roll hands)
And still she waited
For someone to come.

And as she was spinning, she heard still another knock at the door, and she said, “Come in.”

S-Q-U-E-A-K went the door and in came two thin, thin arms and hung themselves over the broad, broad shoulders, and she thought, ” Oh, how strange to see those thin, thin arms on the broad, broad shoulders, on that wee, wee waist on the short, short legs on the black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

Children But still she sat (fold hands)
And still she spun, (roll hands)
And still she waited
For someone to come.

Now the little old woman was feeling just a tiny bit nervous. However, after the next loud knock she bravely said, “Come in.” S-Q-U-E-A-K went the door and in came two fat, fat hands. They danced across the room and set themselves on the thin, thin arms and she thought, “Oh, how strange to see those fat, fat hands on the thin, thin arms on the broad, broad shoulders, on that wee, wee waist on the short, short legs on the black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

Children But still she sat (fold hands)
And still she spun, (roll hands)
And still she waited
For someone to come.

Now, the little old woman was beginning to be a little more afraid. When she heard another knock at her door, she nervously said, “Come in.” S-Q-U-E-A-K went the door and in rolled a round, round head. It set itself down on those broad, broad shoulders and she thought, “Oh, how strange to see that round, round head on the fat, fat hands on the thin, thin arms on the broad, broad shoulders, on that wee, wee waist on the short, short legs on the black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

So she said, “Where did you get such black, black boots?”
“Much walking, much walking, ” it answered.
“Then where di d you get such short, short legs?”
“Much running, much running, ” was the reply.
“Where did you get such a wee, wee waist?”
“Much bending, much bending.”
“How did you get such broad, broad shoulders?”
“Much lifting, much lifting.”
“Where did you get such thin, thin arms?”
“Much carrying, much carrying.”
“Where did you get such fat, fat hands?”
“Much working, much working.”
“And where did you get such a round, round head?”
“From a pumpkin shell, a pumpkin shell.”
“What did you come for?”
“to visit YOU!!”

And that is the story of the man with the round, round head, the fat, fat hands, the thin, thin arms, the broad, broad shoulders, the wee, wee waist, the short, short legs, the black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

Original Source Unknown

Fabulous Fall Picture Books

Posted on September 21st, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts shares Fabulous Fall Picture BooksIsn’t it wonderful to feel the subtle changes in the weather and once again welcome the gorgeous colours of autumn?


Today’s post highlights picture books that beautifully celebrate Fall and the changes it brings to the world around us. Lush green trees and fields gradually change to yellow, gold, orange and red. Pumpkins, squash and corn ripen while cooler breezes blow and the days shorten.

We hope you will enjoy these fabulous Fall picture books with young readers and inspire them to create their own beautiful autumn artwork.



Fall Picture Books By the Light of the Harvest MoonBy the Light of the Harvest Moon written by Harriet Ziefert and illustrated by Mark Jones
Fall picture book, set on a farm published by Blue Apple Books

Highlighted by luminous illustrations of a beautiful moonlit autumn night, By the Light of the Harvest Moon begins as the farmers wearily carry their last loads of the day. The full moon illuminates the animals grazing nearby and the quiet farmyard. Suddenly, a breeze blows through the farm, picking up the colourful dry leaves and swirling them about.
A cloud of leaves settles in the pumpkin patch. When the gusts subside, leaf people emerge from the pile. First come grown-ups. Then come children… and then pets.
All through the night, the leaf people celebrate the beauty of Fall; bobbing for applies, stringing popcorn necklaces, stacking pumpkins and making wreaths. After play, it is time to savor delicious pies ~ pumpkin, apple, pear and pecan ~ before the wind blows the leaf people into the sky.

By the Light of the Harvest Moon lesson plan from Empowering Writers

By the Light of the Harvest Moon at Amazon.com

By the Light Of the Harvest Moon at Amazon.ca

Fall Picture Books Fletcher and the Falling LeavesFletcher and the Falling Leaves written by Julia Rawlinson and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
Fall picture book, set in a forest published by Harper Trophy

When the world around him changes from lush green to gold, Fletcher worries that something is terribly wrong. His mother explains that it is autumn but Fletcher continues to watch with alarm as the leaves on his favorite tree change color and then start to fall.
“Don’t worry, tree. “I’ve got your leaf. I’ll fix you.” Fletcher looked around, picked a piece of grass, and carefully tied the leaf to a branch.
As the tree’s transformation continues, Fletcher does his best to collect the leaves, despite reassurances from Squirrel and Porcupine. They want to use the leaves to stay warm and cozy.

Young readers, familiar with the changes that autumn brings, will enjoy watching Fletcher discover the wonders of the seasons. The gorgeous ice laden tree is certain to inspire artists to read for their pastels and some glitter.

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves lesson plan from Teacher Think Tank

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves at Amazon.com

Fletcher And The Falling Leaves at Amazon.ca

Kitten's Autumn written and illustrated by Eugenie FernandesKitten’s Autumn written and illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Fall theme picture book for toddlers or preschoolers published by Kids Can Press

Beautifully vibrant and intriguing mixed media illustrations highlight this picture book for very young children. Written in rhyming couplets, the book is second in a series about Kitten. As the young cat explores the out-of-doors, young children will delight in the many animals that are encountered. Each is eating and preparing for winter.

Kitten’s Autumn at Amazon.com

Kitten’s Autumn at Amazon.ca

Fall Picture Books Leaf ManLeaf Man written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert
Fall picture book published by HMH Books for Young Readers

For Leaf Man, author illustrator Lois Ehlert used color copies of beautiful Fall leaves from many different trees (including maple, ash, oak, birch, elm, poplar, hawthorn, beach, fig, cottonwoood, sweet gum). She crafted the beautiful rich colours, textures and shapes into an inspired story that will encourage young readers to discover the possibilities in a pile of autumn leaves. Die cut pages show us a fascinating world of chickens, ducks, geese, mics, vegetables, orchards, cows grazing, turtles and fish, butterflies, birds, and forestland, all created using leaves, acorns, maple seeds and sweet gum fruit .

Leaf Man lesson plan from Harcourt Trade Publishers

Leaf Man at Amazon.com

Leaf Man at Amazon.ca

Fall Picture Books Mouse's First FallMouse’s First Fall written by Lauren Thompson and illustrated by Buket Erdogan
Fall picture book published by Simon and Schuster

Mouse and Minka spend a joyous day celebrating the gorgeous rich colours of Fall.
Mouse saw round leaves and skinny leaves and pointy leaves and smooth leaves.
The two friends celebrate the many colors and shapes while happily playing together in an enormous pile of orange, brown and red leaves. Best suited to preschool-age children, extension activities could include classifying leaves by shape or color.

Mouse’s First Fall at Amazon.com

Mouse’s First Fall at Amazon.ca

Be sure to visit our Fall Printables Page

for Fall-theme writing paper, picture dictionaries, fingerplays, poems and songs.

Storytime Standouts Free Fall Theme Printables



Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Fall and Halloween for Preschool and Kindergarten on Pinterest.

Discover Mid-Autumn Moon Festival Picture Books

Posted on September 10th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

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Thanking the Moon a picture book about the Mid-Autumn Moon FestivalThanking the Moon – Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival written and illustrated by Grace Lin
Picture book about the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival published by Albert A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House

Beautiful, detailed illustrations highlight Thanking the Moon. We join a family of five as they enjoy a nighttime picnic and honor the moon. While the youngest girl plays, the older daughters help to set up a moon-honoring table, pretty lanterns and an enticing spread of traditional food: hot tea, moon cakes, steamed cakes, grapes and pomelo.image of spread Thanking the Moon a Mid-Autmn Moon Festival Picture Book

Extensive afternotes explain the significance of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival and the traditions associated with it. Young readers will certainly want to enjoy the story a second time, once they understand the significance of the fruit, the tea cups and the delicious moon cakes.

Well suited to children aged three and up.

Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at Amazon.com

Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at Amazon.ca

A lovely complement to Thanking the Moon…

Mooncakes written by Loretta Seto and illustrated by Renne Benoit
Picture book about the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival published by Orca Book Publishers

Narrated by a young girl, Mooncakes echos Thanking the Moon. We observe a family’s preparations for the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival – the excitement about staying up late, anticipation of special treats to eat, glowing paper lanterns and a beautiful full moon.

Once the family is comfortably settled in a moonlit chair, we hear three stories. The stories are about Chang-E, the woman who lives on the moon in the Jade Palace, Wu-Gang, a woodcutter and Jade Rabbit who also reside on the moon.

The watercolour illustrations nicely portray the special celebration, bathing the landscape in silvery moonlight. When the traditional tales are shared, the colours are more vivid.

Afternotes are less detailed than those in Thanking the Moon but they do include a reminder, ‘Even relatives who are unable to be with their families can look up at the dark sky and know that their loved ones are watching the same moon.

Best suited to children aged four and up.

Mooncakes at Amazon.com

Mooncakes at Amazon.ca

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Mid-Autumn Moon Festival for Preschool and Kindergarten on Pinterest.

Back to School? Picture Books to Help Your Child Start the Year Right

Posted on August 13th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts shares Back to School picture books and free printables for kindergarten

Storytime Standouts highlights three special picture books for youngsters headed off to school and back to school in September and has a free printable picture dictionary and writing paper for a back to school theme.






For many adults, books are a great source of information as well as entertainment. Whether searching for a delicious recipe, researching an upcoming family vacation or deciding if a visit to the doctor is necessary, books can be inspiring, entertaining, informative and reassuring.

Just as adults seek information from books, children gain understanding and confidence as they explore new and unfamiliar situations through books. Whether beginning preschool or heading off to school in September, there are many delightful picture books available to help you and your child make the transition with relative ease.

Storytime Standouts shares Special Picture Books for Children Starting School and Going Back to School including Ready Set Preschool
Ready, Set, Preschool! – written by Anna Jane Hays, illustrated by True Kelley
Picture book about preschool published by Knopf Books for Young Readers an Imprint of Random House Children’s Books



Ready, Set, Preschool! features stories, poetry and detailed illustrations that will enable youngsters to explore a typical preschool classroom, experience a field trip, observe playground activities and more. As well, the illustrations and text offer opportunities to practice counting, identifying colors and shapes, recognize rhyming words, the alphabet and letter sounds.

Extensive notes for parents provide helpful suggestions of ways to extend learning and prepare young children for their very first school experience.

Ready, Set, Preschool!: Stories, Poems and Picture Games with an Educational Guide for Parents at Amazon.com

Ready, Set, Preschool!: Stories, Poems and Picture Games with an Educational Guide for Parents at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts shares Special Picture Books for Children Starting School and Going Back to School including Off to First Grade
Off to First Grade – written by Lousie Borden, illustrated by Joan Rankin
Picture book about starting first grade published by Margaret K. McElderry Books



I can still recall vividly a recommendation that was made when I attended my eldest son’s kindergarten orientation: make sure your child is not expecting to ride the school bus to school unless he actually is going to climb aboard)! It was great advice. In those days he was captivated by large vehicles. Discovering at the last minute that he would not be riding the bus off school could have been terribly disappointing. The transition from kindergarten to grade one is explored thoroughly and with thoughtfulness in Off to First Grade. The author tells the story from a variety of perspectives. We discover some children will ride the bus and others will walk. Some are eager to begin grade one and a few think they would rather stay in kindergarten. Mrs. Miller is hoping to remember everyone’s name, the school bus driver is excited and the principal wonders which book to read aloud to the new grade one students.

Off to First Grade at Amazon.com

Off to First Grade at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts shares Special Picture Books for Children Starting School and Going Back to School including How Do Dinosaurs Go to School How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? – written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague
Picture book about school life published by The Blue Sky Press an imprint of the Scholastic Trade Book Division.



For children heading off to school, the best How Do Dinosaurs title by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague is How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? Here the reader visits a conventional elementary school. The school, its staff and students appear quite unremarkable except for eight or ten extraordinary pupils. Enormous creatures from the Jurassic period demonstrate proper behavior enroute to school, on the stairs, in the classroom, during show-and-tell and at the playground. Lots of funosaurus for dino fans who are heading off to school soon.

How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? at Amazon.com

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? at Amazon.ca

Our Free Back to School Printables

image of our free printable school picture dictionary for children

image of PDF icon  School Picture Dictionary

Free printable school picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.


image of our free printable back to school interlined paper for children

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Back to School

Back to school theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


My First Day of School Interlined Paper

image of PDF icon  My First Day of School 'Boom'


Wordless Picture Book Explores Friendship: South by Patrick McDonnell

Posted on June 6th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts looks at an almost wordless picture book about friendship, South


Storytime Standouts looks at a wordless picture book about friendship, South by Patrick McDonnellSouth created by Patrick McDonnell
Almost wordless picture book published by Little, Brown






The Mutts comic strip appears in over 700 newspapers and Mooch the Cat is one member of a diverse “cast” of characters appearing in the cartoons. Whether you are a fan of the comic strip or not, South and Mooch are sure to charm you in this gentle story of friendship and acceptance.

As the last leaf detaches from a tree, a large flock of yellow songbirds lifts to the sky. It is time to head South for the winter. The golden leaf slowly drifts downward until it lands on a snoozing bird. Awakened suddenly by the intrusive leaf, the drowsy bird is shocked to discover an empty tree. Where is the flock? Agitated and suddenly very lonely, the bird seeks help from Mooch and is devastated to learn that the flock has left for warmer climes.

Mooch pauses, thinks and extends his paw. Mooch will help the errant bird find the flock. Together, the two unlikely friends travel through a busy city, into a forest and through a snowstorm as they search for the flock. At times, Mooch carries the tired bird on his back. The unexpected friendship between the two deepens. When the weary pair finally hear the sweet sounds of the songbirds, they share a tender moment before parting company. Satisfied, Mooch returns home and curls up by a welcoming fire. Winter has arrived and his job is done.

South themes include loneliness, kindness, friendship and social responsibility. Printed on recycled paper, the almost-sepia tones match the mood and a story set in Autumn beautifully. Well suited to children aged four and up, South will be equally enjoyed by adults.

South at Amazon.com

South at Amazon.ca

Our page about Wordless and Almost Wordless Picture Books


Remembrance Day for Young Children – A Poppy Is to Remember

Posted on November 3rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Remembrance Day is observed annually in Canada, on November 11th. In the days leading up to November 11th, it is particularly important for adults to find ways to make Remembrance Day meaningful to young children so that they can join with all Canadians in honouring our Veterans, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Storytime Standouts looks at a Remembrance Day resource for young children, A Poppy Is to Remember by Heather Patterson and Ron LightburnA Poppy Is to Remember written by Heather Patterson and illustrated by Ron Lightburn



A Poppy Is to Remember is a wonderful picture book resource for Canadian families, classrooms and libraries.

A Poppy Is to Remember explains, Once there was a long and terrible war – a war some called the Great War. Many young men went off to fight, and many did not return home to their families. As the battle raged, poppies grew in the battlefield and were seen by a Canadian army doctor, John McCrae. McCrae was inspired to write In Flanders Fields, a poem often read at Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Beautifully illustrated, A Poppy Is to Remember salutes John McCrae and shows readers how poppies are used today when remembering the contributions of present day members of the armed forces as well as veterans, those who care for them and those who mourn their loss.

32 pages, suitable for children aged four and up. Additional materials for older children or adults include The Story of the Poppy and Remembrance Day in Canada.

Remembrance Day writing paper for children

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Remembrance Day Poppy

Remembrance Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

A Poppy Is to Remember at Amazon.com

A Poppy is to Remember at Amazon.ca

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Fall theme kindergarten and preschool printables – we’ve got treats for you!

Posted on October 23rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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We hope you will enjoy our free Halloween, Thanksgiving and Fall theme printables for kindergarten and preschool

Storytime Standouts Free Fall theme kindergarten printables





We love pulling together free preschool and kindergarten printables for young children to enjoy. We have many free Halloween, Thanksgiving and Fall theme kindergarten printables and hope you will check them out. Young children love our colourful Fall theme writing paper and those who are just starting to read and write will have fun with our Fall and Halloween picture dictionaries.

For your convenience, we have grouped some of our printables according to season and holiday. Follow these links to find our early learning printables grouped by subject –
Spring, Summer, Winter
Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Earth Day, Christmas

Our early childhood literacy printables, including our free Fall kindergarten printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access the downloads.













A large selection of free Fall theme writing paper for young children

image of Thanksgiving Writing paper for kids

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Back to School

Back to school theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Fall Theme incl. Tire Swing

Fall theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids- Scarecrow

Fall, scarecrow theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Witch Hat

Halloween, Witch theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Pumpkin

Fall theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Apple

Apple theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Remembrance Day Poppy

Remembrance Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Thanksgiving Cornucopia

Thanksgiving theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Today I am Thankful for...

"Today I am Thankful for..." interlined writing paper - great for Thanksgiving.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Squirrel with nuts

Squirrel theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Thanksgiving Day Crossword Puzzle

image of PDF icon  Thanksgiving Word Search

image of PDF icon  Thanksgiving Picture Dictionary

Free printable Thanksgiving picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

We think you’ll enjoy our posts about Fall theme picture books

– click on the pictures to read the posts
Fall Picture Books for preschool and kindergartenPumpkin Patch Fun! Picture Books and Printables to Extend Your Child's Learning








Halloween Theme Preschool or Kindergarten Circle Time -

For teachers, we have Five Little Ghosts and Five Little Pumpkins – these Halloween rhymes are perfect for circle time. You can easily make a seasonal felt board story with spooky ghosts or bright orange pumpkins

image of PDF icon  Five Little Ghosts

Use as an action chant or a felt board story

image of PDF icon  Five Little Pumpkins

Use as a action chant or a felt board story

image of PDF icon  The Wheels on the Halloween Bus

Halloween felt board for preschool and kindergartenCheck out Squeak Went the Door – A fun flannel board story for Halloween












For children who are beginning to read and write, our free Halloween and Fall theme early childhood printables include picture dictionaries as well as pumpkin and witch writing paper.

image of a printable Halloween picture dictionary

Reading and Writing about Halloween and Fall
Autumn Poem

image of PDF icon  Autumn Leaves


Fall theme picture dictionary

image of PDF icon  Fall Picture Dictionary

Free printable Fall picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.


Halloween theme picture dictionary

image of PDF icon  Halloween Picture Dictionary

Free printable Halloween picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

Fall leaves alphabet

image of PDF icon  A Fall Leaves Alphabet

Attractive alphabet printable features multi coloured Fall leaves

Halloween Writing Paper -

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Witch Hat

Halloween, Witch theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Pumpkin

Fall theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


Halloween theme Crossword Puzzle and a Halloween theme Wordsearch

Halloween Crossword Puzzle

image of PDF icon  Halloween Crossword Puzzle

Halloween Word Search

image of PDF icon  Halloween Word Search


image of Remembrance Day writing paper for kidsRemembrance Day Writing Paper

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Remembrance Day Poppy

Remembrance Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


Follow these links for lots more interlined paper, rhymes and picture dictionaries.

If you appreciate our free early childhood literacy printables,
including these free Halloween, Thanksgiving and Fall theme kindergarten printables,
please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.






Fall Printables – Back to School, Autumn Leaves and More

Posted on August 22nd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Highlighting our Fall Printables…

We have all sorts of goodies lined up for September but thought we would give you a taste today. Our Fall printables include interlined paper (Back to School and Fall themes), a special alphabet, “school” vocabulary and some “Squirrel” goodies.

We are currently pulling together our favourite picture books for autumn – colourful leaves, and crisp, cool days are not far away.

Our early literacy printables, including our Fall printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already used Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access the downloads.


Please note: some of our early literacy printables are available to Storytime Standouts members only. To become a member of the website (without cost or obligation), please click on the “Members” tab and register as a user.

You will find our selection of free printable alphabets here and all of our early literacy printables here.



If you appreciate our free early literacy printables,
including these Fall-theme early learning materials,
please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca
.






Enjoy these Fall printables and be sure to let your friends and colleagues know about Storytime Standouts.

image of PDF icon  A Fall Leaves Alphabet

Attractive alphabet printable features multi coloured Fall leaves

image of PDF icon  School Picture Dictionary

Free printable school picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Brown Squirrel

An action rhyme celebrating squirrels

image of PDF icon  Five Little Squirrels

Use as a fingerplay or a felt board story (or both)

image of PDF icon  I'm A Little Acorn Brown

A fun addition to a squirrel circle time

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Back to School

Back to school theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Fall Theme incl. Tire Swing

Fall theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Remembrance Day Poppy

Remembrance Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Fall Picture Dictionary

Free printable Fall picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

Two Shoes, Blue Shoes, New Shoes – These Shoes Really Dance

Posted on January 28th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts looks at picture book Two Shoes, Blue ShoesTwo Shoes, Blue Shoes, New Shoes! -Written by Sally Fitz-Gibbon, Illustrated by Farida Zaman
Picture book published by Fitzhenry and Whiteside





Wearing new blue shoes to school, our happy heroine bounces through city streets with great enthusiasm. Delightful watercolor illustrations exude energy and compliment the simple, rhyming text beautifully.

Swinging from a rope, shoes,
With an antelope, shoes!
Riding on a whale shoes,
See him splash his tail, shoes!

Best for children aged three to six.

Two Shoes, Blue Shoes, New Shoes at Amazon.com

Two Shoes, Blue Shoes, New Shoes! at Amazon.ca

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