I always get a little bit wistful when summer starts to slowly turn into Fall — no matter how much I love Fall. I’ve always been that way — even when summer no longer signaled summer break for me as an adult. I think that feeling just sticks — that feeling like something is coming to an end? No matter how much my Fall loving self is drowning myself in pumpkin everything and is ready for sweater weather.
Since having Riley though, which has somehow helped to combat some of that wistfulness, I naturally find myself getting us psyched up for each new season and all the new things I get to introduce to her in these early years. We often do that by reading books which is why this year I’d talk about some of my favorite pumpkin books for toddlers over the years since I’m already planning this year’s stack from the library.
As an aside, if you missed my list of Fall books for toddlers (and babies) definitely bookmark that for Fall reading pleasure! There is some small overlap between that list and this list about pumpkin themed books so both lists together will help give you a really well-rounded list this autumn!
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Best Pumpkin Books For Toddlers
These are the pumpkin-centric books that have been our favorites through the toddler years! Plenty of variety — books about pumpkins through story, books featuring pumpkins, Halloween-centric, pumpkin books that aren’t Halloween books, etc. I’d love to hear any of your recommendations. I’m excited for what pumpkin books we’ll read in the next few years now that she’s getting older and is wanting longer books.
A Little Tip…
Best For Younger Toddlers (1 year olds)
These are the ones we enjoyed around this age or that I think are great especially for this age. Obviously you know your child and where they are at interest/understanding/attention-wise. Every child is different.
Where is Baby’s Pumpkin?
A cute, perfect pumpkin book for a baby or young toddler. All cuteness, nothing creepy. Plus it’s a lift-the-flap. Riley loved this whole series so much and this one is a perfect Fall/Halloween pick for a little one PLUS a great introduction to pumpkins as the cute little baby in our story tries to find her pumpkin all around her house.
The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin
We found this one after reading Itsy Bitsy School Bus (one of our favorite school bus books) and it is an adorable little book to the tune of Itsy Bitsy Spider. Got read around here a lot for Riley as a baby and young toddler. A great pumpkin board book for your collection!
Duck and Goose Find A Pumpkin
This was Riley’s favorite when she was a little over 1 years old. Just talking about this book makes me grin solely for the memories of reading this to her at bedtime and how silly she would get when she’d say NOOOO every time Duck & Goose would ask if the pumpkin was (yet again) in the wrong place. So many giggles and silliness when she would “read” it to herself. Is it the best pumpkin book I’ve ever read? NAH but Riley loved it, Duck & Goose are adorable and the repetition in the book makes it engaging. Perfect little intro to pumpkins and fun Fall things.
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Where’s The Pumpkin?
Spook the cat has heard about pumpkins before and sets out to find one but she doesn’t know what they look like. She gets help from her friends but they each tell her something different about what a pumpkin looks like. I honestly didn’t prefer this one as an adult but Riley sure loved it at almost 18 months old.
Best For Older Toddlers (2 to 3 years old)
The Happy Pumpkin
This is the sweetest book about a happy pumpkin who gets picked over in the pumpkin patch (because nobody wants a happy pumpkin for spooky Halloween) until a little boy, who doesn’t like Halloween, finds him! Such a sweet, non-scary book that has a great lesson too as your toddler gets older.
Want developmentally and age appropriate picture books?
This Is NOT A Pumpkin by Bob Staake
A short and silly book that made my 3 year old yell at me the whole time insisting it IS a pumpkin. Spoiler: it’s not a pumpkin, it’s a JACK-O-LANTERN! Your little one definitely needs to understand what a pumpkin and a jack-o-lantern is to get this one. It’s also a great read for using language to describe things — round, orange, with a stem — and Riley and I talked about other things that were round or orange (or both — like a basketball!).
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The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz
One our favorite pumpkin board books! With a great rhyming structure, this book is a twist on The Ugly Duckling and is about a pumpkin that doesn’t look like all the other pumpkins and gets picked on quite a bit — until one day he finds right where he fits in. I won’t give away the cute twist but I love this book so much! It makes me smile every time we read it each year and honestly a little weepy for reasons Riley won’t understand til she’s older. (there is just something about that notion of finding just where you fit in after trying so hard elsewhere). As an aside, the book starts in October but ends at Thanksgiving so it could double for both holidays.
Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin
A silly rhyming book about Peter the tiger searching to find the perfect pumpkin to do something special with! I read this first with Riley when she was 2 years old and she has continued to love it at 3 years old. We’ll see if this year it’s still a hit at 4.
Pumpkins by Gail Gibbons
A nonfiction book about pumpkins for toddlers (in board book form) that will teach kids all about pumpkihttps://bookshop.org/a/1568/9780823443567ns: different kinds, how they grow, and how people use and enjoy them. Photos are illustrated, not actual photos. Gail Gibbons is my go-to for nonfiction board books for little ones and this is another easy one that talks about pumpkins.
Stumpkin by Lucy Ruth Cummins
The cutest book about a stemless pumpkin who dreams of becoming a jack-o-lantern and is afraid he won’t be taken home for Halloween because of having no stem. Absolutely adorable!
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I Pick Fall Pumpkins
Riley has always been in love with books with realistic photos and she loved this non-fiction book to learn about pumpkins. Leans more towards preschool but she loved looking at it on her own a lot in addition to it being a read aloud together.
Seven Orange Pumpkins by Stephen Savage
A classic that we have read every year! A rhyming pumpkin book that is great for counting!
Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington
An older pick that I stumbled across at the library and it felt SO familiar I am certain I read it as a kid in the 90’s (or maybe just nostalgic for this art trend in books). A simple little story about a little boy named Jamie who plants a pumpkin seed and watches it grow until it becomes a pumpkin. A good one if you want a pumpkin book that isn’t super Halloween focused.
Little Boo by Stephen Wunderli
An adorable little story about a pumpkin seed who so badly wants to be scary and tries to scare others around him to avail. The wind tells him to be patient and grow a little bit, so he does, and we watch as he goes from seed to pumpkin to jack-o-lantern finally achieving his dreams. A great way to talk about the life cycle of a seed, too, as your toddler grows!
Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas
Jan Thomas is one of my favorites for her LOL-worthy books. Duck is getting ready to carve out his pumpkin and runs into some (hilarious) trouble. Great for older toddlers and above, introduced this book to Riley at 3 years old.
So those are some of our favorite books featuring pumpkins or about pumpkins to read in Fall with your toddler. Please share your favorites!!
Looking for more seasonal reading ideas with your toddler?
- Christmas Books For Toddlers
- Christmas Books For Babies
- Best Rain Books For Spring
- Best Books For Easter Baskets