Our Latest Recommendation for Lil’ Sprouts Book Club: Farewell to Fall

Lil’ Sprouts Book Club is a monthly Garden Collage feature where we spotlight nature- and garden-related books for kids age 2 and up that encourage green education. The books are designed to evoke the core mission of Garden Collage: to bring the garden (and nature) into people’s lives.

Little Tree by Loren Long

Age Range: 5 – 8

Little TreePenguin Random House

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Simple, bright illustrations accompany Loren Long’s graceful story of accepting change and learning to grow. Little Tree showcases Long’s drawings, which span both pages with ease and innocence; color and design evolve with the story, echoing Little Tree’s journey. As the atmosphere of fall begins to fade into winter, Little Tree engages Lil’ Sprouts with the changing of seasons.


  • Go outside and collect as many leaves of as many different colors as you can. Arrange them from red to yellow. Take a picture and email us at hello@gardencollage.com!
  • Go on a Fall Scavenger Hunt outside in a park or on a hike. Can you find something: old, young, soft, bigger than your hand, smaller than your eye, or crooked?
  • What are all the adjectives that you can think of to describe fall?

Sprouts Science

  • Why do leaves change color in the fall?

When fall begins, the days shorten and there is less and less sunlight. As the days darken and become cold, a molecule in the leaves of trees, chlorophyll, begins to breaks down. Chlorophyll allows plants to absorb energy from sunlight (transforming carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates) and is responsible for leaves’ green color. In fact, chlorophyll is sometimes used as green food coloring! With dropping temperatures and little light, chlorophyll stops creating food for the tree, and the yellow and red colors in the leaf begin to show through.

  • Why do leaves fall off of the tree?

To help trees survive the colder temperatures of winter, a layer develops separating the leaf from the branch, until the wind blows the leaf right off. In the warmer months, the tree loses water through its leaves, but during the winter, it does not receive enough water to replace what it has lost so it must shed its leaves in order to survive. When spring arrives, the tree grows new leaves.

Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World by Clare Walker Leslie & Charles E. Roth

Age Range: 14+ (with activities for the whole family)

Garden Collage

In Keeping a Nature Journal, Leslie and Roth present a calm, old fashioned approach to interacting with nature, one that encourages diverse forms of contact with the great outdoors. Guided exercises–from the creative (experimenting with drawing materials) to the scientific (how to set up your own research project)–focus on observation and appreciation (a seasonal complement to the holidays). Each of the activities seeks to develop a sense of place, and to equip the reader with specific skills like meditation or understanding basic drawing principles. With a chapter exclusively devoted to experiencing and enjoying nature in the winter, Keeping a Nature Journal is an ideal choice as the weather starts to turn cold.

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