Looking for books to read as you do an apple theme with kids in preschool or kindergarten? These are the very best!
Not long ago, I shared a giant Fall theme pack with resources for teaching about leaves, pumpkins and apples. This book list is included as a reference in the back of the pack. Read on for reviews of each title!
Apple Farmer Annie, by Monica Wellington
There are so many children’s books out there about apples, but not many as simple and sweet as this one. This is perfect for young preschoolers to learn how apples make it from the tree to their kitchen.
Apple Pie ABC, by Alison Murray
When a dog sees an apple pie sitting on the table, he does everything he can to get a slice. This is a traditional verse brought to life with beautiful illustrations. The book is a great vocabulary builder, too!
Apple Cider Making Days, by Ann Purmell
This is a delightful book about the process of making apple cider. We watch as a family gathers and sorts the apples; machines wash, chop, and press them. I thought that the details might be too much for my three-year-old, but he enjoyed it.
An Apple Pie for Dinner, by Susan VanHecke
I just fell in love with this beautiful book about old Granny Smith who is on the hunt for apples to make an apple pie. As she walks along the road, she trades her plums for feathers, then her feathers for flowers, and on and on until she finally gets her apples. I love the way this book gave my son many opportunities to make predictions about what would happen next. What really shines in this book is the breathtaking mixed-media artwork, created from fabric, clay, pipe cleaners, wood, and more. We had to wait over a month before this one was available for us at the library, but it was well worth it!
The Apple Pie That Papa Baked, by Lauren Thompson
I love this apple-themed version of the familiar This is the House that Jack Built. While that old tale gets tedious for me, I loved this one. The poetic language and beautiful 3-tone illustrations make this book a winner!
Up, Up, Up! It’s Apple Picking Time! by Jody Fickes Shapiro
This book was far from my favorite in this bunch; the illustrations and writing style just didn’t grab me. Still, it’s a nice enough story about kids who drive with their parents to help at their grandparents’ orchard during harvest time.
Apples, by Gail Gibbons
Gail Gibbons has written many, many nonfiction books for children. She’s famous for not leaving anything out! This can make her books quite long for preschoolers and some kindergartners. While I didn’t appreciate the millions of years reference at the beginning of the book, I enjoyed the history, diagrams, and other details. I recommend this book for advanced listeners, but not for a group.
The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree, by Gail Gibbons
If Gibbons’ other books are too long for your preschooler, try this one. Watch Arnold through the seasons with his tree – making a swing, building a tree house, picking apples, and making apple pies and cider.
We All Fall for Apples, by Emmi S. Herman
This book works very well as an early reader, but it’s also a nice, simple read aloud for preschoolers. After a few readings your child may be able to join in on the repeating lines.
The Apple Pie Tree, by Zoe Hall
Colorful collage art takes you through the seasons of an apple tree in the backyard — from a brown and bare winter to a ripe red fall… and a delicious apple pie you grew yourself!
The Apple Orchard Riddle, by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas
Tara is a quiet, daydreaming student who is usually last to get on the bus and must often be called to attention. But it’s thoughtful Tara who solves the riddle that her teacher gives the class upon their visit to the apple orchard. This is a long book, but my preschooler enjoyed it.
Apple, by Nikki McClure
If you want a quick book about apples, this is the one. It tells the story of an apple’s life with just a single word on each page. The book has simple, paper cut illustrations. My Three didn’t enjoy this one, but I think it would be excellent as a springboard for getting children to tell the story themselves.
Johnny Appleseed, by Jodie Shepherd
I read a number of Johnny Appleseed books when putting this book list together, and this one was our favorite. It’s a beautifully written introduction to Johnny Appleseed for young learners .The pictures are beautiful, and we enjoyed the repeating rhyme that occurred after each part of Johnny’s life.
Ten Red Apples, by Pat Hutchins
This is a classic book with a repetitive story line about farm animals who eat the apples off a tree until there is just one left for the farmer. I enjoyed the illustrations, but the story line was a little tedious for me. Kids like, it though; my Three requested it more than once.
I Am an Apple, by Jean Marzollo
This lovely little book would make a great introduction to an apple unit. It tells the story of an apple’s life cycle using 3-D collage style illustrations and simple text.
One Red Apple, by Harriet Ziefert
The book has a single sentence on each page: Pick a red apple from a tree. Drive a ripe, red apple to market. Buy a sweet, red apple at a farm stand. What I love most is that each time you turn the page, you’re treated to another breathtaking painting. There’s so much to study in this book! It’s a calming, beautiful read aloud. Highly recommended!
Applesauce Season, by Eden Ross Lipson
I just love this story of family traditions told by a little boy. It begins with a trip to the farmer’s market for apples, continues with the yearly tradition of making applesauce, and ends with a glimpse into the future – when the boy takes his own daughter to the market. (And the watercolor illustrations are fabulous!)
Little Mouse and the Big Red Apple, by A.H. Benjamin
This is a delightful book about a little mouse who is ecstatic to discover a big red apple. As he rolls it home, he encounters many obstacles along the way. Other animals help, but the little mouse is so intent on keeping the apple for himself that he doesn’t offer to share it. It’s a well written story with a satisfying ending.
Ten Apples Up on Top, by Theo. LeSeig
Did you know Theo. LeSieg was a pen name for Dr. Seuss? This is a favorite book about a lion, tiger, and dog who compete to see who can balance the most apples on top of their heads. It’s also a great beginning reader book for kids who are learning sight words. Dr. Seuss did an amazing job telling engaging stories with basic words. “And now, see here. Eight! Eight on top! Eight apples up! Not one will drop.” It’s my Three’s favorite book on this list and the first long library book that my Five read by himself. Don’t miss it!
The Growing Up Tree, by Vera Rosenberry
This book tells the story of Albert and his apple tree, which was planted when he was just a toddler. As they grow up together, Arnold climbs the tree, picks its apples, and even gets married beneath it. By the end of the story, both Alfred and the tree are old and withered. The end was a little creepy for me, when a skeletal Alfred dies and the old tree is split open by a storm the very same night. But it didn’t bother my preschooler, who really enjoyed this story and requested it again.
An Apple’s Life, by Nancy Dickmann
I am a new fan of the Acorn nonfiction series, and if you see any of them in the library, snatch them up for your preschooler or kindergartner. The book has lovely photographs, simple text on white background, and clear labels for the pictures. It teaches about the apple’s life cycle in a simple, understandable way.
Apples Here! by Will Hubbell
This simple, educational book teaches that, even in winter, apples are hidden in trees. In the spring, they are hiding in the blossoms. Finally, they appear in Fall. It’s a simple story with a variety of ethnicities represented in the illustrations.
Apples, Apples, Apples, by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
We love the cut paper illustrations in this book about a rabbit family who visits an apple orchard. Kids will learn about the parts of an apple, how an apple tree grows, and how to make applesauce. There are even apple sayings (“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”) and an apple song at the end of the book.
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, by Marjorie Freeman
Read this book with a globe next to you! Making an apple pie is easy – unless the market is closed, and you have to travel the world to find the ingredients! Go to Italy for the wheat, Sri Lanka for cinnamon, Jamaica for salt – and many more exciting destinations. Such a creative and fun story!
How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro
This is one of the excellent books in the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series. Like all the books, it is well written, interesting, and is accompanied by lovely illustrations. However, the book itself gets pretty detailed and may quickly bore preschoolers and even kindergartners – particularly the section that takes about the male and female parts of the flower, going into detail about the pistil, ovary stamen, etc. You may need to skip over sections as you read aloud.
Tucker’s Apple-Dandy Day, by Susan Winget
Tucker is a little rabbit who is excited to pick apples on his class’s field trip, but he’s so busy helping his classmates that he doesn’t have time to pick any for himself. The illustrations are a little too cutesy for me (reminding me too much of all the popular “country” decorations from the 90’s), but it’s a sweet book. My preschooler liked it.
Apples A to Z, by Margaret McNamara
This is a wonderful book which tells about apples with every letter of the alphabet. While teaching basic things, it also teaches kids words like deciduous, grafting, and pollen. The text is great, but I think the adorable illustrations make the book exceptional. My Three enjoyed this, but it would be good for older kids too.
The Apple Doll, by Elisa Kleven
An imaginative little girl makes a doll from an apple and twig to give her comfort on the first day of school. At school, the kids tease her – but later she turns it into a dried apple doll, which is so lifelike the classmates all want their own. It’s long, but my preschooler stayed interested for the entire reading.
Our Apple Tree, by Gorel Kristina Naslund
This is a gentle, whimsical book that takes us through the season of an apple tree.
The Biggest Apple Ever, by Steven Kroll
This is a wonderful book about two mouse friends who are competing to bring in the biggest apple at Mouseville School. I love how the stories of Clayton and Desmond emphasize friendship and conflict resolution while telling an engaging story at the same time.
Apples, by Ken Robbins
I wasn’t sure if this lengthy book would keep my Three’s attention, but he enjoyed it and even requested it on another day. The photographs are great, and even though the book packs a lot of information, most of the pages aren’t too wordy.
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