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Count Down to Fall

Count Down to Fall

By: Fran Hawk 
Illustrated by: Sherry Neidigh 
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing 
Publication Date: June 2009 
ISBN: 978-1607180395 
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler 
Review Date: July 2009 

A young girl, boy and their dog smile with delight as they sit beneath an oak tree watching the colorful leaves drift to the ground. Very soon there will be too many for them to count as during the fall season they gather in piles at the base of the trees. But there are other creatures counting down the increasingly chilly fall days as they prepare for winter. Ten, nine, eight...

“Seven pine cones,
and needles too, 
pile on the ground 
for squirrels to chew.” 

Animals scamper around preparing for winter. There are raccoons, opossums, squirrels, a brown bear, an Eastern Box Turtle, chipmunks, a couple of spotted owls, a buck and his mate, a cottontail rabbit, a cardinal and a woodpecker. A cat is perched in the beech tree eying the whole process while even the tiniest of creatures get ready to migrate or hibernate. Many different kinds of brightly colored autumn leaves are now mixed on the ground. Can you find and name them?

This is a marvelous, whimsical and delightfully comforting book that counts down to winter in a lovely manner. I was enchanted from the first page to the last and anyone who decides to purchase this book will have the same experience. This is not a simple picture book, but one in which there are many ecological and natural lessons to be learned. In the back of the book is a lesson on plant parts, a mini quiz on leave shapes, a page on the uses of plants and leaf matching exercise. Additional educational activities relevant to this book can by found on the publisher’s website (

Quill says: If you’re looking for a creative, educational counting book you can count on this one to provide a top notch experience!

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