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It’s autumn again! There’s so much to love about this time of year: the leaves turning orange and gold, falling from the trees, and crunching underfoot; bringing out your favourite cosy clothes again after a summer in storage; crisp, clear mornings, perfect for a conker fight.
It’s a season of transition, of winding down, but also of new beginnings - school and university starting in September has trained us all to see Autumn as a time for a fresh start. It’s also the time of festivals, from Bonfire Night to Diwali, and all the great food that comes with them.
To get you in the spirit, we’ve selected a few of our favourite autumn books. We’ve already given out some back to school tips, and we’re saving the spooky stories and terrifying tales for our Halloween edition, which gives us plenty of room here to talk about books that simply evoke the season.
For younger readers
The Brambly Hedge Library by Jill Barklem has been delighting readers for forty years, and this gift set is the perfect way to introduce it to the next generation. The classic Autumn Story sees the mouse Little Primrose lost in the Chestnut Woods, and bad weather is on the way. Will she make it home safely? This is just one volume among many in this fantastic set of seasonal tales, sure to stay in the memory long after the book is closed.
Of course, when it comes to autumn weather, who can forget the Winnie the Pooh story in which “Piglet is entirely surrounded by water,” and Pooh has to do his best to help. This tale and more can be found in Winnie the Pooh: The Complete Collection, which is a marvellous presentation of the classic books Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner and Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, alongside A.A. Milne’s classic poetry. Each chapter has been reproduced as its own charming little book, and they are all kept together in a keepsake case. They’re the perfect accompaniment to any blustery day.
Finally, who else do we need when the nights are getting darker, when we have The Lighthouse Keeper? This wonderful set of books has been entertaining readers for over thirty years, and they’re sure to raise a smile on a wet autumn afternoon. The adventures of Mr and Mrs Grinling - not to mention Hamish, the lighthouse cat - are picture books not to miss out on, for readers three and up.
Box set bestsellers
You can’t go wrong with this bumper collection of ten classic children’s novels. So many of the books in this set evoke autumn. The adventures of Robin Hood and his merry men have been told through the ages, and this version by Henry Gilbert really evokes the harder parts of living in those times, and the melancholy of the narrative. Also included is The Railway Children by E. Nesbit, a timeless story about a family displaced to the countryside. There are ten high-quality books in the set, so that should keep a child going throughout the season.
Do you know the only thing better than a box set? A bag! The Julia Donaldson Story Collection features ten of her terrific tales, many with her long-term collaborator Axel Scheffler. Included are modern classics like Room on the Broom, The Snail and the Whale, and The Gruffalo. These books are must-haves in any child’s picture book library, and this edition packs them all in a convenient bag, perfect for carrying on an autumn walk, ready for an opportunity for a re-read! This set is great value, and unmissable for parents of children aged between three and five.
Season of crime
The nights drawing in and the air getting colder is the perfect time to indulge yourself in a bit of crime. Reading, that is. The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries by Elly Griffiths is a great choice for your next box set. Set largely in the Norfolk countryside, Ruth’s cases range from missing persons to mysterious skeletons. If you like Val McDermid and Ann Cleeves, you must check out this series.
Talking of Ann Cleeves, we offer her complete Shetland series of novels at a great price. Whether or not you’ve seen Douglas Henshall as DI Jimmy Perez in the hit BBC series, these Gold Dagger-winning novels are a great read in the colder seasons. With a style compared to nordic noir, these chilly tales will grip you to the very last page.
But if you’re after something for everyone, you can’t go wrong with the most famous group of child detectives, The Secret Seven. This collection features all sixteen books in the series, with adventures ranging from missing provisions to a mail heist! Either reliving the nostalgia of your favourite books from days gone by, or introducing the stories to a new generation, this collection is a must have for the autumn season.