Count Down to Fall

( 4 )


Count backwards from 10 to one during one of the most colorful times of year: fall. Learn about the bright, colorful leaves and the trees from which they fall: aspen, birch, maple, oak, chestnut, linden, pine, beech, dogwood, and sweet gum. Watch the animals frolicking in the crisp, autumn air as they get ready for the approaching cold winter. The ?For Creative Minds? educational section includes: Plant parts, Leaves?the shape of it all, What Good are Plants?, and Match the ...
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Count Down to Fall (NOOK Comic with Zoom View)

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Count backwards from 10 to one during one of the most colorful times of year: fall. Learn about the bright, colorful leaves and the trees from which they fall: aspen, birch, maple, oak, chestnut, linden, pine, beech, dogwood, and sweet gum. Watch the animals frolicking in the crisp, autumn air as they get ready for the approaching cold winter. The “For Creative Minds” educational section includes: Plant parts, Leaves—the shape of it all, What Good are Plants?, and Match the Leaves Activity.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Bold, full-spread illustrations with inset details feature a variety of trees and woodland animals in this informational picture book. As the facts about trees count down, the images represent the numbers 10 to 1, while corner insets show the tree, spring and fall leaves, a seed, and occasionally the flower of the specific tree pictured, such as birch, dogwood, oak, and maple. Children will be drawn to examine the expressive images of animals and find additional ones along the detailed border featuring close-ups of the tree's bark. This attention to detail makes the book more than a simple counting or seasonal book with both the four-line stanzas and art offering simple facts: "Six linden leaves/in Valentine shapes/reflect golden sun/in autumn's landscape." The counting pattern gets disrupted at three, opting for numerous "three-pointed maple leaves," and birch leaves shown falling "two by two." A spread, "For Creative Minds," includes quizzes and challenges readers to match facts with images, note specifics about leaf shapes, and learn about how plants support animals.—Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Beginning with the number ten, Hawk's verses count down different tree leaves/seeds in all their fall glory. "Nine dogwood leaves / bright shining scarlet, / drifting down, down, down- / like the tail of a comet." While the text is problematic-there are rhyme and scansion issues and one page does not name the tree featured at all-Neidigh's illustrations do not disappoint. Detailed borders include close-up views of the bark of each tree while corners depict the whole tree, the leaves (both summer and fall colors) and the seeds. Woodland animals round out each spread, in which readers can count the leaves. Most are very clear, but extra objects may occasionally confuse readers. Backmatter gives readers a chance to test their knowledge of plant parts, categorize leaves according to their shape, match summer and fall leaves and learn how people and animals use some of the trees featured in the text. The visual details make this a delight to the eye, but unfortunately the verses are not music to the ear. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934359945
  • Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/10/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD1070L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Fran Hawk's favorite things are children, books, and writing. Writing children's books is her dream come true, because it combines all three. Fran resides in South Carolina, and when the famous Hunley submarine was raised from Charleston harbor, she wrote a children's book about the event. Her next book was called Ten Tips for Raising Readers, in which Fran shares all the best information she had gathered about bringing children and books together. One autumn afternoon, Fran was walking as leaves drifted down all around her. She realized she only knew the names of a few of them, so she got some leaf books from the library and worked on identifying them. Then, she thought it would be interesting to write a children's book that would make it fun to learn the names of leaves. The result was Count Down to Fall.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    wonderful way to learn science

    What is your favorite time of year? For many people, and perhaps plants and animals too, it is fall. Begin with ten sweet gum leaves; go through nine dogwood leaves, eight beech leaves, seven pine cones, six linden leaves, five chestnut leaves, four oak leaves, three maple leaves; and two birch leaves; and end up with one quaking aspen leaf. Through Fran Hawk's poetic text youngsters will be introduced to the idea of counting down from ten, and from Sherry Neidigh's true-to-life illustrations they will also be able to see various kinds of trees and how to identify them by the shapes of their leaves, along with the raccoons, opossums, cats, squirrels, bears, turtles, chipmunks, owls, deer, and beavers which need the trees to live.
    The "For Creative Minds" section at the back of Count Down to Fall has several activities related to plant parts, leaf shapes, and how leaves change color in the fall, as well as further information on how both animals and people depend on plants. As with other Sylvan Dell books, there are "Related Websites," "Interactive Quizzes," and other "Teaching Activities" at their website to help parents and educators expand the learning possibilities. This is a wonderful way for students to learn about how plants and animals prepare for the approaching winter chill.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Creative and entertaining

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    Wonderful Fall book

    Was looking for a "Fall" book for my Grand daughter. She loved it and even slept with it at night. Learning while they enjoy...what could be better?

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  • Posted February 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Mom's Choice Awards Recipient!

    Count Down to Fall is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards® honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS's Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; and Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.

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