"Little Elliott, Fall Friends"

The whimsical pair is back, a polka dot elephant and his mouse buddy return in “Little Elliot, Fall Friends,” by Mike Curato, a book that celebrates all things autumnal, making it a fitting September Baby Buzz Pick.

Each month, The Missourian selects a quality hardcover book for children birth to age 5, and names it a Baby Buzz Pick. “Fall Friends” is a simple story about friendship, graced with glorious harvest-time scenes in shades of gold, russet and brown.

Little Elliot and his cheese-loving buddy make their home in New York City, but sometimes the metropolis is a bit too much, the “city is too dirty..too loud…and too busy.” For some R & R, the pair catches a bus to experience rural life, where the air is sweet and the birdies tweet. The pals are thrilled at the broad expanse of land, and delight in the ripe, red apples at their disposal, the piles of leaves and acres of pumpkins.

Every story has to have a problem to resolve, however, and Little Elliott’s materializes when he loses mouse in a field of towering corn stalks. Never fear – mouse is near, concocting a sweet treat, a mouth-watering conclusion to another winner featuring Little Elliott and mouse adventures.

“Little Elliott, Fall Friends,” is a cozy read for children ages 2 and older. Its illustrations show a contrast between city and country life offering youngsters simple ways to differentiate between the two environments.

It’s a wonderful book to read before or after a fall outing – the illustrations highlighting the joy to be found at pumpkin patches, playing in leaves, or on apple-picking ventures – and in enjoying yummy bounty from a fall harvest.

Other Baby Buzz Picks this month include, “In the Middle of Fall,” by Kevin Henkes, and “On the Go With Mother Goose,” a padded board book edited by Iona Opie.

Books suggested in the monthly Baby Buzz column can be purchased at Neighborhood Reads in Downtown Washington.