Oh boy, do we love autumn – and here it is, in all its colourful glory. This year, more than ever, there seems to be a rich abundance of autumn colours and autumn produce. Wherever we walk, we are bombarded by conkers, acorns, and spectacular hues on the trees.
We’re always looking for inspiration for our book designs and illustrations, and autumn provides this in spades. And we’re not alone; autumn has inspired generations of poets and writers to put pen to paper and create prose, verse or song lyrics set against an autumnal background.
So, which autumn-themed writings have inspired us? Here are three:
- Chicken Licken
This may not, at first glance, appear to be a book about autumn – but it is. After all, Chicken Licken rushes off to tell the King the sky is falling down, when, in fact, it’s only an acorn that has fallen on his head. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well for Chicken Licken.
2. To Autumn
John Keats’ beautiful, evocative poem perfectly captures the mood of autumn; the wonder of the season, with an underlying sadness that it heralds the end of summer.
3. October, October
Katya Balen’s story about a girl called October, who lives in the woods with her father, has rightly been dubbed a modern classic and won a Carnegie medal.
Which autumn books, poems or songs do you love?
Festivals in autumn
Autumn is also a season for celebrations and festivals, and we have many coming up.
What did you do on October 31? Did you and the family go out trick or treating, apple-bobbing and dressing up as witches and ghosts? In the US, and increasingly so in the UK, Hallowe’en is widely celebrated and things such as pumpkin carving seem to be just as popular as ever on this spooky day!
2. Bonfire Night
Remember, remember the 5th of November… this is the day we celebrate the foiling of Guy Fawkes’ plot to blow up Parliament. This 500-year-old British tradition is the perfect excuse to enjoy a bonfire and perhaps even visit a firework display.
3. The Day of the Dead
This is celebrated in early November and is widely observed in Mexico and Latin America. It’s not as morbid as it sounds because the festival is a way of celebrating the lives of those who have died, remembering them and giving thanks.
4. St Martin’s Day
This takes place on November 11, and is sometimes called Old Hallowe’en or Old Hallowmas Eve. It is celebrated in German-speaking nations and marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. It involves feasting, drinking, and eating a traditional dish of goose.
Fun facts about autumn
We love a fun fact, and interesting facts about autumn are as abundant as acorns! Here are just some that entertained us.
- Fall or autumn?
We think of the word ‘autumn’ as English and ‘fall’ as North American. In fact, the word fall comes from the phrase ‘fall of the leaf’, which was in common use in 17th century England. We only started adopting the word autumn in the 18thcentury, from the French ‘automne’.
2. Why does autumn occur?
According to Greek mythology, autumn began when Persephone was abducted by Hades to be the Queen of the Underworld. In distress, Persephone’s mother, Demeter (the goddess of the harvest), caused all the crops on Earth to die until her daughter was allowed to return, marking spring.
3. Why do leaves change colour?
You probably remember from school biology that it’s chlorophyll which makes leaves green. As this declines, other chemicals in the leaves become more obvious, and it’s these chemicals that give the leaves their vibrant ambers, reds and yellows. Isn’t nature wonderful?
The (fun) fact is, that autumn is a special time of year. The nights are drawing in, and we can snuggle down in front of fires, drink cocoa, look forward to Christmas (oops – too early to mention that?), enjoy scuffing through leaves, and marvel at the changing landscape.
We hope you enjoy autumn as much as we do. If it has inspired your book writing, then why not get in touch to talk about your project and how we can help design, illustrate and publish your book.
Written by Jo Smyth (www.wordworker.co.uk)