icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle



Illustrated by Dorothy Donohue

Flutter, flitter
Gold as glitter
Colors crackle
Round the tree

Rake a heap up
Run and leap up
Fall is frisky --
So are we!

Three friends and their frisky pup explore the pleasures of fall. They jump in leaves, pick apples, carve pumpkins, and go trick-or-treating. Fall is fun!


Fall is my favorite season. Maybe because I was born in the fall. During my first weeks on the planet, the air on my cheeks felt crisp, and the scents riding the air were apple and pumpkin.

Dappled Apples is the third book in my series on the seasons. The others are Frozen Noses and Splish, Splash, Spring. All were illustrated by Dorothy Donohue, and all feature the same 3 children and their dog.

Though the books rhyme, I think of them more as word play. I use a lot of alliteration, which is when the sounds of consonants are repeated, for example, the C sounds in "Colors Crackle," the T sounds in "Tug a tall one," or the P sounds in "Patched-up pirate."

Sometimes, when I read the books in kindergarten or first-grade classes, I ask the kids if they can hear the sounds and tell me what they are. The kids are just learning the sounds of letters, and love to shout them out.

But the books don't just play with consonant sounds. There are also a lot of vowel sounds. Did you catch the Short A sounds in the title itself, "Dappled Apples," or the Double O sounds in "Scoop the goop?" When an author uses vowel sounds that way, it's called "assonance."

A lot of fancy words for pure, clean fun! The books are meant as a kind of tickle to the ear.

Fall is frisky! So are we!


Did you notice the art? Can you tell how it was made? It's collage, of course! Because the pictures are made out of cut-out pieces of paper, which are layered, they almost look 3-D. Take a look at how the illustrator cut out every blade of grass, every little leaf. And how about those thin little strips that make up the eyeglasses? Imagine how much patience those took!