Little Elliot, Fall Friends

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Little Elliot, Fall Friends Book Poster Image
Sweet tale of friendship in luscious fall country setting.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows colors of the season -- yellow, red, and orange -- and the produce harvested at this time: apples, corn, pumpkins. Contrasts the look of the big, crowded city and the wide-open, peaceful country. Shows what a farm looks like (farmhouse, orchards, barn, tractor, farm animals). 

Positive Messages

It's fun to go on vacation and explore a new place that's different from where you live. "The country is delicious," thanks to the fresh fruits and vegetables grown there. Nobody knows you better than your best friend. It's nice to make new friends. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Elliot and Mouse are great friends and really care for each other and watch out for each other. They are both open to new experiences and making new friends. And they appreciate nature. 

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Little Elliot, Fall Friends, is the fourth Little Elliot book by author-illustrator Mike Curato. Here the little polka-dot elephant and his best friend, Mouse, take a bus from their home in the city (which appears to be New York) for a vacation in the country, where they see "the bright autumn leaves," smell the fresh air, and end up having a fall feast with some farm animals. It's a sweet, seasonal celebration of friends, new and old. 

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What's the story?

LITTLE ELLIOT, FALL FRIENDS follows Elliot the elephant and his best friend, Mouse, as they vacation from the city to the country in autumn. They come by bus and enjoy the fall colors and fresh air. They get separated while playing hide-and-seek, when Elliot hides in the cornfield and Mouse never finds him. But Mouse lures him to the farmhouse by putting a sweet-smelling apple pie on the windowsill, and they're reunited. Then the two enjoy a fall feast with their new friends: the farm's horse, cow, pig, dog, and chicken.

Is it any good?

This warm and gentle story celebrates both fall and friendship and continues the adventures of Elliot and Mouse. Little Elliot, Fall Friends shows kids a lot about the season, including its yellow, red, and orange colors and the produce harvested at this time: apples, corn, pumpkins. At the center, as always, is our two heroes' loving, caring relationship. And this time they meet new animal friends, too, and spend a cozy night sleeping on the hay in their barn.

Author-illustrator Mike Curato's art is spectacular, contrasting the bustling, noisy, dirty city with the vast, peaceful country landscape, and capturing the intimate, changing emotions of Elliot and Mouse.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how fall looks in Little Elliot, Fall Friends. How do you know the season has changed from summer? What looks different? What feels different? What fall foods do you enjoy? 

  • Do you live in the city or the country? How are they different? 

  • Mouse figures out a way to get Elliot to come find him. What could a friend do to find you if you were missing? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and animal tales

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