Here are a few (well, 7) of my favorite picture books for spring. The selections range from new-this-year to vintage classics.
I don’t know about you, but I am very, very ready for spring. It was a mild winter, but just this last week we got hit with snow and the coldest temps we’ve had all season. I am done with winter. Bring on the warm afternoons, flowers, and minimal toddler outerwear battles.
- If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson
Will brought this one to me at the library and asked to check it out. I agreed, assuming it would be something cutesy along the lines of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, but it exceeded my expectations.
Bunny and Mouse are planting seeds together,when a group of birds arrives unbidden, wanting a share of the fruits. Via the beautiful illustrations, the reader gets to see things from both points of view. Planting a seed of selfishness leads to one outcome, but planting a seed of kindness to another. I just love the animal faces and expressions in this book. Great conversation starter for talking about generosity, responding to requests to share or help, and the difference attitude makes.
2. Caterpillar Dreams by Clive McFarland
Henri the caterpillar has a big dream; he wants to fly. Of course, you know how this story ends, but you won’t want to miss out on the journey he takes to get there. There are friends who discourage him and hold him back, and friends that lend a hand (or wing) to help him get where he’s going. When Henri is transformed, he flies home. Beautiful themes of friendship, transformation, overcoming adversity, and the meaning of home.
3. Old MacDonald Had A Truck by Steve Goetz
Do you have a child who loves to sing Old MacDonald and loves trucks? You’re in luck, because you just hit the toddler favorites jackpot with this book. With a scoop scoop here, and a dig dig there….Old MacDonald had a truck…E I E I O.
4. Tokyo Digs a Garden by Jon-Erik Lappano
Tokyo lives in a small house, dwarfed by the city high rises that surround it. His grandfather tells him about how when he was a boy, the house stood in the countryside and was surrounded by wildlife. Tokyo plants some very special seeds, and very special garden begins to grow, overtaking the city, reminding it just who was there first.
5. Home for a Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
Vintage Margaret Wise Brown with charming realistic illustrations by Garth Williams (illustrator of the Little House on the Prairie books). Bunny is looking for a home on a bright spring day, asking his fellow creature where their homes are. The story has a pleasing read-aloud rhythm, and the main theme of looking for a safe, welcoming home resonates with readers of all ages.
6. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
This book has some of my favorite illustrations of all time. I love the depictions of the Maine coast and the exquisite detail of each scene, especially the interior ones. Little Alice dreams of traveling the world and settling down by the seaside, and she does these things. But she also does a third thing, on the instructions of her grandfather; she makes the world a more beautiful place.
7. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner
I just discovered this one and I absolutely adore it. A little girl and her Nana plan, plant, and till their garden together. We see the work that the girl and Nana are doing up in the garden, alternating with the work that various creatures are doing down in the dirt. The illustrations are lovely depictions of a warm, inviting garden scene between grandparent and grandchild.
I hope you are having springlike weather on this Friday, wherever you are. Don’t forget to check out what Kelly and the others are up to!