The snow has melted, the ground is muddy, and the flowers are starting to bloom. It’s time to pull out the picture books about Spring! Here are a few of our favorites:
Finding Spring – by Carin Berger
A young bear named Maurice should be hibernating, but he wants to find Spring first. He explores the wintry landscape of the forest, searching for Spring and asking various animals about it. When he discovers the first snow, he thinks he has found Spring at last, and decides to go to sleep. After his long sleep, he wakes up to discover what Spring really is. This sweet book has paper-cut illustrations that are both charming and eye-catching, and made for a lovely read-aloud.
When Spring Comes – by Kevin Henkes
Kevin Henkes is well known for his sweet and gentle stories for children, and this book is no exception. With concise text and bold illustrations, the book tells the story of Spring’s arrival — from melting snowmen to hatching eggs and sprouting seedlings.
And Then it’s Spring – by Julie Fogliano
The story is a simple one — a young boy and his dog plant seeds and then wait expectantly until the brown landscape turns green. But the illustrations make this simple story into something exceptional. On each page, there are surprises to find in the illustrations, and the humor that shows through is both wry and genuine. My son loved the illustrations — particularly of the dog who tries to “plant” his bone — and he begged for me to read it again as soon as we closed it. It’s a favorite of mine as well. The sense of both expectation and wonder that come with the change of seasons shine through beautifully in this book.
Abracadabra, it’s Spring! – by Anne Sibley O’Brien
If you’ve ever thought that the change of seasons seemed magical, then this is a book for you. The motif of this “magic” of changing seasons is taken seriously in this book — on each page there’s a magic word (“abracadabra,” “open sesame,” “bibbity bop,” etc.) and then the reader can lift a flap and find out what magical event has occurred. For instance, my favorite page is “Buds on branches tightly curl. Alizebu! Leaves unfurl.” The illustrations are bright and beautiful, the text has a lovely rhythm and rhyme to it, and overall it’s a wonderfully atmospheric springtime read.
It’s Spring! – by Linda Glaser
A young boy describes his experience of spring, as each day changes and brings new discoveries. First he realizes that he can go outside in lighter clothing, then the creeks and streams start rushing — eventually the days grow longer and the birds appear. The paper cut-out illustrations are lovely, and the back of the book includes a list of springtime activities for children to do.
Mud – by Mary Lyn Ray
Springtime in our part of the country involves a lot of mud, so I was glad to find a spring-themed picture book that celebrated this aspect of the season as well! Complete with bold illustrations, this book conveys a young girl’s delight in seeing the snow melt and playing in the squishy mud that follows.