I love scouring the library for children's books that celebrate my favorite things about each season. Books make my boys and me slow down and take notice of the little things. Here are 20 of the books we like that help us see the beauty in things like rain and birds and flowers. And, as a bonus, at least of half these crack us up...because funny doesn't need a season. Here they are, in no particular order:
Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox by Susan Blackaby. Illustrated by Carmen Segovia.
Witty and entertaining. A story of enemies turned friends - united by the angst of waiting for Spring. Perfect story to usher in the new season.
Groundhog Weather School by Joan Holub. Illustrated by Kristin Sorra.
I love books that bring out the giggles. It's a great mix of simple gardening timeline and sweet, funny storyline.
Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems.
There Is a Bird On Your Head! by Mo Willems.
Disclaimer: This is a picture book in the truest sense, with not a word of text. Last year when I stumbled upon it, I was disgruntled that it didn't contain a story. However, after The Yellow Umbrella and its accompanying music CD turned a dreary rainy afternoon into a magical memory, I changed my tune. Seriously. This is a fabulous experiential book. The artwork, the music and your children will team together to tell a story of their own.
The funny story of a boy who gets his kite stuck in a tree, followed by a parade of other things as he attempts to free his kite. I love Jeffers illustrations. Also check out The Great Paper Caper. Not a Spring book, but his illustrations are what children's book should be made of.
Stuck by Olivier Jeffers.
A favorite of ours, we check it out of our library again and again. The language is poetic and filled with the sounds and imagery of Spring. I recommend a bird-sighting nature walk after reading this one. Or painting a birdhouse for your backyard. Birdsongs even inspired my Kindergartener to create his own bird field guide to bring along on our walks. Books that shape days and memories are priceless; this is one of those in our family.
Another fabulous bird book. I love Ehlert's colorful artwork and the way she tells a funny story with such minimal text. A great companion to Birdsongs.
I love every Ehlert book, and so do my kids. This one is a great way to introduce gardening and plants to your kids. Buy some seeds, plant them in a clear container and chart their growth. My boys get so excited that you'd think it was a magic trick. Unfortunately, last year our neighbor mistook our newly sprouting wildflowers and doused them with weedkiller. If you have overzealous neighbors, I recommend making a "We Love our Sprouting Wildflowers" sign, just to be safe. Wink, wink.
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert.
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart. Illustrated by David Small.
Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson.
After Bear Snores On through the Winter, he inevitably wakes up...very, very hungry. The lovable characters and illustrations from Bear Snores On are revisited. The rhythm and alliteration of Wilson's text make it joyful read aloud. While I'm still partial to the first book, this one is still worth a Springtime read. It's like a reunion with old friends.
A Kite Day (Bear and Mole Story) by Will Hillenbrand.
Roly-Poly Egg by Kali Stileman.
Elsie's Bird by Jane Yolen. Illustrated by David Small.
If a story's not funny, it should be touching and hope-filled. This one is not funny, and not for toddlers, but I love this story of loss and sorrow turned to hope and life rediscovered. It ends with the triumphant symphony of Spring.
H is for Home Run: A Baseball Alphabet by Brad Herzog. Illustrated by Melanie Rose.
Gossie by Olivier Dunrea.
Not only is this a tale of the glory of the wind, it's also a tale of sibling resentment, love and protection. A great conversation starter. (Technically the scenery depicts some autumnal leaves, but I think Spring when I think of windy days. And I'm in love with Phelan's illustrations.)
All Things Bright and Beautiful by Cecil Frances Alexander. Illustrated by Bruce Whatley.
Rain by Manya Stojic.