Spring Books to Read Together
SHARED by: Katherine Grier, Librarian at York Avenue Preschool
Even though this winter was one of the mildest ones I can remember, I am still happy that Spring has sprung. I love hearing birds chirp and seeing yellow daffodils and multi-colored tulips poke up out of the little patches of earth surrounding the trees on the NYC sidewalks. I also love reshelving all of the books in our library about hibernation, snow and ice, and displaying “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and my other favorites about butterflies, birds, gardens and warm weather sports and activities in their place. Here are 3 of those favorites for you to add to your repertoire of Spring reading. Enjoy! –Ms. Katherine
“When Spring Comes“ by Kevin Henkes
Just as they did in their spectacular book “My Garden,” Kevin Henkes and his wife Laura Dronzek again make nature feel magical and wonderful in their newest picture book collaboration “When Spring Comes.” The book is written poetically, and although there is a story, it is all about capturing the transition from “winter” to “spring” rather than a story with a narrative. In it, bare trees grow candy-colored blossoms, a snowman flattens in five stages and a blue egg hatches into a chirping bird. Henkes’ text is rich with familiar signs of Spring: from buds, bees, boots, and bubbles to worms, wings, wind, and wheels. His wife’s illustrations add depth to the words showing pretty ladybugs, fluffy pussy willows, giddy children and three curious kittens exploring a world made new with color and life. After spring fully blooms on the pages author, and illustrator end by giving their readers something extra to look forward to the yellow skies, yellow corn, and yellow sunflowers of summer, and (hopefully) more awesome books too!
“Raindrop Plop” by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
This counting book is a true pleasure to read with little ones and may even make you look forward to April showers. The color illustrations are beautiful and vivid, and the words in the book have catchy rhymes that flow easily from page to page. The story follows a girl as she shows us many different ways to have fun on a rainy day. The fun starts with one little raindrop. Then there are froggy boots and a raincoat and hat to put on, puddles to splash in, a muddy backyard in which to dig for treasures and more. When the rain gets too heavy, the girl comes inside for more fun and more counting. She ends her day with a satisfying cup of cocoa and a warm bubble bath, leaving us her readers satisfied as well.
“And Then It’s Spring” by Julie Fogliano
In this picture book from 2012, an adorable boy with glasses, a magnifying glass and a wagon full of seeds goes looking for green accompanied by his dog, his turtle, a rabbit, and some birds. The skies are gray and “all around you have brown,” but the determined boy sets about planting his seeds under little mounds of dirt. Sun and rain come eventually, but still there is no green to be seen. A week passes and the boy worries about the seeds and whether or not they’ve been eaten by birds or crushed by bears. Amid this worry we readers are given a glimpse as to what is going on with the seeds. The book tells us “…the brown, still brown, has a greenish hum that you can only hear if you put your ear to the ground and close your eyes.” We see the hopeful boy and the rabbit listening to the ground. We also can see into the ground where worms and ants are making paths, mice are sleeping or popping up to see what’s going on, and the seeds’ roots are growing deeper and deeper. Finally, just like in real life, the seeds sprout overnight and “all around you have green.” Pair this book with Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s Caldecott award winning “Green” for an even more luscious study of this color epitomizing Spring.