By Eliana H.
Spring has sprung! Or has it? As Kevin Henkes says in When Spring Comes, “It changes its mind a lot.” But whether you’re certain spring is here to stay or want to get in the mood to welcome it when it is, we have books for you. Here is a collection of books to share with young children focusing on themes of spring, especially growth and change. For more recommendations, visit your local branch and ask a member of our staff. We will be happy to help!
Birdsong by Julie Flett
First Nations author, illustrator, and artist Julie Flett brings her tender story to life with soft, striking illustrations in this beautiful book. It begins in spring, when a young girl is moving with her mother away from their home by the sea to a new house in the country. As the seasons pass, she grows used to her new home and gets to know her elderly neighbor, with whom she connects over their mutual love of art and nature. As spring returns, the young girl finds ways to comfort her ailing neighbor and realizes that she truly sees this new house as home now.
Bloom Boom! by April Pulley Sayre
Seeing all the different flowers bloom is many people’s favorite part of spring. This volume showcases large photographs of a variety of blossoms in all different habitats accompanied by simple, rhyming text. The end includes notes about blooms in diverse ecosystems as well as details about the specific plants (and sometimes animals) on each page.
Red Rubber Boot Day by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Lauren Stringer
What do you like to do on a very rainy day? Simple text and acrylic paintings bring readers along with an unnamed child in this book, as rain pours down and different activity options are explored. Share this with little ones and start a discussion about favorite things to do in different kinds of weather.
Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms by Robert Paul Weston, illustrated by Misa Saburi
Sakura, named for the cherry blossoms she loves enjoying with her grandmother, has to move to America with her parents and leave all that she knew behind. Told in a series of tanka poems, a traditional Japanese poetry form similar to haiku but with two additional lines, this story follows Sakura as she becomes accustomed to her new life. Along the way, Sakura finds new friends and unexpected joys in this place so different from her former home.
What Will Grow? by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Susie Ghahremani
Spring is a time when many of us become especially aware of the life cycles around us, as we can witness much of the change and growth happening. In this book, bright illustrations with friendly creatures accompany short, descriptive text on each page, which includes the title question followed by the answer. Some pages fold out, down, or up to show a larger plant, and notes at the end offer simple instructions for planting different kinds of seeds, along with an overview of the life cycle from seed to plant.
Blustery days are a sure sign of spring’s arrival. This simple board book uses line drawings with lots of movement to show young children experiencing wind. The sensory experience of a windy day is highlighted with a range of descriptive words, ending with the final quiet as the wind dies down. Other titles in the series explore different types of weather with Rain, Snow, and Sun (available in Spanish as Lluvia, Nieve, and Sol).
Eliana is a Children’s Research Specialist and Instructor at HCLS Elkridge Branch. She loves reading, even if she’s slow at it, and especially enjoys helping people find books that make them light up. She also loves being outside and spending time with friends and family (when it’s safe).