After a cold, snowy winter, right about now I can’t stop thinking of spring. Budding leaves, sunshine, flowers, and green, green, green. While spring doesn’t always come as quickly as we may like here in New England, it doesn’t mean we can’t be reading good books, planning our gardens, and thinking warm, flower-filled thoughts. Here are a few of our favorite spring picture books here at the store:
For little ones, I love to recommend Taro Gomi’s Spring is Here. The small board book’s simple text and bright, colorful illustrations walk a child through the seasons of the year.
Another board book for a little hands is Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. Bright collage illustrations of flowers introduce readers to the colors of the rainbow, while also showing the steps of growing a garden. I especially love how Ehlert includes all the of the proper names for the flowers.
Nothing says spring to me quite like small cute chicks wearing galoshes, waiting for an egg to hatch. Ollie by Olivier Dunrea is a sweet story of patience that I’m sure many of you can relate to, especially when waiting and waiting for spring.
Our winter-crazed customers have been loving Sara Anderson’s A Day at the Market lately. Anderson’s bright collage illustrations walk the reader through a West Coast farmer’s market, full of colorful fruit, fresh fish, and cut flowers. I know I can’t wait until the local farmer’s market is open again here in Amherst!
These are my two go-to picture books to recommend to readers looking for stories about gardening. Both books really emphasize the joy of working with plants and the sense of community that comes when family and friends garden together.
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and David Small shows the happy changes that flowers and plants can bring to a gray, depression-era city. And let me just say, I really, really envy Lydia Grace’s rooftop garden. It’s that beautiful.
And The Good Brown Earth by Kathy Henderson is a great read-aloud about a grandmother and grandson working and playing throughout the year in their garden. The rhythmic text and repetition of the line “And the good brown earth got on with doing what the good brown earth does best,” echoes the comforting repetition of the earth cycling through the seasons.
An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Aston with illustrations by Sylvia Long is a non-fiction alternative to get readers excited about spring. This book features not only facts about all kinds of eggs in nature, but stunning watercolors of such a variety of colorful eggs that you could just stare at them for hours.
We also just got in two new picture books that are just perfect for spring. Carin Berger’s Forever Friends shows through inventive paper collage a special friendship that lasts throughout the seasons. Despite spending a winter apart, the two woodland friends are reunited in spring.
My Garden by Kevin Henkes uses spring-like pastels to show a child’s fantasy of the perfect garden – one that grows umbrellas, jellybeans and ever-blooming flowers.
While I love all of the seasons we get here in Amherst, there is something so special and rewarding when color and warmth return in the spring. And judging by the books that our customers are asking for, I’d say a lot of you feel the same way.
What are your favorite picture books to read in spring?