Spring has sprung and with it comes an opportunity to read books about nature- out in nature. In honor of my favorite season, I have put together a mixed tape of some of my favorite books on the subject (in no particular order). This collection includes new hits as well as oldies but goodies. So, grab your picnic basket, spread a blanket under a blossoming tree, and let’s get started!
Weeds Find a Way
by Cindy Jenson-Elliott
illustrated by Carolyn Fisher
Beach Lane Books/ February 2014
Anyone who says weeds are a nuisance might change their mind after reading this book! Readers will find that weeds are survivors and offer beauty and color in the most unlikely of places. Before I opened the book, I was intrigued by the playful art on the cover and I was hooked the minute I started reading. The lyrical language, “Weeds send their seeds into the world in wondrous ways: fluffing up like feathers and floating away on the wind; swirled into prickly burrs that stick to socks and fur” is just lovely. Add to that the bold, child-friendly illustrations and this book is one of my favorite books for spring (or anytime).
Four pages at the back of the book offer interesting information on common weeds you might find in your area. You won’t want to miss this one, Weeds Find a Way will have you seeing weeds in a whole new light!
Take a look inside:
Order here to add Weeds Find A Way to your picture book playlist.
And Then it’s Spring
by Julie Fogliano
Illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Roaring Brook Press/ February 2012
I love a good lyrical book and what a lovely, poetic look at spring this is! As it happens, waiting for spring takes patience, “First you have brown, all around there’s brown. And then there are seeds. And a wish for rain. And it is still brown, but a hopeful, very possible sort of brown.”
Stead’s woodblock and pencil illustrations are a perfect match for the text making this a beautiful duet. Readers will enjoy waiting and watching for signs of spring and then bask in its glory when it finally arrives!
I highly recommend this book and I’m pretty sure it will put a spring in your step!
A look inside:
Order here to add And Then it’s Spring to your picture book playlist.
Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt
by Kate Messner
illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
Chronical Books/ March 2015
From the award-winning team of Over and Under the Pond and Over and Under the Snow comes this new addition which introduces readers to a garden full of blooms above the ground and the wonderous creatures that are hard at work beneath the ground. I especially like the relationship between the little girl and her grandmother.
Neal’s illustrations are spot on and detailed with contrasting light between the garden and the underground scenes.
The wonders of nature and beautiful language combine to make this a good choice for your spring book playlist.
A look inside:
Order here to add Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt to your picture book playlist.
Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson
by Christie Matheson
Greenwillow Books/January 2017
From the author of interactive books, Tap the Magic Tree and Touch the Brightest Star, comes the latest addition, Plant the Tiny Seed. With colorful illustrations and gentle prompts, the reader presses, claps and taps his or her way through the book, planting a seed and watching beautiful flowers grow. This book is as magical as spring itself!
A look at the back cover:
Order here to add Plant a Tiny Seed to your picture book playlist.
In the Trees Honey Bees
by Lori Mortensen
illustrated by Cris Arbo
Dawn Publications /October 2013
This is the go-to book on honey bees. While the sparse rhyming language will appeal to young audiences, the informational sidebars give added depth on the subject for older readers. Readers are sure to spend time pouring over Arbo’s up-close images from pollen dusted bees to the intricate honeycomb.
The back of the book offers more information on bees. Plus, Mortensen has not one, but ten activity guides designed to work with the book on her website which gives parents and teachers oodles of opportunities to teach children about the life cycle of the amazing honey bee and their importance to the world.
A look inside:
Order here to add In the Trees Honey Bees to your picture book playlist.