It’s spring time and the trees and flowers are in bloom. It’s the most beautiful and interesting weather time of the year! The bugs are coming out, birds are back, baby animals are being born and it’s time to get your garden in order. Here are some great picture books that are good for all ages (except for the last book) and that help celebrate this time of year.
Creepy-Crawlies: A 3D Pocket Pop-Up Guide, engineered by Gus Clarke, is a clever smallish sized book that expands into 5 feet of pop-up pictures featuring some of the world’s most amazing arthropods. There’s even a glossary on the last page of this ingenious display of spiders, butterflies, grasshoppers and more!
When We Go Walking, by Cari Best, and painted with oil and using collage by Kyrsten Brooker, is a celebration of seasons as young Wendy walks along her “Rambling Road” with her family. The observations made by family members, and Wendy’s collections of roadside artifacts, continue through the seasons. When it becomes too cold in winter for their stroll along the lane, Wendy reconstructs those memorable walks by placing the found objects around her room. This lovely story invokes appreciating all the beauty that surrounds us in the outside world.
Rain!, by Linda Ashman, and illustrated by Christian Robinson, is a simple story with limited text about how attitude can change one’s perspective on life. A youngster is thrilled for the rain as he splashes through puddles in his rain gear. A grouchy man is irritated with the rain and his grumpy face exudes his distain. But the happy boy intervenes and exhibits a cheerful, happy attitude and it rubs off onto the adult. This clever story showcases the importance of enjoying life even when it rains!
Nibbles’ Garden: Another Green Tale, by Charlotte Middleton, is a colorful story about Nibbles, a guinea pig, and his friend and the garden he is growing. But when he discovers his garden is being devoured by enterprising caterpillars, he captures them. But being the nice guinea pig that he is, he decides to make them pets and place them in nice jars with food and water. However, they suddenly go missing and Nibbles is about to find a surprise. And so will you! Every page in this book is gloriously colorful from top to bottom and is delightful to read.
The Apple and the Butterfly, by Lela and Enzo Mari, is a wordless book with a story to tell. A caterpillar crawls out of an apple and soon is spinning its cocoon. Upon turning the pages, you find the seasons are changing through fall and winter. Spring brings abut the transformation of a butterfly from that caterpillar. The backdrop is completely white so the eye is easily drawn to the miraculous events of this insect. This book was originally published back in 1969 but still has the same impact today.
Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard, by Annette LeBlanc Cate, is a directory of sorts to bird-watching. Kids and adults of all ages just need to do one thing in order to achieve bird watching: just look up! This invitational book explores all types of birds with many of these birds bantering back and forth. This feathered-creature is on display in a cartoon fashion with many of them discussing their idiosyncrasies with each other through balloon-type talking. The book is full of interesting information and is laid-out in a kid-friendly fashion from the inside covers to the very end and you’ll be enriched with mounds of interesting information in a most entertaining way.
Farmer John’s Tractor, by Sally Sutton, and beautifully painted in hues of brown and yellow with watercolor by Robyn Belton, hails back to the classic stories of “Mike Mulligan Steam Shovel” and “Katy and the Big Snow” both by Virginia Lee Burton. Farmer John’s tractor has become dormant and locked away due to its old rusty age. But when it begins to rain and the rain doesn’t let up, a car, jeep and even a tow truck gets stuck. Can Farmer John’s old tractor do the job? This rhyming and fun read-aloud story will engage all!
Lucky Ducklings: A True Rescue Story, by Eva Moore, and painted with charcoal and digital media by Nancy Carpenter, depicts an event in 2000 in a town in New York when 5 baby ducklings fell between the slats of a storm drain. People near-by could hear the quacks of the babies and three firefighters and a pickup truck rush to their aid. The warm hues of the illustrations, along with the storyline, will have youngsters begging to have this read to them again and again!
Miss Maple’s Seeds, by Eliza Wheeler, is a story that celebrates the planting and growth of seeds. Miss Maple is a tiny fairy-like lady who begins the story by flying to her home on the back of a bird. It’s late summer and she has traveled all season searching for orphan seeds that “got lost during the spring planting.” Her desire is to grow them in her house (a maple tree) so they’ll be ready for next year’s planting. The beautifully detailed pictures illuminate the beauty of nature. There’s even a labeled seed chart covering one of the pages. The text and pictures are enter-twined and seemingly grow, like seeds, together.
It’s Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden, by George Ancona, is a documentary of sorts about a school garden and students preparing, planting and reaping the rewards of their garden. The photos, found throughout, are large, bright and inviting as the reader will begin to appreciate the work and benefits of growing a garden.
I Spy On The Farm, by Edward Gibbs, features a die-cut hole throughout as the reader attempts to guess what animal they are spying on before they turn the page. There are clues along the way to help the young listener discover which animal it could be. The pages are completely full of color and showcase each animal in a large picture. This book is great fun for toddlers up to age 5.