‘TIS SPRING!

 

A good book is as welcome as the first signs of spring. Add these seasonal books to your own springtime favorites. Take a look in the Activities Calendars for the first day of spring to find weblinks and activities.

 

Arden, Carolyn.  Goose Moon.  Illus. by Jim Postier.  Boyds Mills, 2004.  Gr. K-2
Tired of winter, a child wants to know if it will ever be summer again. Her grandfather tells her to watch for the “Goose Moon” because that’s when the geese return. She watches for signs of spring and finally sees the geese flying against a full moon. Watercolor paintings reflect the chill of winter.

Alarcόn, Francisco X.  Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems/Jitomates Risuenos: y otros poemas de primavera.  Illus. by Maya Christina Gonzalez.  Childrens Book Press, 1997.  Gr. 1-4
This collection of 18 poems—serious and humorous--in English and Spanish and the accompanying brightly colored illustrations pay tribute to the joys of spring.

Bauer, Marion Dane.  Crinkle, Crackle, Crack: It's Spring!  Illus. by John Shelley.  Holiday House, 2015.
Gr. K-2
Awakened by unusual sounds on a late winter night, a child accepts the invitation of a bear to accompany him into the forest where they witness the beginning of spring. Watercolor and ink illustrations make the adventure a pleasant one.

Bauer, Marion Dane.  In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb.  Illus. by Emily Arnold McCully.  Holiday House, 2011.
Gr. K-2
Personified as a lion, March roars into a little boy's home with a flurry of snow and mud. The boy takes it all in until here comes the lamb, accompanied by flowers, green grass, sunshine, and baby animals. Delightful illustrations complement the rhyming text.

Berger, Samantha & Chanko, Pamela.  It’s Spring! (Hello Reader, Level 2).  Illus. by Melissa Sweet. Scholastic/Cartwheel, 2001.  Gr. K-2
An assortment of animals spread the word that spring is here.

Bornstein, Ruth Lercher.  Rabbit’s Good News.  Clarion, 1995.  Gr. K-2
A small brown rabbit leaves its home to find the source of a “soft green sound.” The rabbit encounters several signs along the way and eventually listens very hard to arrive at the conclusion that spring has come—then hops home to share the news. Lush pastels illustrate the story.

Carr, Jan.  Splish, Splash, Spring.  Illus. by Dorothy Donohue.  Holiday House, 2001.  Gr. Pre-2
Even though it’s a little rainy, three children and a dog head outside to enjoy spring. The rhyming text bounces along, and cut-paper collages provide extra details for readers to enjoy.

Chall, Marsha Wilson.  Sugarbush Spring.  Illus. by Jim Daly.  HarperCollins, 2000.  Gr. 1-4
It’s early spring on a northern farm, and a little girl and her grandfather are on their way to tap the maple trees for sap. Details about making maple sugar are woven into the stories of family traditions. Highly detailed oil paintings depict the outdoor scenes and those inside the sugarhouse equally well.

Clifton, Lucille.  The Boy Who Didn’t Believe in Spring.  Illus. by Brinton Turkle.  Dutton, 1978.  Gr. K-3
King Shabazz, a young urban child, has trouble believing that spring exists, so he enlists his friend Tony to help him find it. They wander out of their own neighborhood and finally come across a nest of blue eggs in an old abandoned car. King says, “Man, it’s spring,” and that says it all!

Ernst, Lisa Campbell.  Wake Up, It’s Spring!  HarperCollins, 2004.  Gr. Pre-1
When the sun warms the earth, it starts a chain reaction of awakenings that includes several animals and culminates in a family and its pets dancing to celebrate the end of winter. Paintings in soft colors reflect the joy of the season.

Fogliano, Julie.  and then, it's spring.  Illus. by Erin E. Stead.  Roaring Brook, 2012.  Gr. Pre-2
After the lengthy brown, brown of post-winter, a little boy and his dog decide they are going to plant seeds. Hoping for some green to emerge, they wait...and wait..., worrying about the seeds (after all, there are birds and bears and who knows what else!). Just as it always does, spring--and the green--finally come. Extraordinary woodblock prints in soft colors highlight the anticipation.

Glaser, Linda.  It’s Spring!  Millbrook, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Cut-paper illustrations that appear three-dimensional highlight this tribute to the many things in nature a small boy observes in the spring. A list of nature activities is appended.

Henkes, Kevin.  When Spring Comes.  Illus. by Laura Dronzek.  Greenwillow, 2016.  Gr. Pre-1
Cozy paintings in lush spring colors combine with a lyrical text to show readers how the spring season slowly but surely unfolds from the starkness of winter.

Hillenbrand, Will.  Spring Is Here!  Holiday House, 2011.  Gr. Pre-2
Spring is in the air. Mole can smell it, but can he wake up the still sleeping Bear so he can enjoy it too? Humorous, colorful illustrations brighten this friendship story.

Hirschi, Ron.  Spring.  Photos by Thomas B. Mangelson.  Dutton, 1990.  Gr. K-3
Excellent full-color photographs highlight a simple text that reveals the coming of spring in the natural world.

Hubbell, Patricia.  Hurray for Spring!  Illus. by Taia Morley.  NorthWord, 2005.  Gr. Pre-K
A little boy joyfully celebrates the season by engaging in all sorts of activities just right for warm weather. The light-hearted rhyming text is matched by large, cheery watercolor and pencil illustrations in all the colors of spring.

Iwamura, Kazuo.  Hooray for Spring!  NorthSouth, 2009.  Gr. Pre-1
As three squirrel siblings are enjoying spring in the trees, they come across a hungry baby bird. It doesn’t like anything they have to offer, however. The mother bird eventually brings her baby a worm, and the squirrels go home to tell of their adventure. The delicately colored illustrations have the feel of spring.

Jackson, Ellen.  Spring Equinox: Celebrating the Greening of the Earth.  Illus. by Jan Davey Ellis.
Millbrook, 2001.  Gr. 2-5
Beginning with the ancient Mayans, the text explores the history and cultural festivals associated with the vernal equinox. Some seasonal activities and a retelling of the story of Ostara, the goddess of spring, are included. Illustrations in spring-like colors complete the book.

Kinsey-Warnock, Natalie.  When Spring Comes.  Dutton, 1993.  Gr. K-3
As she stares out the window at the snowy fields, a Vermont farm girl remembers with anticipation what spring will bring. Acrylic and pastel paintings reflect a bit of nostalgia in this mood piece.

Krensky, Stephen.  Lionel in the Spring.  Illus. by Susanna Natti.  Dial, 1990.  Gr. K-3
In this offering from the series, four short chapters feature Lionel involved in some rather mundane spring activities: planting a garden and housecleaning. He and his sister also make a special breakfast for their parents, and he whips up a “potion” for a friend to drink. Cheerful illustrations.

Lee, Huy Voun.  In the Park.  Henry Holt, 1998.  Gr. 2-4
Xiao Ming and his mother are on an outing to the park, where they enjoy the beauties of spring. Each object in nature that they see is introduced by a Chinese character that his mother explains and connects to the object. Cut paper collages feature a multicultural group of people of all ages in the park.

Lindbergh, Reeve.  North Country Spring.  Illus. by Liz Sivertson.  Houghton Mifflin, 1997.  Gr. K-3
Lush acrylic paintings in bright colors enhance a text comprised of rhymed couplets that issue an invitation to the natural world from Spring to “Come out, come out.”

Maass, Robert.  When Spring Comes.  Henry Holt, 1994.  Gr. K-2
Full-color photographs illustrate a simple text that discusses various activities associated with the coming of spring.

Newman, Leslea.  Skunk’s Spring Surprise.  Illus. by Valeri Gorbachev.  Harcourt, 2007.  Gr. K-2
When Skunk wakes up from her winter’s sleep, she looks everywhere for her friends. She finds them preparing a talent show for her as a surprise. Skunk participates, too, with an ode to spring. Cheerful watercolor and ink illustrations accompany this bouncy read-aloud.

O'Brien, Anne Sibley.  Abracadabra, It's Spring!  Illus. by Susan Gal Abrams.  Appleseed, 2016.  Gr. Pre-1
Magic words, such as "hocus-pocus" and "alacazam," celebrate the turn of winter into spring, as snow melts, birds return, eggs hatch, flowers bloom, and more. Several gatefold illustrations add to the surprise of all the seasonal changes.

Orie, Sandra De Couteau.  Did You Hear the Wind Sing Your Name?: An Oneida Song of Spring.
Illus. by Christopher Canyon.   Walker, 1995.  Gr. 1-4
The lyrical text poses questions, connecting to Oneida traditions, related to the onset of spring. Each question invites thoughtful reflection. Richly detailed illustrations will capture the attention of readers. An author’s note explains the meanings of Oneida symbols.

Ouellet, Debbie.  How Robin Saved Spring.  Illus. by Nicoletta Ceccoli.  Henry Holt, 2009.  Gr. K-3
Lady Winter doesn’t want to give in to the sleeping Sister Spring. Several animals try to thwart her efforts at lingering, but she manages to hold them at bay. Robin flies up to Mother Sun for assistance and is successful at waking Sister Spring, but burns his breast in the process. This pourquoi tale does not originate in folklore. Lovely illustrations effectively make the transfer from winter to spring.

Pfeffer, Wendy.  A New Beginning.  Illus. by Linda Bleck.  Dutton, 2008.  Gr. 3-5
Brightly colored cartoon-like illustrations complement an informational text that provides an explanation of the vernal equinox and explores spring festivals in historical and present-day cultures. Craft activities or recipes to accompany each celebration are appended.

Pfister, Marcus.  Hopper Hunts for Spring.  North-South, 1992.  Gr. Pre-1
After Hopper’s mother tells him Spring is coming, he hops off hoping to meet a new friend. He searches everywhere and encounters other animals along the way. Lovely watercolor illustrations.

Plourde, Lynn.  Spring’s Sprung.  Illus. by Greg Couch.  Simon & Schuster, 2002.  Gr. Pre-2
Mother Earth awakens her daughters, March, April, and May, so they can welcome the season. They all want to be the fastest dresser, the best singer, the one their mother loves the best. Like all wise mothers, she assures them she loves them ALL the best. Acrylic washes with colored pencil details provide illustrations that are full of light and springtime green.

Raczka, Bob.  Spring Things.  Illus. by Judy Stead.  Albert Whitman, 2007.  Gr. K-3
Rhyming phrases that focus on active verbs (ending with “ing”) and “springy” illustrations that show children enjoying the season make up this delightful read-aloud.

Rose, Deborah Lee.  The Twelve Days of Springtime.  Illus. by Carey Armstrong-Ellis.  Abrams, 2009.
Gr. Pre-2
In a text that follows the melody of the familiar song, a frazzled teacher introduces her students to the joys of spring one item at a time. Humorous illustrations reveal the chaos that is created (much to the dismay of the teacher) at every turn.

Rotner, Shelley.  Hello, Spring!  Holiday House, 2017.  Gr. Pre-2
Extraordinary color photographs accompany a text with rich use of language to show the emergence of spring. A glossary defines words that might be unfamiliar. There is much to discuss in the photos.

Rylant, Cynthia.  Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble.  Illus. by Sucie Stevenson.  Atheneum, 1996.  Gr. K-2
In three easy-to-read chapters, Henry and his big dog Mudge notice the first flower of spring, play in rain puddles, and visit the five new kittens next door.

Rylant, Cynthia.  Poppleton in Spring.  Illus. by Mark Teague.  Scholastic, 1999.  Gr. K-2
Three short chapters show the familiar Poppleton engaged in spring-like tasks: clearing his house of clutter, shopping for a new bicycle, and sleeping in a tent on a warm spring night. Of course, things don’t work out quite as he planned. Illustrations provide humorous details.

Schnur, Steven.  Spring: An Alphabet Acrostic.  Illus. by Leslie Evans.  Clarion, 1999.  Gr. 2-5
Acrostic poems with spring themes are arranged in an alphabet format. Rich spring colors in linoleum cut illustrations complement the superb word choice.

Schnur, Steven.  Spring Thaw.  Illus. by Stacey Schuett.  Viking, 2000.  Gr. K-3
A lyrical text relates the changes in nature that suggest the coming of spring. A farmer and boy are included in welcoming the season and are shown at the end collecting maple syrup buckets. Realistic paintings use color very effectively to reflect the mood of the story.

Schulman, Janet.  Countdown to Spring!: An Animal Counting Book.  Illus. by Meilo So.  Knopf, 2002.
Gr. Pre-K
In a simple text, softly colored illustrations count down from 10 to-1 with a variety of woodland creatures.

Seuling, Barbara.  Spring Song.  Illus. by Greg Newbold.  Harcourt, 2001.  Gr. Pre-1
On double-paged spreads, a question and rhymed answer relates what happens to plants and animals in spring in woodlands, meadows, swamps, forests, and mountains. Acrylic paintings filled with details highlight a text that invites interaction from listeners.

Simon, Seymour.  Spring Across America.  Hyperion, 1996.  Gr. 3-5
Full-color photographs of plants and animals in various locations across America and a scientific text follow the spring season as it emerges.

Stevenson, James.  Mud Flat Spring.  Greenwillow, 1999.  Gr. K-2
The animals of Mud Flat welcome spring in a variety of ways with a great deal of dancing and celebrating. When they are surprised by a spring snow, they play and decide that they will have two springs this year. Cartoon style illustrations add to the humor of the story.

Thompson, Lauren.  Mouse’s First Spring.  Illus. by Buket Erdogan.  Simon & Schuster, 2005.  Gr. Pre-K
When Mouse and his mother go out for a stroll on a spring day, they encounter all sorts of animals, which his mother helps to identify. The patterned text and playful rhymes are accompanied by brightly colored acrylics.

Werber, Yael.  Spring for Sophie.  Illus. by Jen Hill.  Simon & Schuster, 2017.  Gr. K-3
Sophie waits and watches every day for spring to come, and just when she thinks it will never get here...Delicate illustrations accompany this hopeful tale.

Last updated 02/16/17

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