5 on Friday: Spring Picture Books

5OF April

It’s finally starting to feel like spring! Winter seemed to drag on forever this year, so I am especially glad to see plants start poking their heads out and feel some warmer weather. In honor of that, I chose my 5 favorite picture books about spring for this month’s 5 on Friday.

 

andthen it's spring

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano

Fogliano won the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for New Writer and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Nominee for Picture Book Honor Book awards for this sweet story about a boy and his dog planting a garden. They both wait…and wait…and wait some more for the garden to grow.

 

when spring comes

When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes

Henkes is a bestselling author for a reason, but what really makes this book a standout to me are Laura Dronzek’s beautiful illustrations. No one knows how to capture the wonder of a season the way she does.

 

fletcher

Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms by Julia Rawlinson

Fletcher the fox mistakes the falling blossoms as snow and rushes to warn his friends that they have returned from their migrations or woken from hibernation too soon. I really enjoy the Fletcher books and I think kids will too.

 

wake up

Wake Up, it’s Spring! by Lisa Campbell Ernst

One day, the sun whispers to the earth, “Wake up, it’s spring!” And the earth tells the worm, who tells the seed, and so on until everyone is awake and cheering for springtime. The simple, playful text makes this great for read-alouds.

 

abracadabra

Abracadabra, it’s Spring! by Anne Sibley O’Brien

As you might be able to guess from the title, this charming picture book focuses on the magic of winter transforming into spring. Some of the magic words are a bit of a stretch – I’ve never heard anyone say “Alizebu!” before – but the fold-out pages showing the change to a new season are lovely.

And that’s all for this month! Be sure to check back in May, same bat time, same bat channel for the next 5 on Friday.

Miss Jessica

 

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Top 10 of 2018: #2

Christina

Thank You, Omu!

by Oge Mora

Omu is cooking a thick red stew on the top floor of her apartment building.  As it cooks, the smell brings people from the street to her door.  She shares her stew with each person until it is all gone.  This book reads like a folktale complete with a wonderful ending.  The visually attractive collage pictures help to tell the story of sharing and community.

Sarah

No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

by Kathleen Krull

This short biography tells of Ruth’s determination to become the person she wanted to be and to help others achieve fairness in their lives. She grew up in a time that women were told to hide their intellect and were expected to marry, have children and take care of the home. At the time there were few opportunities for women to have careers. She wanted more for herself and others. The book gives a time line of her life, career, challenges and accomplishments.

Jessica

She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein 

by Lynn Fulton

A lightly fictionalized version of Mary Shelley’s creation of Frankenstein.  The spooky and atmospheric art is perfect for the story of the invention of science fiction!

Tess

A Parade of Elephants

by Kevin Henkes

“Hooray! The elephants are here.  Get ready!”

This one is destined to be a bedtime storytime favorite!  Lots of concepts like counting, shapes, opposites, and directions all in a short, simple, beautiful book.

Marta

Smiley: A Journey of Love

by Joanne George

This book was one that warmed my heart and was a feel good book that stuck with me all year.  It tells the true story of Smiley, a golden retriever who was born with no eyes.  Smiley was born in a puppy mill and rescued by the book’s author who knew exactly what help Smiley needed to live his best life as a one-of-a-kind therapy dog.  Real pictures of Smiley and his family are throughout the book.  Every elementary-aged kiddo I recommended this to fell in love with Smiley and his story.

 

Top 10 of 2018: #4

 

 

Christina

The Day You Begin 

by Jacqueline Woodson

Beautifully written and illustrated, this picture book gives courage to every child who feels alone, that there is no one quite like them.  The book acknowledges that it is not easy being different but to take courage, reach out and share your story.  You will being to find others who are a little like you in different ways.  It is a powerful and reassuring book about diversity and becoming accepted.

 

Sarah

Elmore

by Holly Hobbie

Elmore is a lonely porcupine looking for friends and he is having no luck because he is prickly. In this very short book Elmore find friends by giving of himself and helping others.

 

Jessica

Winter is Here

by Kevin Henkes

Another winner from the dream team Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek.  Henkes’ text discusses life during the wintertime – the mittens and zippers and scarves and zippers and coats and OH NO PLEASE NOT MORE ZIPPERS – and Dronzek’s illustrations bring color and beauty to an often drab season.  If you’re like me and have always hated winter, this book might just change your mind.

Tess

Magnificent Birds 

by Narisa Togo

This book is gorgeous and educational.  The author has studied both ecology and printmaking, and she has combined her knowledge and talent here beautifully.  Great book for kids who love facts and those who enjoy perusing bird and animal books for the pictures.

Marta

Chomp Goes the Alligator

by Matthew Van Fleet

This laugh-out-loud board book was one of my favorite storytime reads this year for our birth to two year group.  I actually read this gem the first time on a day when school was out and I had older siblings in the room and it had all of us laughing. Entertaining that many age groups with a single story is not easy so that made it an instant winner for me.  I was easily able to make this story interactive by adding actions to the Alligator’s chomping as he eats many of his friends in the swamp (but don’t worry, everyone is safe and sound in the end).  The early literacy side of me loves this book because there are so many things that make it educational in that sneaky the-kids-won’t-even-know way.  Opportunities to identify animals, colors, rhyming and predicting, practice counting and even motor skills since this book does have a flap that allows your alligator to chomp just to name a few.  For people leery of board books that have moving parts, this book is super sturdy and will provide you and your favorite kiddos many happy reads and stand the test of time.

Autumn Picture Books

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It’s officially fall! Fall is the perfect season for snuggling up with your little one and reading a book together. Here are 10 seasonal reads to get you started.

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Spring & Rain Reads

You can tell Spring is in full force!  The rain is steadily coming down almost daily.  Of course, this means we have had tons of parents and teachers in asking us what books we recommend for Spring and rainy weather as they try to keep their little ones happy, taking advantage of the indoor hours together.  Here are some of our favorites! What books would you add to our list?

Stormy Night by Salina Yoon

Rain! by Linda Ashman

Once Upon a Rainy Day by Edouard Manceau

Worm Weather by Jean Taft

Splish! Splash! by Josepha Sherman

Let It Rain by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle

Rainy Day! by Patricia Lakin

Puddle by Hyewon Yum

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano

Spring is Here! by Heidi Pross Gray

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

Spring is Here by Will Hillenbrand

Who’s Awake in Springtime? by Phillis Gershator and Mim Green

When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes

Everything Spring by Jill Esbaum

Mud by Mary Lyn Ray

 

Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord and other summer reading recommendations

halfachance Lucy has been the new kid before, so she thinks that she knows what to expect when she moves into a lake house in New Hampshire with her camera in hand.  With her famous photographer father on location and her mother busy unpacking and working, Lucy has a lot of time to spend on the lake with her new neighbor, Nate, and his family. With Nate’s help, Lucy is determined to win a photography contest. Initially her motive was to prove her talent to her father, but the closer she becomes with Nate, the more she wants to win to use the prize money to help give one last great experience to Nate’s grandmother, who’s health is deteriorating due to dementia. When she has to choose between art and her relationships, Lucy begins to look at the world straight on, instead of behind a camera lens.
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