14 children’s books for celebrating spring

Whether this is your child’s first spring, or the first spring to know what to plant in the garden, a new book helps welcome the season. From do-it-yourself guides to a tutorial on worm illustration, these books help fling open the windows and invite spring into 2019.  

An ABC of Flowers, by Jutta Hilpuesch

Ages: Infant to 3 years

Why not make teaching the ABCs a beautiful endeavor? Each flower pops off the page, from A is for Aster to Z is for Zinnia. Author Jutta Hilpuesch is a Chicagoland resident, and some of the proceeds from her Etsy shop, The Lucky Elephant, benefit Urban Initiatives, a Chicago-based nonprofit to benefit underserved public school programs.

Deep in the Ocean, by Lucie Brunelliere

Ages: 2-6

A large board book with colors as beautiful as the deep sea, young readers and their parents will enjoy picking out fish and finding sea life. As a submarine takes a journey from ocean to ocean across the Earth, all manner of sea-faring wildlife is found. 

My Tree and Me, by Jo Witek

Ages: 2-4

A delightful final book in the Growing Hearts series, the book of seasons is one that preschoolers will enjoy. With a hole that shrinks as the narrator grows, the tree stands tall as the young girl expands her roots. 

Garden Party Sticker Book, by Frederick Warne

Ages: 3-5 years

In addition to more than 30 stickers with fairies, flowers and flower outfits for the fairies, the book has a retro look as it asks young readers to help fill in the story. Preschoolers can learn about the fairy world and how fairies interact with plants and gardens. 

I Can Only Draw Worms, by Will Mabbitt

Ages: 3-5 years

Worms are better than just lines on a page, and kids will quickly learn that their best effort is worth the work. A counting book with some fun, preschoolers can number each worm as reader parents chuckle along to the light-hearted story. 

The Little Green Girl, by Lisa Anchin

Ages: 3-5 years

Imagine life rooted to the ground, and such is the tale of a seedling who finds a gardener, then hears stories of the wide world. The Little Green Girl touches the life of her gardener friend as much as he helps her grow. 

Carl and the Meaning of Life, by Deborah Freedman

Ages: 3-6 years

As Carl the worm seeks to find out why he turns the soil day after day, kids can ask what they do to help the Earth.

Dancing Through Fields of Color, by Elizabeth Brown

Ages: 4-8 years

In addition to the well-told story of artist Helen Frankenthaler’s youth and fresh beginnings as an artist, the illustrations by Aimee Sicuro bring young art lovers into Frankenthaler’s world. With color and feeling, younger readers can fill their spring canvases. 

If I was the Sunshine, by Julie Fogliano & Loren Long

Ages: 4-8 years

With a gentle rhyme, this is a beautiful bedtime or early reader book. The illustrations by Long ease the reader through the story, and Fogliano’s rhythm and cadence are memorable as the sunshine is welcomed into the day. This book is available for pre-order through Amazon.

Camp Tiger, by Susan Choi

Ages: 4-8 years

As a family heads out on its yearly camping trip, this is a coming-of-age story for the narrator, who is headed into the first grade. Meeting a tiger becomes the highlight of the summer, and kids of all ages will enjoy the delightful tale as the youngster gains responsibility with age. 

Big Foot & Little Foot, The Squatchicorns, by Ellen Potter

Ages: 6-9

The next in the series of Big Foot and Little Foot, this chapter book for earlier readers has the pair of best friends – Hugo and Boone – on the trail of a curse in the squatchicorns’ cavern. 

When Sue Found Sue, by Toni Buzzeo

Ages: 6-10

Chicago-area residents know Sue the T.rex who calls the Field Museum home. The story of how Sue Hendrickson discovered Sue the dino is one of a shy girl who likes to find things. Bright illustrations and a witty story combine for a great read to prep kids for a summer of learning. This book is available for pre-order on Amazon. 

Gardening with Emma, by Emma Biggs

Ages: 8 and up

Written by a kid, for kids, this book is not just a garden how-to, it also serves as a plant how-to. From identifying and growing plants, to which are edible (flowers, too), this book is fun, personable and great for gardeners of all ages. 

Trees, A Rooted History, by Piotr Socha & Wojciech Grajkowski

Ages: 8 and up

The beautiful pictures are reminiscent of historical annals as trees are explored from seedlings and readers learn about the creatures that can destroy them. At 80 pages, the book is great for elementary-aged readers who want to dive deeper into the subject. 

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