Welcome spring with these great read-a-louds. They’re not only a delight to read, but they also encourage mindfulness and attention to the changes brought by the new season.
In my neck of the woods, the season of Spring is much anticipated after our long and cold winters. Spring can be fickle, with sunshine one day and a snowstorm the next. Knowing of the eventual breakthrough of warmth and light in the northern hemisphere offers a sense of hope and renewal.
Research supports that reading for pleasure with children can improve language development and capacity for paying attention. It also leads to positive social and emotional outcomes. Reading with your child is a great opportunity to make a connection and strengthen your relationship.
Even if you live in a place where seasonal change is not significant, you can experience the transition to Spring on the pages of these wonderful books:
1. Story of the Root Children, by Sibylle Von Offers
An early 20th century classic story about the change in the seasons. It is a story of the root children who spend their winters asleep underground, but then are awakened by Mother Nature to welcome Spring. The story then transitions to Summer where the children play in fields, ponds and meadows before returning in Autumn to Mother Earth, who welcomes them home and puts them to bed once more.
2. And Then It’s Spring, by Julie Fogliano
A nice story about the patience and anticipation that accompany the transition from Winter to Spring. The illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Erin E. Stead complement the story and are a delight to any reader.
3. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, by Kate Messner
A fun and lyrical garden themed follow-up to the award-winning book Over and Under the Snow. In this book, readers get to explore the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year, both above and below the ground.
4. When Spring Comes, by Kevin Henkes
A seasonal delight that illustrates the transition to Spring. Kevin Henkes pairs his flair to create stories with rhyme, repetition and alliteration with the captivating illustrations by his wife, Laura Dronzek, to create a sure-win for a young audience.
5. Spring Thaw, by Steven Schnur
One of my favorite books to read to children to welcome Spring. Schnur captivates his readers with lyrical prose, bringing awareness of the subtle changes that accompany the arrival of Spring on a farm.
6. Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White
The Newberry Honor classic novel telling the tender tale of friendship, love, life, and death on a farm. I remember my second grade teacher reading this to me when I was a child. I have read the story to my own young children, and I read it to my kindergarten students each Spring. Needless to say, it is one of my favorites.
7. Goose Moon, by Carolyn Arden
A story inspired by Native American folklore about a young girl and her grandpa, and their mindful attention to changes in the seasons. After a long Winter, the longed-for “Goose Moon” comes. The girl and her grandfather rise early one morning to hear the honk of returning geese, heralding the coming of Spring.
8. The Happy Day, by Ruth Krauss
A 1950 Caldecott Honor book about woodland animals awakening to the sweet green scents of Spring, and joyfully celebrating the arrival of the new season.
9. Maple Moon, by Connie Brummell Crook
The fictional Native American story about a young boy who discovers the run of sweet sap from a maple tree in Spring. This is a great story for children to gain understanding and respect for the challenges, traditions and community connectedness in Native American culture.
10. Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney
The classic story of Alice Rumphius, who was given the direction from her grandfather to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful. As an elderly woman, Miss Rumphius made the world more beautiful by scattering lupine seeds wherever she went, leaving a legacy of beautiful lupine flowers that bloom each spring.
Miss Rumphius received the 1983 National Book Award for Children’s Books and was included in School Library Journal’s list of “Top 100 Picture Books” of all time.