The best books about spring

4 authors have picked their favorite books about spring and why they recommend each book.

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The Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring

By Lucille Clifton, Brinton Turkle (illustrator),

Book cover of The Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring

King Shabazz doesn’t believe in this spring that everybody is talking about, but he and his friend Tony Polita and set out through the city in search of it, finding spring in green growing sprouts with pointy yellow flowers in a vacant lot and a nest of eggs birds have made in an abandoned car. 


Who am I?

I write children’s books, both fiction and non-fiction, including One Duck Stuck, Big Momma Makes the World, Rattletrap Car, Plant a Pocket of Prairie, and, in collaboration with Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Liza Ketchum, Begin With A Bee, a picture book about the federally endangered rusty-patched bumblebee. Recently I have been putting my garden to bed for the winter, pulling tomato vines, harvesting beans that have dried on the vine, cutting herbs, and planting cloves of garlic to grow into heads in next year’s garden. In a couple of months snow will bury the garden beds, and the only gardens will be in the pages of books. Here are five of the children’s books that I love about growing things.


I wrote...

Anywhere Farm

By Phyllis Root, G. Brian Karas (illustrator),

Book cover of Anywhere Farm

What is my book about?

You might think a farm means fields, tractors, and a barnyard full of animals. But you can plant a farm anywhere you like! A box or a bucket, a boot or a pan — almost anything can be turned into a home for green, growing things. Windows, balconies, and front steps all make wonderful spots to start. Who knows what plants you may choose to grow and who will come to see your new garden?

Phyllis Root delivers a modern rhyming mantra for anyone hoping to put their green thumbs to good use, while G. Brian Karas’s cheerful urban illustrations sprout from every page. After all, anywhere can be a farm — all it takes is one small seed and someone to plant it.

Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms

By Julia Rawlinson, Tiphanie Beeke (illustrator),

Book cover of Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms

Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms is a delightful heart-warming tale full of what to expect when the seasons change to spring. You can’t help but smile at Fletcher the Fox who mistakenly thinks the falling blossom is surprising spring snow so warns the other animals that it is going to get cold and the birds should fly south, find shelter, or go back into hibernation. 

This picture book is the ideal mix of a funny, entertaining story and glorious watercolour illustrations that demonstrate how nature is transformed by the changing seasons. I particularly like the double-page spread showing how the woods have been transformed by a blanket of pink and white petals. Great for use in the classroom or reading aloud at home with your child.


Who am I?

As a child I was always fascinated by nature, especially the way the trees changed throughout the seasons. This may be what stimulated my love of growing and caring for bonsai trees and why I have written many books about the seasons myself. Now as an author, ex-primary school teacher, parent, and grandparent I am aware of the importance of encouraging other children to have this same interest and fascination in nature and the ever-changing seasons. I believe it fosters an awareness of how the world is far bigger than themselves and everything is interconnected. I hope these books will inspire young mind’s love and understanding of the natural world.


I wrote...

Rabbit's Spring Gift

By Anita Loughrey, Lucy Barnard (illustrator),

Book cover of Rabbit's Spring Gift

What is my book about?

Rabbit’s Spring Gift has a theme of sibling rivalry set around the concept of spring. Rabbit wants to give her mum a thank you gift, but her brother tries to out-do her at every turn. The book intertwines family relationships and the changing seasons.

At the back of the book there are seasonal activities, crafts and discussion points to help develop a child’s understanding of the natural world. Rabbit’s Spring Gift can be used in schools, nurseries, and at home to support topics on the seasons and animals. The gorgeous illustrations give the perfect ahhh-factor.

Abracadabra, It's Spring!

By Anne Sibley O'Brien, Susan Gal (illustrator),

Book cover of Abracadabra, It's Spring!

Abracadabra, It's Spring! shows seasonal magic at its height. The charming rhymes and lyrical nature of the text transports the readers on a magical journey of seasonal changes. Each page opens out to double the size by the addition of beautifully illustrated pull-out flaps. This is a great picture book for young children as it visually shows how the winter snow magically melts away to reveal the thrill and wonder of spring’s arrival.

I particularly like how it provides opportunities to discuss bird migration and the life cycle of birds and butterflies. You can also have fun brainstorming all the different activities they can do during the spring when the weather gets warmer. A great addition to a spring-themed bookshelf.


Who am I?

As a child I was always fascinated by nature, especially the way the trees changed throughout the seasons. This may be what stimulated my love of growing and caring for bonsai trees and why I have written many books about the seasons myself. Now as an author, ex-primary school teacher, parent, and grandparent I am aware of the importance of encouraging other children to have this same interest and fascination in nature and the ever-changing seasons. I believe it fosters an awareness of how the world is far bigger than themselves and everything is interconnected. I hope these books will inspire young mind’s love and understanding of the natural world.


I wrote...

Rabbit's Spring Gift

By Anita Loughrey, Lucy Barnard (illustrator),

Book cover of Rabbit's Spring Gift

What is my book about?

Rabbit’s Spring Gift has a theme of sibling rivalry set around the concept of spring. Rabbit wants to give her mum a thank you gift, but her brother tries to out-do her at every turn. The book intertwines family relationships and the changing seasons.

At the back of the book there are seasonal activities, crafts and discussion points to help develop a child’s understanding of the natural world. Rabbit’s Spring Gift can be used in schools, nurseries, and at home to support topics on the seasons and animals. The gorgeous illustrations give the perfect ahhh-factor.

Little Bear's Spring

By Elli Woollard, Briony May Smith,

Book cover of Little Bear's Spring

Little Bear's Spring is an inspired picture book about friendship that emerges from the unlikeliest of things. When Little Bear wakes up from his long winter sleep he discovers everywhere is covered by a blanket of snow and is eerily quiet. He feels alone and afraid. You can’t help but go Ahhhh when Little Bear picks up a small pebble which he thinks is just as alone as he is. He clutches it tightly in his paw and sets off on this heart-warming adventure in search of friends.

You can really identify with Little Bear as he wonders at the magnificent changes the seasons have on his environment. This caring picture book is a celebration of how amazing the natural world is.


Who am I?

As a child I was always fascinated by nature, especially the way the trees changed throughout the seasons. This may be what stimulated my love of growing and caring for bonsai trees and why I have written many books about the seasons myself. Now as an author, ex-primary school teacher, parent, and grandparent I am aware of the importance of encouraging other children to have this same interest and fascination in nature and the ever-changing seasons. I believe it fosters an awareness of how the world is far bigger than themselves and everything is interconnected. I hope these books will inspire young mind’s love and understanding of the natural world.


I wrote...

Rabbit's Spring Gift

By Anita Loughrey, Lucy Barnard (illustrator),

Book cover of Rabbit's Spring Gift

What is my book about?

Rabbit’s Spring Gift has a theme of sibling rivalry set around the concept of spring. Rabbit wants to give her mum a thank you gift, but her brother tries to out-do her at every turn. The book intertwines family relationships and the changing seasons.

At the back of the book there are seasonal activities, crafts and discussion points to help develop a child’s understanding of the natural world. Rabbit’s Spring Gift can be used in schools, nurseries, and at home to support topics on the seasons and animals. The gorgeous illustrations give the perfect ahhh-factor.

Mouse and Mole

By Wong Herbert Yee,

Book cover of Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends

Mole and Mouse take their art supplies into the woods to make a book about birds, but they can never get close enough to their subjects to draw them. Since birds are not afraid of other birds, they decide to create feathered costumes for themselves and then build a nest to lure some winged company into drawing range. These stories about a warm, eccentric friendship between a mole and mouse, with charming pictures reminiscent of E.H. Shepard’s art in the Winne the Pooh books, are full of small surprises, just right for new readers.  


Who am I?

I’m the author of nearly thirty books for children, ranging from board books to young adult novels. This list combines two of my great loves: animals and early readers. I love animals because they are funny, amazing, and mysterious, and they have brought me so much joy throughout my life. I love early readers because they are small books about big feelings—big problems, big dramas, big adventures. The words may be simple, but there is nothing simple about the emotions in these stories. For beginning readers, these first, short chapter books are the gateway to a lifetime of literary pleasures. Below are a few of my favorites, old and new. 


I wrote...

The Miniature World of Marvin & James

By Elise Broach, Kelly Murphy (illustrator),

Book cover of The Miniature World of Marvin & James

What is my book about?

My early reader series is based on the characters in my middle-grade mystery, Masterpiece, about a beetle named Marvin and a boy named James. In the first book, the two best friends must endure a separation, as James leaves on vacation and Marvin is left behind, lonely and bored. Fortunately, Marvin’s cousin Elaine is bursting with ideas for adventure. Together, they explore an electric pencil sharpener, which seems like an excellent place to have some fun... until, suddenly, it’s not. With a pencil blocking the hole, will Marvin and Elaine make it out alive?  And will Marvin ever be reunited with James?

It's Spring!

By Samantha Berger, Pamela Chanko, Melissa Sweet (illustrator)

Book cover of It's Spring!

This lovely book captures the beautiful sounds, sights, and smells of Spring with charming and whimsical illustrations by Melissa Sweet. Her charming work transports you into the book, flying through each colorful spread with glee  A celebration of community and mother nature and an absolute favorite of my children, not only growing up but to this day!


Who am I?

I am a Graphic Illustrator, Muralist, and Educator, serving as an adjunct professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art and I love birds! I was born and raised in the Chautauqua Lake Region of Western, NY and I find myself very much at home with our feathered friends. My passion for color, shape, and nature enables me to draw the viewer's eye to things that otherwise might go unnoticed. Letter Birds was created when my children were 5 and 7 and I would draw while they slept. When they awoke they would find a colorful drawing of a feathered friend along with a new letter to learn. My children continue to be my creative muses - even as teenagers!


I wrote...

Letter Birds

By Pam Spremulli,

Book cover of Letter Birds

What is my book about?

Enjoy learning the alphabet and the natural world of birds via simple and colorful graphic illustrations. Each letter has a corresponding bird from the well-known C for Cardinal to the more exotic L for Lapwing. Children and parents will discover a wondrous array of birds from A to Z (yes, including X and U!).

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring

By Kenard Pak,

Book cover of Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring

The unique style of this picture book is a pleasure to read aloud. You can use different voices as the young boy walks through the countryside with his dog and says goodbye to each of the signs of winter and then how the seasons reply. In effect, you get this wonderful conversation between nature and the boy from the birds chirping in the branches, to the ice melting on the babbling brook.

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring is the ideal book for highlighting the dramatic contrasts between the season of winter and spring. The perfect choice for a fun storytime themed around the seasons.


Who am I?

As a child I was always fascinated by nature, especially the way the trees changed throughout the seasons. This may be what stimulated my love of growing and caring for bonsai trees and why I have written many books about the seasons myself. Now as an author, ex-primary school teacher, parent, and grandparent I am aware of the importance of encouraging other children to have this same interest and fascination in nature and the ever-changing seasons. I believe it fosters an awareness of how the world is far bigger than themselves and everything is interconnected. I hope these books will inspire young mind’s love and understanding of the natural world.


I wrote...

Rabbit's Spring Gift

By Anita Loughrey, Lucy Barnard (illustrator),

Book cover of Rabbit's Spring Gift

What is my book about?

Rabbit’s Spring Gift has a theme of sibling rivalry set around the concept of spring. Rabbit wants to give her mum a thank you gift, but her brother tries to out-do her at every turn. The book intertwines family relationships and the changing seasons.

At the back of the book there are seasonal activities, crafts and discussion points to help develop a child’s understanding of the natural world. Rabbit’s Spring Gift can be used in schools, nurseries, and at home to support topics on the seasons and animals. The gorgeous illustrations give the perfect ahhh-factor.

Poppleton in Spring

By Cynthia Rylant, Mark Teague (illustrator),

Book cover of Poppleton in Spring

Rylant is the true maestro of early readers, with her trademark blend of kid-friendly adventure, childhood truth, and humor. It’s hard to pick a favorite from her many offerings, but the Poppleton books—about an independent-minded pig with lots of plans—stand out for their appealing silliness and the bright, energetic pictures by Teague.  In this book, Poppleton embarks on a spring-cleaning project to clear out his overcrowded house but ends up finding a host of new treasures at the home of his llama friend, Cherry Sue. He has other schemes for enjoying the springtime—maybe he’ll go for a bike ride or camp out under the stars—but with Poppleton, you never know how these adventures will end up.


Who am I?

I’m the author of nearly thirty books for children, ranging from board books to young adult novels. This list combines two of my great loves: animals and early readers. I love animals because they are funny, amazing, and mysterious, and they have brought me so much joy throughout my life. I love early readers because they are small books about big feelings—big problems, big dramas, big adventures. The words may be simple, but there is nothing simple about the emotions in these stories. For beginning readers, these first, short chapter books are the gateway to a lifetime of literary pleasures. Below are a few of my favorites, old and new. 


I wrote...

The Miniature World of Marvin & James

By Elise Broach, Kelly Murphy (illustrator),

Book cover of The Miniature World of Marvin & James

What is my book about?

My early reader series is based on the characters in my middle-grade mystery, Masterpiece, about a beetle named Marvin and a boy named James. In the first book, the two best friends must endure a separation, as James leaves on vacation and Marvin is left behind, lonely and bored. Fortunately, Marvin’s cousin Elaine is bursting with ideas for adventure. Together, they explore an electric pencil sharpener, which seems like an excellent place to have some fun... until, suddenly, it’s not. With a pencil blocking the hole, will Marvin and Elaine make it out alive?  And will Marvin ever be reunited with James?

And Then It's Spring

By Julie Fogliano, Erin E. Stead (illustrator),

Book cover of And Then It's Spring

Told in one long sentence, this is the story of a child and their dog who plant seeds after winter and wait and wait and wait for the brown ground to–finally–become green. The ongoing sentence resonates with waiting for hopeful signs that spring is on the way. 


Who am I?

I write children’s books, both fiction and non-fiction, including One Duck Stuck, Big Momma Makes the World, Rattletrap Car, Plant a Pocket of Prairie, and, in collaboration with Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Liza Ketchum, Begin With A Bee, a picture book about the federally endangered rusty-patched bumblebee. Recently I have been putting my garden to bed for the winter, pulling tomato vines, harvesting beans that have dried on the vine, cutting herbs, and planting cloves of garlic to grow into heads in next year’s garden. In a couple of months snow will bury the garden beds, and the only gardens will be in the pages of books. Here are five of the children’s books that I love about growing things.


I wrote...

Anywhere Farm

By Phyllis Root, G. Brian Karas (illustrator),

Book cover of Anywhere Farm

What is my book about?

You might think a farm means fields, tractors, and a barnyard full of animals. But you can plant a farm anywhere you like! A box or a bucket, a boot or a pan — almost anything can be turned into a home for green, growing things. Windows, balconies, and front steps all make wonderful spots to start. Who knows what plants you may choose to grow and who will come to see your new garden?

Phyllis Root delivers a modern rhyming mantra for anyone hoping to put their green thumbs to good use, while G. Brian Karas’s cheerful urban illustrations sprout from every page. After all, anywhere can be a farm — all it takes is one small seed and someone to plant it.

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