Book Corner: Think spring with these charming picture books | Entertainment

By Darcie Caswell Central Rappahannock Regional Library

It finally feels like the cold weather has passed and we can fully embrace spring! Bring on the adorable baby animals, delicate but determined shoots pushing up through the soil, and playful children enjoying the longer days outdoors.

“Badger’s Perfect Garden” by Marsha Diane Arnold, illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki. Badger is perfectly prepared to plant a beautiful garden. He gathered seeds at the end of summer and put them in jars to keep them safe all winter. He drew a plan and marked out where all the seeds should be planted. Badgers’ friends join him to plant the seeds in perfect rows, then celebrate all the work they’ve done. But when a heavy rain comes, Badger’s plan for his perfect garden is put into jeopardy.

“First Notes of Spring” by Jessica Kulekjian, illustrated by Jennifer Bower. At the end of each winter the First Notes of Spring musicians welcome the new season with their music. This year, Juniper is ready to join them, but her drumming is “wild” and just does not blend with the woodwinds and the strings. On her way home from auditions, feeling sad and lonely, Juniper hears a woodpecker tapping on a tree, then a beaver clapping his tail in the water and they join together to provide the first beats of spring.

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“Good-bye, Winter! Hello, Spring! ” by Kazuo Iwamura. Squirrel siblings become curious about the melting snow and the little streams they see running all through the forest. They discover that the little streams all converge. They hop on a floating log to see where the water goes, and get carried away into a river and then a big lake. The squirrels get scared when they realize their adventure has taken them far from home, but a group of friendly ducks offers to help bring them back safely.

“Happy Springtime!” by Kate McMullan, illustrated by Sujean Rim. Spring brings a flurry of activity. Children play in the park and dig in the sandbox. Animals emerge from their winter homes and birds build nests. Spring flowers brighten everything and spring rain makes for joyful puddle jumping.

“The Spring Book” by Todd Parr. With simple words and bright illustrations, every page of The Spring Book gives a reason why spring is special: blooming trees, bright green grass, baby animals, picnics in the park, visits to the farmer’s market, and celebrating spring holidays like Mother’s Day and Earth Day.

“Spring Cakes” by Miranda Harmon. Three kittens celebrate the first day of spring by gathering ingredients for their mother to make her delicious spring cakes. Some of the ingredients are typical, like flour, but others are unique. After gathering silver honey and blue eggs, they have to gather wild strawberries without angering the bear who guards them. Then, the most terrifying task: retrieving magical roses from the witch’s garden.

“Spring Stinks” by Ryan T. Higgins. Perpetually grumpy Bruce, from Higgins’ Mother Bruce, is the only one in Soggy Hollow who is not excited about spring. Ruth the bunny exuberantly tells Bruce about all the wonderful spring smells: green grass, fresh daisies, budding trees. But Bruce is not convinced. He thinks spring just stinks.

“Little Homesteader: A Spring Treasury of Recipes, Crafts, and Wisdom” by Angela Ferraro-Fanning, illustrated by AnneliesDraws. Part gardening book, part science book, part recipe book, Spring Treasury covers a wide range of topics to interest children in the spring season. Readers learn what signs to look for when deciding when it is time to plant their garden and what vegetables can be grown in the spring. The section on spring flowers includes information on edible flowers, a recipe for sweet violet syrup, and instructions on how to press flowers to use them in crafts.

Darcie Caswell is Youth Services Coordinator at Central Rappahannock Regional Library.

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