7 Spring Picture Books

Spring has sprung! I just love the change of seasons. Even though it happens every year and I should be used to it by now, the four seasons never cease to amaze me. Living in southeastern Pennsylvania, I do get to enjoy all four seasons, and spring along with fall, constitute my top two favorites. The budding flowers, the bright green grass, the warmer temperatures, the crisp breeze, and the beauty of a new beginning all put a smile on my face. It’s the perfect time to grab our 7 spring picture books and enjoy the season.

Just like the season changes, I love to change out my book displays with spring picture books. We have found seven great spring picture books for you and have included some standards you can teach with each! We hope these stories make your students sprout with happiness. 

1. Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring, by Kenard Pak

Personification, Onomatopoeia, & Descriptive Writing

Kenard Pak picture books are my favorite. They are simple and sweet and base the whole seasonal transition on personification as the weather elements actually speak. With a dash of onomatopoeia and wonderfully descriptive language, students can learn how to write, as well, from Pak’s books.

Grab your copy today!

Publisher’s Synopsis:

In a simple, cheerful conversation with nature, a young boy observes how the season changes from winter to spring in Kenard Pak’s Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring. As days stretch longer, animals creep out from their warm dens, and green begins to grow again, everyone knows―spring is on its way! Join a boy and his dog as they explore nature and take a stroll through the countryside, greeting all the signs of the coming season. In a series of conversations with everything from the melting brook to chirping birds, they say goodbye to winter and welcome the lushness of spring.

2. The Upside-Down Gardener, by Chyrsa Smith

Problem & Solution, Cause & Effect, & Character Trait-Perseverance

A lengthier picture book with a concrete problem and real solution, students will love the whimsical illustrations, the city setting contrasted with the beauty of spring, the effect of flowers growing, and the determination of a young girl. 

Grab your copy today!

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Determined city girl Dory Oslo, unwillingly agrees when her mom tells her she should plant a garden. How could something grow in their city plot with only a piece of sun shining above the buildings? Her determination to wake up those plants is strong and what follows is nothing short of a miracle. Only something highly unusual is happening, or is it? This story uses gardening as a tie-in to discussions about not giving up, trying something new, being a strong-minded girl, and of course, the beauty of nature itself.

3. The Great Garden Escape, by Erica L. Clymer

Sequencing, Problem & Solution, & Compare & Contrast Characters

This picture book is so fun! As a strawberry and a blueberry try to get back to their garden, they must solve clues to return home. Students love to try to solve the riddles themselves, all while learning how the strawberry and the blueberry differ. Students can see how the problem has a solution and even learn to sequence as there are many events to keep track of. 

Grab your copy today!

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Join Sally Strawberry and Billy Blueberry on an extraordinary and interactive adventure through the garden! Best friends Sally and Billy are ready for a fun day in Fruit Garden! After sliding down Mango Mountain and flying over Cherry Cliff, they accidentally land in the mysterious Vegetable Garden. In their search to return home, a helpful squash tells the friends that ten clues will lead them to the secret gate. The pair must quickly find and solve them all before the gate locks at sunset. Will Sally and Billy conquer their quest to return home, or will they be left to ripen with the veggies? Children will love to solve the clues about vegetables and see which part of the garden they get to explore next! 

4. My Butterfly Bouquet, by Nicola Davies

Nonfiction Elements and Informative Facts about Butterflies

This is a beautiful story of alittle girl who recovers from her illness by revitalizing butterflies and a father who teaches her all about this beautiful spring insect. I love how Nicola Davies weaves nonfiction facts about butterflies, ecosystems, and nature with the fictional storyline of a young girl recovering from sickness. The ending even contains helpful tips for your students to create a garden that draws in butterflies. 

Grab your copy today!

Publisher’s Synopsis:

With breathtaking illustrations and a touching story, this dazzling picture book introduces young readers to one of nature’s most magnificent and essential insects: the butterfly. See how a little girl recovering from poor health finds wonder in nature and delights in planting a garden with her father to attract a fascinating array of butterflies. Exploring the life stages of butterflies, their importance to our ecosystems, and the revitalizing power of nature, this book is a heart-warming information story for children who love the outdoors and all its incredible creatures. At the back of the book, discover tips on how to create your own wildlife garden to attract butterflies!

5. The Butterfly Who Flew into the Rain, by Ori Gutin

Social-Emotional Learning, Problem & Solution, & Character Traits

Students will root for Cody the caterpillar as he undergoes emotional challenges and physical transformations. Students can glean from Cody how to make the best of a hard situation and how to learn to dance in the rain so to speak. 

Grab your copy today!

Publisher’s Synopsis:

This is a story about Cody, a little caterpillar born in the midst of a terrible thunderstorm. With all the other animals hidden away from the rain, Cody is left feeling sad and alone, and wondering if this is how he will feel every day. But then one afternoon, everything changes. Cody becomes a butterfly, the sun starts to shine, and all the animals come out to say hello! Cody finally feels what it’s like to be happy. Until the storm comes back again! Now, Cody faces a new challenge. Can he find a way to be happy even in the rain, or will the storm get the best of him again?

6. What Grew in Larry’s Garden, by Laura Alary

Social-Emotional Learning, Cause & Effect, & Nonfiction

This book is based on a true story about a teacher who has a garden with his students. Readers will love this inspirational book about community gardens. It taught the students who grew the vegetables in the garden so much more than just about plants. Students learn the importance of kindness, compassion, and giving. Most importantly, the students in the book learned these traits themselves. 

Grab your copy today!

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Inspired by a real person, author Laura Alary has written a heartwarming story about how amazing things can grow when you tend your garden with kindness. In this case, Larry, a teacher, is helping to grow the community. He has his students grow tomato plants that they then give away to their neighbors with personal notes. It offers a powerful lesson on the influence of generosity while encouraging young children to become community activists in their own neighborhoods. This uplifting story fosters an appreciation for neighborhood and community at a time when that sentiment seems to be eroding. The book also contains an environmental message about harvesting your own vegetables and, with Kass Reich’s colorful illustrations, works beautifully for a life science exploration of growth and changes in plants. There are character education connections to caring, cooperation, empathy, kindness, perseverance, and teamwork.

Earth Day

Spring arrives on March 20 and then the next month, we celebrate Earth Day on April 22. What better way to celebrate Earth and its wonderful features than when it’s awakening from the slumber of winter and coming to life again? We have a picture book that we just love to read on Earth Day. 

7. Tomorrow Most Likely, by Dave Eggers

Descriptive Language

From noticing the flowers in bloom, the spring bugs, ewwy gooeyness from a snail, and the blue clouds, the main character takes in the beauty of the world around him. We love to read this book on Earth Day to show students that the world is wonderfully unique and we should appreciate its beauty. 

Grab your copy today!

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Rather than focusing on going to bed-and what kid wants to think about going to bed?-this book explores all of the dreamy, wonderful, strange things the next day might bring. Whimsical, witty, and hopeful, this revolutionary rewriting of a classic goodnight book from bestselling author Dave Eggers and award-winning illustrator Lane Smith is a bedtime story for tomorrow ever after.

Speaking of Earth Day, we have an Earth Day bulletin board and an Earth Day activity set. Check it out here!

Grab yours today!

Grab yours today!

If you’re looking for a bright Spring backdrop to display those picture books, check out our Spring Bulletin Board. It is complete with writing prompts and beautiful writing papers.

Grab yours today!

Another one we just love that also incorporates kindness and whimsical spring bees is our Kindness Bulletin Board.

Grab yours today!


We hope your students learn, blossom, and grow after reading these darling 7 spring picture books. From inspirational stories to informative facts, from savoring the beauty of spring to cultivating the love of gardening…these seven spring picture books have something for every classroom. 

5 Picture Books for Christmas – Part 2

Last week, we introduced our first five favorite holiday picture books. This week, we are going to show our final five Christmas books we adore! Some of these books are classics. On the other hand, you may not have heard of another book or two. That’s why we love these kinds of blog posts! Introducing you to new stories that you can share with your students is what warms our hearts, just like a cup of hot cocoa! Let’s dive into our 5 Picture Books for Christmas – Part 2.

#1 The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

A lot of our students know The Polar Express from the beloved and magical movie. When I would tell my elementary kiddos that it was first a book, some were quite shocked! Nevertheless, they quickly loved the book as much as the movie, if not more. The beautiful illustrations are just as enchanting as the motion picture. Chris Van Allsburg’s classic tale of a young boy on his journey to the true belief of the magic of Christmas captivates students as they also struggle with believing as they get older. The timeless dark train against the backdrop of the falling white snow creates a classic scene of Christmas. 

Publisher’s Synopsis: A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical train to the North Pole . . .Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a barren desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the huge city standing alone at the top of the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.

#2 Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett

Any Jan Brett book is filled with gorgeous whimsical illustrations of the Swiss snowy countryside. Her books are filled with fun storylines, and beautiful imagery mirrored by detailed and enchanting drawings. When I think of a picture book that evokes Christmas and wintry magic, I think of Jan Brett. Gingerbread Friends is a sweet story perfect for the littlest elementary students. 

Publisher’s Synopsis: This Gingerbread Baby is looking for friends and finds an adventure he’ll never forget. The Gingerbread Baby is lonely and decides to do something about it. At a bakery, he dances and prances in front of a sugar cookie girl, trying to make friends. But she just stares and doesn’t say a word, like all the other sweet treats he tries to meet. Discouraged, the Gingerbread Baby runs home, chased by a long line of hungry creatures, where Mattie has a fantastic surprise for him–gingerbread friends that fill a giant fold-out page.

Check out our Gingerbread Friends unit here!

#3 The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

Ready to cry in front of your students? The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey will do just that! This was a classic tale I read to my elementary students every Christmas season. Filled with heartache, hope, and redemption, this story is thought-provoking and moving for students and adults alike. This story contains depth as well, making it wonderful for older elementary to middle school students. 

Publisher’s Synopsis: Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request that leads to a joyful miracle. The moving, lyrical tale, gloriously illustrated by P.J. Lynch, has been widely hailed as a true Christmas classic. 

#4 Radiator the Snowman by Tami Parker

Written and illustrated by my mother, Tami Parker, Radiator the Snowman is a wonderful tale with deep lessons of true friendship, celebrating uniqueness, and being comfortable with just being yourself. Students will fall in love with Radiator, the snowman, and his furry friends. The author, an elementary school librarian, truly knows how to weave a story together to capture to hearts of students. 

Publisher’s Synopsis: Radiator the Snowman knew he was different from the other snowmen of his most distinguished village. These feelings had always been with him since he was first formed in the hands of the children of the local junk man to the present time period in which he was kept away from the finer snowmen on display in his village. However, Radiator’s chance to join this prestigious league soon arrives. Will he take this opportunity or decide to stay in the junkyard with his friends? Radiator the Snowman is a wonderful story to read to little ones when you want them to know how important they are to each person in their life and why they should never compare themselves to others.

#5 The Christmas Pine by Julia Donaldson

Newly published two months ago, the author of Room on the Broom has written a book that celebrates the joy and warmth of the holiday season as it follows the story of one Christmas tree on its journey to Trafalgar Square to become London’s official tree. The sweet and snuggly illustrations will charm your students as well as create that magical feeling around your classroom rug. 

Publisher’s Synopsis: Deep in a snowy wood stands a little pine tree with a special destiny: when it grows up, it’s going to be a fabulous Christmas tree! The tree travels far across the sea to shine in a city square. Crowds gather to admire it, children sing carols around it, and the tree brings joy and the spirit of the season to all who pass by. Inspired by the annual journey of London’s Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square, this story includes back matter detailing the tree’s history as a gift to the United Kingdom from the people of Norway in remembrance of the UK’s support during World War II – an enduring symbol of friendship and peace.


December is a month full of wonderful opportunities to enchant readers with heartwarming holiday picture books. Take advantage of those cozy Christmas stories and create an atmosphere that highlights reading this holiday season in your classroom. It’ll make your heart melt like a gooey marshmallow in hot cocoa. 

Author of Blog

5 Picture Books for Christmas in the Classroom

December is here! How did this happen? I felt like it was just September a minute ago. December arrived swiftly and it came in like a roaring lion! Wait…isn’t that the saying about spring? Nevertheless, with the holiday hustle and bustle, it can be such an exciting and magical time for kiddos. Perfect time to pull out and share 5 picture books for Christmas in the classroom.

I love to bank on this excitement by lining my classroom with a plethora of Christmas books. Elementary students love the holidays! What’s not to love? Family time, the excitement of possible snow, gift-giving, tons of fun food, Santa, Christmas lights, pajama days, hot chocolate…there’s so much that a youngster can look forward to. I look back fondly on the Decembers from my elementary years and absolutely cherish them. 

Since students are so very delighted about this month, incorporating lots of picture books is a wonderful way to get students excited about reading. I have ten picture books perfect for the elementary classroom I’d like to share with you! Let’s start today with five of them and come back next week for the rest!

Dasher by Matt Tavares

We first discovered Matt Tavares in 2019 with his publication of his Christmas book, Dasher. It quickly took the reading world by force and has now become extremely popular. Tavares is a New York Times Bestseller who was known for sports novels and biographies before he ventured into the world of holiday picture books. Not only is Dashertruly heartwarming, but its beautiful illustrations, by Tavares himself, make for such a perfect read-aloud around the classroom rug.

Publisher’s Synopsis: Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life — one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head. One day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It’s not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh — a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same.

Check out our Dasher’s Daring Escape here!

Red & Lulu by Matt Tavares

Dasher was our first discovery of Matt Tavares, but we quickly learned he had another Christmas picture book before it. Red & Lulu has the same sweet, heartwarming Christmasy feel, with the same gorgeous illustrations that drive the story along. What we love about Matt Tavares is that his stories always have some sort of educational element as well. In Dasher, we learn that the female reindeer would be the ones to pull Santa’s sleigh, because real female reindeer would have antlers in December, just like Santa’s flying crew, whereas male reindeer cast their antlers by that time. What a fun and interesting fact!

Red & Lulu contains the true story of the annual practice of cutting down one evergreen tree from a small town in the USA to become the Rockefeller Center tree in NYC. With a nonfiction article in the back of the book explaining this, Red & Lulu quickly becomes informative as well as entertaining. 

Publisher’s Synopsis: Red and Lulu make their nest in a particularly beautiful evergreen tree. It shades them in the hot months and keeps them cozy in the cold months, and once a year the people who live nearby string lights on their tree and sing a special song: O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree. But one day, something unthinkable happens, and Red and Lulu are separated. It will take a miracle for them to find each other again. Luckily, it’s just the season for miracles. . . . From Matt Tavares comes a heart-tugging story combining the cheer of Christmas, the magic of New York City, and the real meaning of the holiday season: how important it is to be surrounded by love.

Check out our Red & Lulu unit here!

Little Red Sleigh by Erin Guendelsberger

This picture book is ideal for those younger elementary students, but young and old will love this story. Similar to the underdog story of Rudolph, a little red sleigh feels like she’s too young and little to be Santa’s actual sleigh. Children will relate to this book in a deep way, as many have felt disqualified from doing certain things because of their age or size. This picture book is beautifully illustrated and really pulls on the heartstrings. 

Publisher’s Synopsis: The Little Red Sleigh has one big dream―to one day become Santa’s big red sleigh! But all her life, she’s been told she’s too small, she’s too young, she can’t fly, and she certainly can’t meet Santa. Well, this Christmas, with the help of some friends, she’s determined to do the impossible. Little Red Sleigh is a heartwarming children’s Christmas book you’ll want to read again and again. Full of winter joy and holiday magic, this charming Christmas story will remind readers of all ages that no dream is out of reach if you believe.

Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner

We absolutely adore the Snowmen collection of picture books. With its simple story of the secret lives of snowmen at night and their adventures, students can’t get enough of these books!

Publisher’s Synopsis: This snappy and entertaining companion to the New York Times bestseller Snowmen at Night depicts all the best parts of the holiday, replete with icy treats and a snowman Kris Kringle. Told in the same bouncy verse as the original, Snowmen at Christmas is perfect for a snowy evening read-aloud.

Check out our Snowmen at Christmas resources here!

Humphrey’s First Christmas by Carol Heyer (Christian Picture Book) 

This picture book about Humphrey, the clumsy camel on a journey in the desert, will have students giggling. Yet, as the story progresses, we see just how magical that journey is and the destination, in this case, was even more important: to see the newly born baby Jesus. 

Publisher’s Synopsis: Humphrey the camel is only interested in one thing — getting his carpet blanket back. As he journeys with the Wise Men to Bethlehem, Humphrey bemoans his lost blanket until he finally gets a new one. But when the caravan arrives and Humphrey sees baby Jesus shivering, he gives the child his new blanket without a second thought. Full of rich acrylic paintings, humor, and heart, this book will swiftly become a cherished favorite with little ones.


These picture books will make an impact on students this holiday season. Whether it’s to learn a lesson on how young people can impact the world no matter how disqualified they feel or whether students need a magical story about Santa and his reindeer, these picture books will make students excited about reading. Stay tuned for next week for Part 2 with five more Christmas picture books!

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