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