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Illustration of three books gently suspended in air, with vines, flowers, butterflies and bees artfully drawn in

Another year, another spring. This year, the turning of the seasons feels even more important than ever. New life, fresh air, budding plants all bringing hope and energy to 2021! In honor of the season, we chatted with Maggie Killman, Lifelong Learning Manager at the Cincinnati Public Library, about her favorite spring-themed books for kids. She also provided some reading tips for caregivers to make story time more engaging and fun!

Shelf of illustrated books with spring-inspired, pastel covers, with a potted flower resting on stack of books on the right

Note: You may notice that we link to Bookshop, rather than other online retailers. We do this in an effort to support independent bookstores that are hurting from shutdowns caused by the ongoing pandemic; a portion of all sales go directly to independent bookstores near you! If you’re looking for a (socially-distanced, precautioned) in-person shopping experience, check out the Indie Bookstore Finder to locate your new favorite local shop. And lastly, don’t forget your local library as another option. Happy reading!

Cover of book, "Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring," featuring child and dog walking up a hill in springtime

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring Written and Illustrated by Kenard Pak

Sweet, simple text accompanies serene illustrations, making the beauty of the changing seasons the focus of the story. As spring continues to bloom, talk to your child about the differences they notice outside each day!

Cover of book, "The Carrot Seed," with little child dropping a seed into ground

The Carrot Seed Written by Ruth Krauss, Illustrated by Crockett Johnson

Gardening with little ones is a wonderful way to spark their imagination and deepen their understanding of nature. The Carrot Seed is a timeless classic that is perfect for starting conversations about patience, perseverance, and the wonder of tending something and watching it grow.

Cover of book "Tap Tap Boom Boom," with three children running in rain, one holding an umbrella, towards a subway stop stairwell

Tap Tap Boom Boom Written by Elizabeth Bleumle, Illustrated by G. Brian Karas

A cacophony of noises can greet you during spring's rain showers, and Tap Tap Boom Boom vividly mimics the riot and joy of a thunderstorm! Encourage your child to "tap tap BOOM BOOM" along with you for extra fun as you read this story aloud. You can also point out how the words "Boom BOOM" get progressively bigger as the storm grows to help your child learn to connect words to their meaning!

Cover of "In the Tall, Tall Grass," a young child peeking through grass at a caterpillarIn the Tall, Tall Grass Written and Illustrated by Denise Fleming

A resounding beat flows through the words of this book, matching Fleming's bold paper collage illustrations. If you read this with your child on your lap, bounce them up and down to the beat of the words. They'll love it, and emphasizing the rhythm will help their brains develop essential learning skills.

Cover of "When Spring Comes," with words centered on page, three kittens, a bird on a branch, and bees framing the wordsWhen Spring Comes Written by Kevin Henkes, Illustrated by Laura Dronzek

The author describes the turn of the seasons so simply and charmingly, and Laura Dronzek's bold acrylic illustrations bring these visions to life. A perfect, quick read — the simple text in this book makes it a great choice to read with two-and-unders.

Blue book cover with words "First the" and an image of an egg in a nestFirst the Egg Written and Illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Reading this book feels like play! The clever use of colors and cutouts encourages children to think abstractly and use their imaginations. Spring is always a wonderful time to talk about life and birth, eggs and tadpoles. Cover of "Zen Shorts" with a panda carrying an umbrella, walking on a rooftop under cherry blossoms

Zen Shorts Written and Illustrated by Jon J. Muth

Spring always feels like a time to head out into nature, take a deep breath, and feel really at peace. Muth captures that essence so perfectly in the "Zen Shorts" that Stillwater, the main character, shares with the children in this charming book, including lessons we could all stand to hear: take a deep breath, seek calm, and reflect.

Line of illustrated books suspended in mid-air, partially opened, with bees flying between the books

Looking for more book recommendations? Or maybe some coloring pages? Check out our other play-themed blogs here.