Spring is a mix of blossoms and brighter days, mud and puddles, rain jackets, and the return of farmers markets. No matter where you live or when spring actually arrives in your neighborhood, it’s frequently accompanied by a feeling of lightness—shaking off the winter months for a season of growth and renewal. In truth, spring always amazes me. I especially love the return of our weekly Botanical Garden outings and our annual Easter traditions.
When it comes to books about a specific topic, I’m fairly certain our spring collection is the only one that comes close to our holiday book stash. Perhaps some of the books on this list will become seasonal favorites in your home too. And I have it on good authority that any one of these would be perfect tucked into an Easter basket.
1 | ABRACADABRA, IT’S SPRING! BY ANNE SIBLEY O’BRIEN
“A little green shoot comes into focus. Alakazam! Now it’s a crocus.” This rhyming book features a phrase on the left side of the page, followed by a fold-out delight hidden under the right side. Images include burrowing moles to fuzzy pussy willows, and a treetop brimming with chirping birds. Little ones will love the onomatopoeia words scattered throughout this lavishly illustrated ode to spring. Our favorite spread? The lacy cherry blossom branches.
2 | CHICKEN SUNDAY BY PATRICIA POLACCO
Of all the books on this list, this one is my absolute favorite! When a group of young children decides to buy an Easter hat for their gramma, the one she’s had her eye on, they must overcome the difficulty of having their good intentions misunderstood. Patricia Polacco effortlessly weaves stories from her own childhood into meaningful picture books for children of any age.
3 | HERE COMES THE EASTER CAT BY DEBORAH UNDERWOOD
You knew this was going to be on the list. Our affable narrator is back and full of inquisitive questions for our favorite cat. This time to convince Cat that the Easter Bunny has a really tough job and maybe Cat should help out. However, it seems a no-nap gig isn’t what Cat wanted after all. I always love how dapper both Cat and Easter Bunny appear at the end of the book.
4 | FESTIVAL OF COLORS BY SURISHTHA SEHGAL AND KABIR SEHGAL
Chintoo and Mintoo pluck colorful blossoms from the backyard. Orange marigolds and violet iris petals will be laid out to dry, then crushed into vibrant hues of powder. With their friends and family all dressed in white, Chintoo and Mintoo celebrate Holi, an Indian festival of color, with exuberant explosions of color, tossed into the air and on each other. We hosted our own backyard Holi party last year, inspired by this book.
5 | GOD GAVE US EASTER BY LISA TAWN BERGREN
Papa Bear explains to his little Cub how each aspect of Easter is a gift from God. While this book is on the longish side, it’s a nice way to explain some of the religious aspects of Easter to younger children.
6 | GOODBYE WINTER, HELLO SPRING BY KENARD PAK
Hello, snowflake falling down. Hello, frozen pond and cold glasshouses. Winter clings to frost-covered branches, as footprints track through winter’s blanket. When morning comes, the world looks different as early light scatters across the house and yard. Soon snow turns to slush, and sunlight awakens flora and fauna, each eager to bask in warmer days. Every book in this series is a breathtaking delight. We can’t recommend them enough.
7 | HAPPY & HOPPY BY COTTAGE DOOR PRESS
A sturdy board book with five lift-the-flap characters, each interactive page asks questions about what children see. With first concepts such as color and number recognition scattered throughout, this book is ideal for inquisitive little fingers. We have both the Easter and Christmas ones, and while not 100% indestructible, they are certainly beloved in our home.
8 | RAIN BY SAM USHER
Sam wants to play outside, but it’s raining. He fritters away the morning until Granddad is ready to mail an important letter. They bundle up with rain gear and head out into the drizzly day. Soon a gondola appears, and their excursion turns into another adventure. The embossed raindrops on the cover are just one of the many touches that make the Seasons with Granddad series perennial favorites.
9 | STORY ORCHESTRA: FOUR SEASONS IN ONE DAY BY JESSICA COURTNEY-TICKLE
We are huge fans of every Story Orchestra book. This one, the first book in the series, with its gorgeous four-seasons cover, follows Isabella and her dog as they experience the majesty of each season in one unforgettable day. With audio buttons on every page, each sound clip introduces children to the classical masterpiece of Vivaldi’s four seasons. Care to start an instantaneous dance party? This book easily facilitates that.
10 | THE BOY WHO DIDN’T BELIEVE IN SPRING BY LUCILLE CLIFTON
This vintage classic reminds me of Sesame Street scenes from my youth (80s kid here). King Shabazz doesn’t believe his teacher when she says spring is on the way. He says, “No such thing,” when his mom mentions spring is approaching. All King knows is what he sees, but one day he puts on his jacket and shades and takes his friend on an outing to track down the elusive season. A little-known vintage charmer, featuring an inquisitive young boy.
11 | THE EASTER BUNNY THAT OVERSLEPT BY PRISCILLA & OTTO FREIDRICH
This one might be a little hard to locate, but it’s worth the hunt. As the title suggests, the Easter Bunny is alarmed when he wakes up to discover that it’s Mother’s Day, not Easter. Undeterred, he tries to give away his eggs at the 4th of July Parade and then appears again on Halloween. With humor and endearing images, this is a personal favorite.
12 | THE STORY OF THE EASTER BUNNY BY KATHERINE TEGEN
An old couple works together to dye eggs, make baskets, and create chocolate bunnies, all while their pet rabbit watches on. Soon the couple becomes too old to spread Easter happiness to the neighborhood children, and the young bunny takes over the holiday duties. A fresh take on how the Easter Bunny came to be and his inspired call to hide baskets every Easter.
13 | WHAT WILL GROW? BY JENNIFER WARD
This simple rhyming book showcases an array of seeds in all shapes and sizes. Probing readers to uncover what will grow from each respective kernel. With textured gouache on wood illustrations, this striking book is a playful invitation to get outside and plant something.
14 | WHEN SPRING COMES BY KEVIN HENKES
Before spring, trees are just sticks against the sky, and the garden is just brown dirt. But if you wait, blossoms and green shoots will appear. Eggs will become birds, and the rain will make plenty of muddy just-right-for-jumping puddles. Spring is a series of waiting, but the rewards will be seen, heard, and inhaled. A sweet book available in either board or picture book format.