“Spring, Spring, Spring!” sang the frog.
“Spring!” said the groundhog.
When my children were little, one of the books I read throughout the months of March, April and May was a Little Golden Book by Margaret Wise Brown called Home For A Bunny. Illustrated by Garth Williams, it delighted us all. Although I found the rhythm and rhyme in the story a bit wobbly at times, I still enjoyed reading it frequently in springtime. I particularly loved the illustrations and enjoyed looking at the detailed drawings of forget-me-nots and other flowers. The baby robins always made me smile. It’s still available as a Big Little Golden Book. You may also be able to find it second hand in the smaller format.
Other picture books that come to mind when I think about spring are the Brambly Hedge stories by Jill Barklem. They are filled with very detailed illustrations of little mice who live in various trees, hedgerows, and stumps. There’s a Brambley Hedge website that has information about each of the stories and the characters.
The illustrations are so beautifully detailed and delightful. Children can spend hours looking at the illustrations, lost in the world of Brambly Hedge. Adults, too, are inspired by those illustrations. One woman, Maddie Brindley (Mads) who loved the books as a child recreated Crabapple Cottage from Spring Story as a mouse doll house.
Spring poems by Aileen Fisher
Aileen Fisher died at the age of 96. She was a prolific poet and published many collections of her poetry. I Heard a Bluebird Sing (Boyds Mills Press, 2003) is available as a used book. It’s divided into five sections, and contains 41 of her poems selected by children. Each section is prefaced with comments by the poet. Sing of the Earth and Sky: Poems About Our Planet and The Wonders Beyond (Boyds Mills Press, 2001) is also available as a used book. Thirty-seven poems are divided into four sections – “Earth,” “Moon,” “Sun” and “Stars.”
I enjoy the rhythm in her poems and used her poetry in my parent and baby music and fingerplay classes. They were fun to recite.
Spring’s the Word by Aileen Fisher
Spring up, seedlings, weedlings, clover!
Spring out, leaves, now winter’s over.
Spring up, green things!
There’s a reason
Spring’s the name to fit the season.
Pussy Willows by Aileen Fisher
Close your eyes and do not peek
And I’ll rub Spring across your cheek-
Smooth as satin,
Soft and sleek-
Close your eyes and do not peek.
Baby Chick by Aileen Fisher
Peck, peck, peck
On the warm, brown egg.
Out comes a neck
Out comes a leg.
How does a chick,
Who’s not been about,
Discover the trick
Of how to get out?