Editor’s Note: This popular blog has been updated with 5 new books and activities!
Spring has sprung and you know what that means…everything’s coming up bunnies and chicks! From stories about baby animals and flower power adventures to the anxious anticipation of new growth, here are our favorite new books for the season.
1. Frog Song
Written by Brenda Z. Guiberson, illustrated by Gennady Spirin.
Croak! Ribbit! Plonk! Readers will learn about different frog species from around the world in this lyrical tribute to amphibian life. Best for grades K-2.
Activity to try: Show students where the various frogs mentioned in the story live by zooming in on their ecosystems via Google Earth.
2. My First Day
Written by Robin Page and Steve Jenkins, illustrated by Steve Jenkins.
This bright, colorful picture book from one of our favorite nonfiction teams explains what the first day of life is like for 22 different baby animals, describing what the newbies can do, eat and explore. Best for grades K-2.
Activity to try: Invite students to make T-charts or Venn diagrams comparing what newborn humans can do to one of the animals mentioned in the book.
3. It’s Our Garden
Written by George Ancona.
This simple book tells the true story of one school’s garden from planting to harvest, featuring bright, colorful photographs of the student gardeners in action. If you already have a garden, this is a great introduction to some of the experiences your students will have, and if you don’t, well—you’ll be inspired to start one! Best for grades K-3.
Activity to try: Write the story’s sequence of events onto note cards. Then mix them up and challenge students to put them in order.
4. The Worm Whisperer
Written by Betty Hicks, illustrated by Ben Hatke.
In this sweet middle-grade novel, fourth-grader Ellis Coffey is determined to win his town’s annual Wooly Worm race and the accompanying $1,000 prize in order to pay for his father’s back surgery.Best for grades 2-5.
Activity to try: Check out some photos from the actual Wooly Worm race in Banner Elk, North Carolina.
5. Awesome Blossom
Written by Lauren Myracle.
If your upper-elementary girls don’t know Myracle’s “Flower Power” series, they’re in for a treat. Myracle nails the ups and downs of fifth-grade friendship between four girls who all share flower names. Best for grades 4-6.
Activity to try: Invite students to research the meaning behind the girls’ floral namesakes. Do the meanings match the girls’ personalities? Why or why not?
6. When Spring Comes
Written by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek.
Spring seems very far away when it is cold and snowy and bleak and brown. But, if you wait, “soon you will see leaves and blossoms. Soon you will feel pussy willows and raindrops. Soon you will smell flowers and mud. Soon you will hear birds and buzzing bees.” Best for grades PreK-2.
Activity to try: Take your class outside on a warm spring day. Sit quietly in a circle and use your five senses to record all the signs of spring you observe in your writing journal or on this template.
7. Spring’s Sprung
Written by Lynn Plourde, illustrated by Greg Couch.
In this beautifully illustrated story, Mother Earth rouses her daughters March, April, and May, so they can awaken the world and welcome the season of spring. Sibling rivalry begins as the sisters squabble over which of them mother loves best until she wisely claims “A mother’s heart is big enough to grow and grow, and stretch and stretch. The truth-I love you ALL the best.” Best for grades K-3.
Activity to try: This book would be a good companion text for a lesson on personification. Pick out a few simple concepts of spring from the story and have students illustrate what they think they would look like.
8. Wake up Spring
Written by Katherine and Florian Ferrier, illustrated by Katherine Ferrier.
The quirky, creepy characters from Hotel Strange set out on a daffy adventure in search of Mr. Spring, who’s gone missing. A visually compelling graphic novel. Best for grades 1-5.
Activity to try: Have your students retell the story in their own style using this accordion book template.
9. Sorting Through Spring
Written by Lizann Flatt, illustrated by Ashley Barron.
From the Math in Nature series, this story blends the beauty of spring with math concepts such as patterning, sorting, data management, and probability. Best for grades K-5. .
Activity to try: Click here for 15 fun math activities from this book’s Teacher Resource Guide.
10. And Then It’s Spring
Written by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead.
A sweet story of a little boy and his animal companions who plant the first seeds of spring into the dark soil of winter and anxiously wait for their seedlings to sprout. Best for grades PreK-3.
Activity to try: Watch this stunning time-lapse video of flowers blooming. After, have students move their bodies as they act out the process of growth from a seed in the ground to a glorious flower.
What spring-themed tales do you share with your students?