This content contains affiliate links. When you purchase through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
“Winter always turns into spring” is something I heard growing up and reading spring books for preschoolers. It has always been used as an encouragement when times were tough. While I know it’s obvious, sometimes it bears repeating that winter can’t last forever. Do not mistake yourself. Winter is an important season. It can even be the catalyst for fundamental growth and change. And of course, it also has its unique joys. If you feel like reading about it, there are children’s books like The snow day or 25 winter pounds to immerse yourself in snow, ice and cold. And if you prefer something shorter to savor, you can try these poems about winter or this cozy reading quiz for more recommendations. For the latter, I chose all of my answers once, then just read the whole list at the bottom too because I naturally don’t have enough books to read as is.
However, if you’re ready for the heat and thaw of spring – literally or figuratively – you can read some inspiring spring poems to lift your spirits or dive into these 5 adorable children’s books about spring. After that, explore some more spring books for preschoolers below to read aloud to little people or just enjoy on your own.
The best spring books for preschoolers
I sang to you from the stars by Tasha Spillett Sumner and Michaela Goade
This is a beautiful book told from the perspective of an expectant mother as she gathers items to give her baby as part of the newcomer’s medicine packet. The baby was born in the spring and with this new addition to the family comes a strong sense of identity, connection and love. Written by Sumner, who is Inniniwak, and Michaela Goade, who is Tlingit and Caldecott Medal illustrator, this book is sure to appeal to many different readers with its beauty and lyricism. If you like this you should also search for Goade’s song of the berries which is due out in July 2022.
Shining star by Yuyi Morales
Morales is an extremely talented author and illustrator; she has won several Pura Belpré awards for illustration and was a recipient of the Caldecott Honor. You may already be familiar with Morales’ work from Niño struggles against the world Where dreamers. Whether you know her or not, Brilliant Star is an excellent book to take. It’s a mix of bright artwork and alternate text that follows a baby deer as the animal transitions from sand and cacti to a new springtime landscape.
I am loved by Nikki Giovanni and Ashley Bryan
This beautiful book includes Giovanni’s moving poems on leaves and wildflowers (among other subjects), all illustrated by the very brilliant and striking work of Ashley Bryan. Sadly, Bryan passed away recently, but of course his work can still be enjoyed in his many books, including his latest titled Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from WWII to Peace.
If you’ve never read this author, there’s a reading path for Giovanni to help you get started with his work.
When spring comes to the DMZ by Uk-Bae Lee, translated by Chungyon Won and Aileen Won
This book shows young readers the springtime beauty of the Demilitarized Zone (or DMZ), presenting it as both a military zone with barbed wire and a kind of unintended wildlife sanctuary. The final documents include a very simple, unlabeled map showing a divided Korean peninsula. Although the books evoke emotions in readers with a background on the conflict, they do not include a clear explanation of why the Zone exists. This can serve as a starting point to tell young readers something of the story, but the reader will need to provide this. There’s a leaflet near the end that suggests the DMZ might be removed in the future, but little readers and adults unfamiliar with the story won’t understand the difficulty involved, you might want to be ready to provide context when reading this book. .
The little gardener by Emily Hughes
Hughes is an author and illustrator from Hilo, Hawai’i. His book is about a little gardener who manages to attract a beautiful flower from his otherwise unruly garden. And this flower gives hope to him and others around him, a very precious commodity that is often lacking if you ask me. If you like this, you might also like his book Savage.
Sakura cherry blossoms by Robert Paul Weston and Misa Saburi
It’s about a little girl named Sakura (meaning cherry blossom) and her Obaachan enjoying the cherry blossoms before her family moved from Japan to America. She feels sad in her new home, eventually befriends her neighbor Luke, and then discusses the impermanence of life as children are likely to. Oh wait, no they are not. Okay, I admit this one is a bit heavy, but I’m including it because it touches on themes of loss and estrangement from loved ones that children’s books can sometimes miss.
Mardi Gras almost didn’t come this year by Kathy Z. Price and Carl Joe Williams
This book is about a family living in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, USA. The main character Lala and her brother notice the effect the storm has had on their family and those around them, and wonder if they will be celebrating Mardi Gras this year. . Beautifully illustrated by New Orleans native Carl Joe Williams, this book will be a discussion of loss and the hope that can come from it.
The very impatient caterpillar by Ross Burach
Readers young and old alike will relate to the main character and his eagerness to get the tough stuff over with. Inner transformation takes a lot of work and let’s face it, who wants to do all that? But some processes cannot be rushed and the little caterpillar has to go through the magical change that is metamorphosis like any other future butterfly: working hard and waiting patiently.
The year we learned to fly by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael Lopez
Woodson’s book begins with springtime storms that keep the narrator and her brother inside their apartment all day. At their grandmother’s behest, they use their bright imaginations to send themselves outside, flying over a whole new town full of flowers and beautiful colors. If you like this, you should read Woodson’s The day you startwhich is also illustrated by Rafael López and is a great book for any child starting a new school year.
Plant the trees of Kenya by Claire A. Nivola
This book is based on the life of famous Kenyan environmental activist and Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai. He recounts how she enjoyed the lush greenery of her childhood and despaired when she returned from several years abroad to find her homeland barren. This discovery became the catalyst for her work of reforestation and protection of the environment in which she grew up.
First and Last: The Changing Seasons by Leda Schubert and Clover Robin
This is a book for the changing seasons and one that many readers will enjoy. Interestingly, there are various activities and actions associated with the change of seasons in this book, rather than just focusing on the external environment. This one is worth taking a look at even though the characters in the book could be more diverse.
Goodbye winter, hello spring by Kenard Pak
I’m sure Kenard Pak’s books have appeared on Book Riot before, and for good reason. Pak’s illustrations are so beautiful and he’s also published several of his own books, including a few that have to do with changing seasons like this. If you particularly like his illustrations, you should also try the The flowers are calling and Did you hear the nesting bird?
For more books for the classroom or home, try these 20 best read alouds for kids. You can also dive into this short list of bookish things for spring or take the longer 41 ideas for a bookish spring. Whatever you do this spring, I hope you grow, learn, and enjoy it to the fullest.