Books by Theme

Spring's Bounty

Witness spring gardens grow, see the color green with new eyes, explore colorful life in the sea, learn new outdoor games, and lots more in the pages of these poetic, Spring-fresh books.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

A Stick Is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play

By: Marilyn Singer
Illustrated by: LeUyen Pham
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Bright illustrations accompany lively poems that celebrate children's imaginations and playing outdoors on warm days. Some games, like 'jacks', may need a bit of explanation but walking on the edges (of sidewalks, curbs, etc.) and hopscotch are perennial favorites. Everyone may be inspired to go outside and play!

All the Water in the World

By: George Ella Lyon
Illustrated by: Katherine Tillotson
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Rich, rhythmic language combines with lush illustration to poetically describe the water cycle and more. This memorable volume will be read aloud — and perhaps discussed as: "Thirsty air/licks it [water] from lakes/sips it from ponds/guzzles it from oceans…"

And Then It's Spring

By: Julie Fogliano
Illustrated by: Erin Stead
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A young gardener plants seeds and waits for the transformation from late Winter's mud brown to the lush green of Springtime. Evocative, lyrical text and delicate, expressive illustrations follow the evolution and depict the gradual change — all with understated humor.

Blue Sky

By: Audrey Wood
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The sky is as changeable as the weather — from blue sky to rain sky to dark sky and ultimately to sleep sky. A poetic depiction of the sky introduces weather and a child's day in simple, repeating language and richly colored illustrations that may inspire writing "list poems."


By: Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Textured illustrations cleverly incorporate die-cuts exploring the many shades of green. Language is as inspired as the textured paintings, subtly suggesting an environmental note. The book concludes with "forever green" in which a man and a child admire a large, lush tree, presumably from a seedling planted earlier.

I've Lost My Hippopotamus

By: Jack Prelutsky
Illustrated by: Jackie Urbanovic
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Humorous, sometimes slightly gross, always kid-friendly poems are accompanied by lighthearted black and white sketches. A range of readers, from sophisticated to those less initiated, are sure to find chuckles in this thick but accessible collection of short, rhythmic poems.

Jo MacDonald Had a Garden

By: Mary Quattlebaum
Illustrated by: Laura Bryant
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In this version of a familiar tune, Jo MacDonald (the old farmer's granddaughter) and her cousin plant a Spring garden, watch it grow, observe what visits it, gather its bounty before the cycle ends only to begin again. Engaging illustrations suggest ways to dramatize the yearly cycle, and suggested activities conclude the book.

Split! Splat!

By: Amy Gibson
Illustrated by: Steve Bjorkman
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Decked out in rain boots, hat, and umbrella, a child joins her friends to play in the rain. The sound of the rain, mud, and finally sunshine is evoked by alliterative language and wordplay. The joy of getting dirty outdoors concludes with the girl and her dog in the midst of a messy but exuberant bubble bath.

Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems

By: Kate Coombs
Illustrated by: Meilo So
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Translucent watercolors and short, varied poems take readers on a trip to the sea. There they meet sea birds, fish, coral, and more in each short verse. Evocative language creates memorable images of the sea and its often hidden treasures.

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Maria Salvadore
July 5, 2016

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