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Bountiful Spring

Spectacular Spring book cover

It’s spring, a poetic time of year. Look around you. The days are warmer and longer, flowers start to bloom, animals wake up. Celebrate National Poetry Month in April by remembering a real person, or learning more about the earth, or even a silly little toad. Mark Earth Day by planting a garden or even reading more about the planet on which we live. It all starts when you open a book!

A Hippy-Hoppy Toad

By: Peggy Archer
Illustrated by: Anne Wilsdorf
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

The hippy-hoppy toad’s rhyming adventure begins and ends calmly with the toad “in the middle of a road/on a teeter-totter twig”. Lots of things happen to the small critter in between in this animated and humorously illustrated tale of a positively engaging amphibian. 

A Peaceful Garden

By: Lucy London
Illustrated by: Christa Pierce
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Two small cats gather all that is needed to plant a garden. In addition to vegetables, they plant flowers just right for other visitors like birds and bees. The gentle text and soft illustrations are likely to inspire young gardeners to create their own garden and celebrate its success at the end of the season.

Earth Verse: Haiku from the Ground Up

By: Sally Walker
Illustrated by: William Grill
Genre: Nonfiction, Poetry
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Sophisticated haiku and illustrations done with colored pencil explore the Earth inside and out. The limited colors used in impressionistic illustrations complement the poetry’s brevity. The intriguing collection concludes with factual narrative and further resources.

Hidden World: Ocean

By: Libby Walden
Illustrated by: Stephanie Fizer-Coleman
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Earth’s oceans hide giants, colorful creatures, critters that play hide-&-seek and other wonders. Headings on sturdy double-page spreads introduce each category; readers lift flaps to discover additional information. This playful introduction is sure to encourage further interest in the ocean and its hidden worlds.

Jabberwalking

By: Juan Felipe Herrera
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Herrara leads readers on a poetic journey to encourage writing. Brief biographical sketches of the poet are interspersed as are a variety of black and white illustrations. Aspiring poets are sure to be inspired by this creative mixture which uses made-up words from Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky.” 

Love

By: Emma Dodd
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

The parent rabbit in a lush, flowered field with a small child-rabbit describes the warm, quiet moments together that are what love is. As the duo cozily curl together to sleep, the big rabbit concludes that “there are more reasons than there are stars up in the sky [to love the child-rabbit].”

Martin Rising: Requiem for a King

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, Poetry
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The final months of King’s life are presented in rich, moving poetry accompanied by swirling, evocative paintings. The requiem wonders about King’s assassin in “Baby James” asking, “”Did his tiny soul,/once clean,/know it would someday/be soiled by hate?” Additional information and photographs conclude this sophisticated volume.

Rainforest

By: Julia Groves
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Descriptive language enhanced by handsome, boldly shaped illustrations present a range of rainforest dwellers. Additional information concludes this attractive book which may inspire art in addition to animal studies.

Spectacular Spring

By: Bruce Goldstone
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Warmer, longer days signal a change in season: spring has arrived! Animals and insects become active again, plants and flowers grow. Spring also holds April Fools’ Day and Earth Day among other celebrations. Crisp photographs and short, sprightly text, and easy activities combine to engage readers.

Terrific Tongues

By: Maria Gianferrari
Illustrated by: Jia Liu
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

What you be if you had a tongue like a windshield, or an air conditioner, or even a tongue that could blow bubbles? Find out about the animals (including a human!) as you guess your way about the fascinating tongue! Additional information concludes this lively and informative picture book.

Thank You, Earth

By: April Pulley Sayre
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The natural world is presented in gorgeous photographs combined with lyrical language to present this “love letter to our planet.” Included at the end are tangible ways for young readers to actively engage and learn about the world in which they live.

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