Contributed by Shelby Driskill
The search for books that say “spring” has taken me rather far afield: warm weather muddy fun resulting in more baths inspired the selection of Mo Willems’ The Pigeon Needs a Bath! and there are many books about new friends and old, relationships that are often on children’s minds as they transition to a new schedule. Several titles deal with the feelings that come from changes and how children navigate those feelings… It’s a mix, indeed.
Among the choices is Blackout by John Rocco, a beautiful book that prepares us for summertime power outages and the fun that can be found in the unexpected darkness. Peter Brown’s You Will Be My Friend is witty and sweet examination of the Catch 22 situation that many children seeking friends discover: sometimes the harder they try to make a “good-fit” friend, the harder the search becomes.
What is spring without rain? What is life without difficulty? David Shannon’s beautifully illustrated book, The Rain Came Down, presents a storm that throws moods into chaos and the sweetness and calm that arrives when the storm passes.
For older readers, the simple yet evocative observation of seasons and shifting emotions in Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia McLachlan continues to engage children. Finally, the humor of The Princess in Black and The National Geographic Book of Animal Riddles brings laughter to the season.
For our youngest students, the TMS toddlers, the board book edition of the much beloved The Real Mother Goose is perfect for little hands, and the reading of nursery rhymes with treasured adults is a perfect way to enjoy rhyme and rhythm.
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The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems
“The Pigeon needs a bath! Except that the Pigeon’s not so sure about that. Besides, he took a bath last month! (Maybe.) It’s going to take some serious convincing to get the Pigeon to take the plunge.” from Scholastic
How Do Dinosaurs Say, I am mad!? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
What happens when little dinosaurs get mad? And how do they calm down?
Blackout by John Rocco
“Using a combination of panels and full-bleed illustrations that move from color to black-and-white and back to color, John Rocco shows that if we are willing to put our cares aside for a while, there is party potential in a summer blackout. A 2012 Caldecott Honor book” from Scholastic
My New Friend Is So Fun! by Mo Willems
“Gerald and Piggie are best friends. But now Piggie has a new friend—Brian Bat—and they are having a ball together. So where does that leave Gerald?” from Scholastic
The Rain Came Down by David Shannon
“An award-winning author and illustrator tells the story of a sunny day that turns stormy. As the raindrops start to fall, one noisy event leads to another, and soon the whole block is honking, bickering, and yelling—and then…the rain stops! The sun comes out, and one by one, each character ends up smiling and helping someone else.” from Scholastic
Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni
“Little Blue and Little Yellow share wonderful adventures. One day, they can’t find one another. When they finally meet, they are overjoyed. They hug until they become green. But where did Little Blue and Little Yellow go? Are they lost?” from Scholastic
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
“In this sweet story, a wise teacher helps a little mouse overcome teasing and regain her self-esteem.” from Scholastic
You Will Be My Friend!
“Today is the day Lucy the exuberant tutu-wearing bear is going to make a new friend! But she finds it’s not as easy as she thought—she accidentally ruins the giraffe’s breakfast and is much too big for the frogs’ pond. The harder Lucy tries to fit in, the more she seems to chase everyone away…
“But just when she’s about to give up, an unexpected friend finds her—and loves her just the way she is.” from Scholastic
Can I Play Too? by Mo Willems
“…this story also provides much-needed guidance to kids who are navigating the etiquette minefield of friendship among peers of differing abilities. Brilliantly subtle and spot-on.” —Kirkus Reviews
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia McLachlan
“Anna is stunned when she finds out that her widowed father has been writing to a woman in Maine—after he placed an advertisement in a newspaper for a wife! Could a stranger really travel all the way from the coast to their house on the prairie? But as Anna and her brother also begin to exchange letters with Sarah, they become intrigued by this woman who writes with such beauty about the ocean she loves. By the time she finally arrives by train, the children are already in love with her. But can she replace their mother? And can this mail-order bride from far away really make her home out west?” from Scholastic
The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale
“This charmingly told book has lovely old-fashioned illustrations and a great message: You can’t judge a princess by the color of her gown.” from the New York Times Book Review
“The rounded, cartoony illustrations featuring chubby characters keep the fight sequence soft and comical. … The gently ironic text will amuse readers (including adults reading the book aloud). The large print and illustrations expand the book to a longish-yet-manageable length, giving newly independent readers a sense of accomplishment. … Action, clever humor, delightful illustrations and expectation-defying secret identities—when does the next one come out?” from Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Just Joking: Animal Riddles by J. Patrick Lewis
“A joke a day keeps the blues away! This joke book delivers its punch line in National Geographic Kids’ signature photo-driven style. Laughing animals, funny people, and other colorful photos are paired with each joke, adding extra silliness on each page. This fun-filled book is perfect for tossing into a backpack to share with friends at school or camp.” from Scholastic
The Real Mother Goose (board book edition)