BOOKS WE'RE READING: The vivacity of Spring
Welcoming the arrival of a new season always fills me with excitement, and, as we bid farewell to winter, a particular feeling of anticipation accompanies the arrival of spring. The plum and cherry trees that line many of our neighbourhood streets have now blossomed; their delicate petals defiant in the customary wet and windy weather. Fresh blades of grass begin to appear alongside new shoots promising daffodils and, soon, tulips. It truly is the most dramatic of changes in these early weeks, and, with the days getting longer, we find ourselves able to spend more time outdoors. If we're very lucky, we'll find ourselves closing spring with a strong entry into summer. But for now, I'm happy devouring the vivacity of this season, with its' increasing colours and birdsongs that fill the air. As always, our seasonal book rotation celebrates the joys unique to each, yet spring also gives us the opportunity to experience newness and possibility; concepts that allow us to begin exploring 'life' in more depth.
Sweetly simple, and full of softness and idyllic charm, Muller celebrates the season with an emphasis on nature and new life. Rainbows after rainy days, flowers blooming, painted easter eggs; there are many ideas to explore in her books, for both babies and younger children. Lovely.
Spring, Shirley Hughes (part of The Nursery Collection)
Muddy puddles and mud pies, and running through grass and flowers blooming; Hughes' portrayal of childhood embodies all the tactile qualities we adults sometimes overlook, and it is a constant joy to read and reread, over and over again. Her work is a must for children and parents alike.
Brambly Hedge: Spring Story, Jill Barklem
For birthday boy Wilfred, adventure is always a whisker away, but today, a surprise awaits him, thanks to the tight-knit community he lives amongst. This particular tale is my sons' favourite of all the Brambly Hedge stories. Perhaps in part because birthdays are the most wonderful of all days when you're a child. This innocent, playful world entices me with its' delicate illustrations, abundance of cakes and other baked goods, and true joy in celebrating each season as it unfolds. Delightful.
How do Flowers Grow?, Usbourne
Another gem in Usborne's 'First Questions' series, this title includes the colourful illustrations and plenty of bite-sized facts, easily consumed by young, inquiring minds. Spring is such a perfect time to explore horticultural pursuits with little children, as the changes in this season are swift. And the inclusion of 'lift-the-flaps' are always a fun activity.
A charmingly illustrated tale of a little boy and a very rainy day, and the magic that awaits outdoors. Usher captures that youthful impatience and exuberance so sweetly, and reminds me of the power imaginative play has, not only for our children but us too. And his illustrations are utterly divine.
British Wildlife (Marvelous Menageries), QED
This gorgeous reference book is filled with realistic hand-drawn illustrations of British wildlife (as the name suggests). While there aren't many of these native creatures we come across in our tiny pocket of London, we are blessed with squirrels aplenty, as well as our beloved Robins, Blue Tits and Sparrows (and the occasional nighttime/early morning sighting of a fox). There are also a few pages on native flora, many of which we are blessed to see locally.
We Travel so Far, Knowles + Madden
Our lived experience of animal migration rests solely on the wings of the ducks who reside in our local park. As each year closes, and we enter the coldest weeks of the year, this little family of two depart for who-knows-where before returning once more. I can't say with any certainty if it's a true migration, but it creates a true opportunity to discuss the phenomenal journeys undertaken around the world by various animal species. The topic of migration is one close to my heart, as an immigrant myself, and encouraging my son to appreciate the sacrifices and journeys made by all species in search of safety, adventure, or a better life, are crucial to me.
I do hope you enjoy the titles I've selected. Have I missed any of your favourites?
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