BOOKS WE'RE READING: Treasures in the garden + new bginnings
After long, dark European winters, Spring is always joyfully welcomed. As little shoots push through the earth, and small buds appear on barren branches, it is a time of innocence and new beginnings, and this Spring feels more important than ever. As I write this post, we're swiftly making our way towards the anniversary of our first lockdown, and it has been an excruciatingly difficult year for most. And yet, with Spring on our doorstep, I feel myself holding a quiet hope that many of our freedoms will soon be restored. My son and I have begun conversations about when we might be able to travel to visit family, which museums we'll visit first, and when we might be able to dine-in at our beloved local pizzeria.
In the meantime, we'll continue to haunt our local park, safe in the knowledge that more exciting times (and trips) are ahead. This months' selection of books celebrate treasures found in our gardens and local parks, reminding us of the loveliness of Spring and the resilience of nature. It truly is a season in which to fill our hearts with hope. I do hope you enjoy this post, and if you have any titles to share, please do in the comments below.
Sonya's Chickens, by Phoebe Wahl
Sonya and her family have three little chicks, and it's Sonya's task to care for them. One night, Sonya hears an awful noise outside and discovers one of her beloved chickens is missing. This is an incredibly moving tale that gently broaches the topic of death with younger children; a topic I have certainly stumbled over from time to time. If you’re a sensitive soul like me, have a tissue to hand and snuggle up tight with your child/ren as you read this.
The Little Gardener, by Emily Hughes
The Gardener is a little boy living in an unloved and neglected garden. He works tirelessly day and night trying to bring it back to life. But, in spite of his best efforts, he’s just too small to prevent the garden from dying. I adore stories that remind us that even the smallest among us can make a difference and children should always be reminded of how important they are.
Little Tree, by Jenny Bowers
A tale of the life of a little tree through the seasons packed with vibrant illustrations, rhyming verse and fun flaps to lift, although little hands may need some gentle guidance. My favourite thing about this book is the excellent use of colours. It's very cheering.
The Story Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day, by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
This book is much-loved in our house. It is both soothing to read and an excellent introduction to classical music and famous composers. We follow the story of Isabelle, and her puppy Pickle, as they journey through four seasons in one day, accompanied by Vivaldi's music. The whole series is so special, and make excellent gifts.
A Seed is Sleepy, by Dianna Hutts Aston + Sylvia Long
How much thought do we give seeds? If you’re like me, probably not much. This sweet book is both educational and also has something akin to magic about it, presenting seeds in all their life-giving glory. Budding herbalists will relish this.
How Does My Garden Grow?, by Gerda Muller
Many of us have spent considerable amounts of time outdoors over the past year, and those fortunate to be blessed with outdoor space have no doubt enjoyed tending to gardens, perhaps growing small crops of herbs and vegetables. Toddlers and young children generally enjoy the process of planting seeds, watering plants and charting the progress of growth, and this book is a fabulous accompaniment to such pursuits.
There Are Bugs Everywhere, by Britta Teckentrup
Admittedly, bugs are not my favourite topic to read about or discuss. However, I continue to marvel at the importance various species have on our global ecosystems. ‘Bugs’ is a brilliant book for young children, bringing together Teckentrups' signature artistic style with easily digestible scientific facts.
I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree, by Fiona Waters + Frann Preston Gannon
If you enjoy poetry, and nature, this anthology is a fantastic addition to any home library. Featuring a poem for every day of the year, we can chart the change in seasons and explore all the wonders of nature. ‘Tis a book to keep out and enjoy day after day, year after year. Although, I must inform my friends in the Southern Hemisphere that the poems follow seasons in the northern part of the world.