As the daffodils and crocuses start to bloom, we know that Spring is definitely on its way and it’s time for us to get outdoors and muddy. I’d like to share three picture books to help inspire little ones to get back to nature this Spring.
‘Little Bear’s Spring’ by Elli Woollard & Briony May Smith (Macmillan Children’s Books)
Little Bear awakes after his winter hibernation to find himself all alone in a snow-covered world. He finds a little round stone who looks equally alone and decides to look after it. He then sets off exploring and encounters a whole host of animals who are very excited about the arrival of spring. But Little Bear doesn’t know what Spring is. The other animals try to explain, but it’s not until Bear forms an unlikely friendship that he finally understands what Spring’s all about.
A beautifully told story which introduces the concept of Spring and the changing of the seasons to young readers. Briony May Smith’s illustrations perfectly capture the contrast between the bleakness of winter and the colourful bounty of Spring. Written in flowing poetic language with snappy rhyme, this story’s a delight to read aloud.
‘Sunflower Seeds and Muddy Boots – A Child’s Guide to Gardening’ by Katherine Halligan, illustrated by Grace Easton (Nosy Crow)
This title is written in collaboration with the National Trust and is the first in a series of books designed to encourage children and their families to enjoy nature together. It’s absolutely packed full of tips for beginner gardeners including hints on fast-growing crops and how to make sure your plants are getting enough water.
I also love the ideas for making you garden insect-friendly, and the very handy bugspotter’s guide with its joyous illustrations by Grace Easton. A sturdy, beautifully produced introduction to the delights of gardening and eating what you’ve grown. Now’s the time to get outside!
‘A Walk Through Nature,’ by Libby Walden, illustrated by Clover Robin (Caterpillar Books)
This is an absolutely stunning peep-through book which celebrates the wonder of the natural world. One of several books created partly in response to the Oxford Junior Dictionary omitting 50 words relating to nature in 2015, it aims to stimulate curiosity and wonder about nature.
Full of poetry, facts and cleverly collaged gatefold pages (with peep holes!) vibrantly designed by Clover Robin, readers will learn about bird migration, seedlings, minibeasts and hidden underground worlds. Children will also discover a whole new secret language – the language of the wild! Absolutely beautiful.
Hopefully these three gorgeous publications will inspire you to pull on your wellies and raincoats, and venture into the great outdoors. Don’t let the next generation forget words like chrysalis and starling, kingfisher and otter!
*Thank you to Macmillan Children’s Books, Little Tiger Group, and Nosy Crow for sending me these titles to review*