Little Bookclub: Spring reads (and a spring-themed book nook)Posted: 29/03/2014
Hmm, I’ve noticed a definite theme running through many of my posts since the new year: longing for spring, planning spring activities, celebrating the arrival of spring. I guess it would be fair to say I am just ever so slightly spring obsessed…
This made it a pretty obvious choice of topic for our March Little Bookclub – that, and the fact that I had already been hunting down any spring-related book I could find for ToddlerGirl!
I always have a little ‘cosy corner’ in our living room for ToddlerGirl to read her books, or just sit quietly (yes, it does happen occasionally!). I like to mix this up every now and then, though, to introduce a themed book nook or an inviting den/camp for her, to subtly reinforce the ideas in the books we are reading, to encourage her to pick up a book to read by herself, or simply to provide an interesting and inviting new space for play.
I decided to create a spring-themed book nook to tie together the various books I’ve found for her on the subject. We’ve got a great cardboard box at the moment that provided the perfect starting point. I positioned this in her cosy corner space, added a cushion inside to sit on, draped it with a yellow blanket and then added some props:
- a tweeting robin soft toy perched on the top, along with an owl cushion
- our two fluttery pipecleaner butterflies dangling down
- a flower garland picked up at a festival last year
- a ladybird nightlight inside, along with a little rabbit soft toy
- a soft toy treehouse, with it’s soft toy animal occupants
- a pull along buzzy bee toy
- a frog musical instrument
- a basket of books, with a magnifying glass
ToddlerGirl was very impressed with her new book nook and has been playing with all the toys set out over the last week or so, and is very particular about hanging the flower garland just so over the entrance to the cardboard den! She’s also been enjoying the books set out for her.
So, what books do we have in our spring selection?
(NB: List contains affiliate links.)
This is a National Geographic Kids book and has some lovely photographs of all things spring, including the first flowers poking out of the ground, trees in bud with leaves and blossom, cute little animals and rainy days. The text is very simple but has a poetic quality and matches the photographs perfectly. We had this book last year and ToddlerGirl really enjoys looking at all the pictures. I think it will last a good few years, as it can be suitable for a younger toddler upwards.
We love this series of seasonal picture books. They have no words, which make them great for very young toddlers as well as older children. ToddlerGirl will often choose this one out of the basket herself and study the pictures, which are beautifully drawn and depict various spring scenes. It is lovely to hear her making up her own stories to match the pictures this year.
This Usborne Beginners book is a new addition to our home library. It gives lots of facts about birds and eggs, showing nest building, egg laying, hatching, looking after young chicks and different types of eggs. This is all told through clear photographs, with simple text to accompany. ToddlerGirl has been very interested in all the pictures but doesn’t want to sit and listen to all the words just yet. It’s been a good one for us to dip into and have a chat about one particular aspect, and I’m sure we’ll be reading it for a good few years to come.
This is a brilliant picture book, telling the story of Eddie setting up his own garden with the help of his mum. The illustrations are lovely and, while the text is quite long, it is very engaging so ToddlerGirl will sit and listen to the whole thing and immediately want to read it again! I think it helps that Eddie has a little sister, Lily, who is more in ToddlerGirl’s age range and who ‘helps’ create the garden in the way all toddlers would do – attempting to eat worms, digging huge holes and wanting to be watered with the watering can! There is also some good information at the end on growing your own garden. In fact, the whole book is great for inspiring little ones to get involved in gardening. ToddlerGirl and I have been making plans to grow our own sunflowers and maybe even attempt a bean den, which we agree looks brilliant!
This is another gardening-themed book, perfect for the spring. Sidney lives in the city and doesn’t have much to do with gardens – or vegetables, picking even the mushroom off his pizza! A visit to his Granny’s house changes that, however, when she subtly involves him in the growing and maintaining of her vegetable garden. This is a great book to show toddlers where some of our food comes from and introduce the idea of growing our own food. It could also be useful for any fussy eaters! ToddlerGirl has been enjoying it and we’ve been able to talk about the fact that our vegetables come from the ground.
Ferdie the fox is learning all about the seasons in this series of books. He is excited that spring has arrived but, when he heads into xx, is dismayed to see what he thinks is snow everywhere. He hurries to warn his animal friends that they need to go back into winter mode but they soon all discover that the snow is actually blossom! The illustrations are gorgeous, in the yellows and greens of spring, and the story of the sweet little fox and his friends is a winner for ToddlerGirl.
I also popped in a farm picture book and one of my garden bird books. Surprisingly, ToddlerGirl has been really taken by this, flicking through to look at all the pictures of the birds. It’s led us to talk about the birds we get in our garden and to find the pictures of them in the book (and examine them with the magnifying glass!).
What books would you include on a spring reading list?
For some lovely activity ideas to do to celebrate the new season, see my post Spring things!