Spring Into New Picture Books! 20 Kids' Titles about Bunnies, Chicks, Ducklings, Eggs, Easter, and Spring

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My friends and relatives up north have been snowed in since last Sunday, when nine inches fell, which for Kentucky is the equivalent of about four feet in the Northeast. Snow doesn't fall where I live, but I saw the whiteout on social media. It's been a long time since I endured winter;  I still remember that feeling that if the sun didn't show itself again soon I might lie down in the slush and cry uncle. That got me thinking it's time to warm things up with the prospect of spring. I so miss the season of blooming dogwoods, tulips, and daffodils! If you're more than ready to think about the warm up coming in a couple of months, check out these new picture books about all things springy -- bunnies, chicks, ducklings, eggs, Easter, etcetera, oh my!

Finding Spring by Carin Berger (ages 4-8)

This is my favorite new title about spring, because I adore the detailed, three-dimensional artwork. I love a picture book that is a piece of art in and of itself! Join baby bear Maurice as he breaks out of hibernation early in search of that ever-elusive season. When spring finally comes, the double page spread is glorious!

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson (ages 4-8)

Multiple-award winning picture book author Kadir Nelson is back with his trademark oil paintings, accompanied by a fable about kindness and selfishness. A bunny and a mouse work the garden together, while other animals come seeking trouble. A simple, but profound gardening metaphor, laced with humor and emotion. Kids will readily identify and love the gorgeous, expressive artwork. 

Crinkle, Crackle, Crack It's Spring by Marion Dane Bauer and John Shelley (ages 4-8)

Journey with a bear and a child through the moonlit wintery forest as ice melts, flowers burst forth, and the world transforms to spring along the way. A brand new offering from Newbery winning author Marion Dane Bauer. 

Bunny's First Spring by Sally Lloyd-Jones and David McPhail (ages 2-5)

Bunny is born in spring, so s/he adores the beauty of the earth's rebirth. When fall approaches, he's scared of the changes s/he sees in plants and animals, but learns that seasons are part of a the cycle of life. A reassuring look at coping with change and a message that naturally segues into the Easter story, if desired. David McPhail is an accomplished picture book artist whose work preschoolers and parents will enjoy. 

My Spring Robin by Anne, Harlow, and Lizzy Rockwell (ages 2-5)

It's wonderful that several of Anne Rockwell's gentle classics are being re-released with artwork updated by her daughter, Lizzy. In this simple outing, a young girl encounters many vestiges of spring as she searches for the robin she remembers from last year. 

The Thing about Spring by Daniel Kirk (ages 3-6)

Even though Bird, Mouse, and Bear are super excited about the arrival of spring, Rabbit just can't get into the spirit. He's going to miss playing in the snow and getting extra sleep. Can his friends talk him out of his Eeyore-ish mood?

999 Frogs Wake Up by Ken Kimura and Yasunari Murakami  (ages 3-6)

Spring has finally arrived, so a mother frog takes her 998 froglets first to wake up their missing brother, and then to rouse a turtle, lizard, and a bunch of ladybugs. But what happens when the next animal they try to wake turns out to be a snake? This is the second of Kimura's three frog picture books, which include 999 Tadpoles and the brand new 999 Frogs and a Little Brother.

When the Wind Blows by Linda Booth Sweeney and Jana Christy (ages 2-6)

Watercolor images and simple, rhythmic text demonstrate the joys of a blustery spring day. A young boy and his grandmother squeeze in kite-flying, a romp on the beach, and time at the park before rushing home to beat the incoming rain. A visceral book; kids just might feel the wind pick up around them.

Just a Duck? by Carin Bramsen (ages 2-5)

An endearing look at how friends can appreciate differences. Duck is certain he's a cat, until his friend Cat doubts him. When Duck rescues Cat from a water disaster, Duck's confidence is regained. This one is simple and sweet and kids can practically feel the soft fuzzy animals through Bramsen's illustrations. 

Click, Clack, Peep! by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin (ages 4-7)

Farmer Brown is back and this time he's sleepy. An adorable duckling has joined the farm denizens, but much like most newborns, he doesn't know when to be quiet. Of course, duck has a plan!

Gus Explores His World by Olivier Dunrea (ages 18 months-4) 

I ama huge fan of Dunrea's exquisite gosling series. My son was absolutely obsessed with these books from the ages of about two to four. In this latest addition readers meet Gus, an independent little guy who loves exploring the barnyard world all by himself. Then he finds three eggs. He decides to sit on them and see what happens. Preschoolers will love waiting wi Gus to meet his three new charges, and learning along with him that maybe being alone isn't always perfect. 

Hop! Hop! by Leslie Patricelli (ages 1-2)

Patricelli continues her run of appealing, popular board books with this brand new addition to the collection. Very young kids will get a kick out of baby's Easter anticipation, including dyeing eggs (and himself). The enthusiasm and excitement are infectious. 

10 Hungry Rabbits by Anita Lobel (ages 18 months-2)

Just released in board book format, this is a perfectly adorable addition to the spring/Easter genre. Anita Lobel is an accomplished picture book illustrator who's been producing children's books for decades. In this outing, young toddlers will enjoy helping helping ten siblings find vegetables of various colors and numbers so that Mama Rabbit can make her hungry brood some soup. A wonderful addition to any Easter basket!

Flowers Are Calling by Rita Gray and Kenard Pak (ages 4-8)

What better time than spring to celebrate the relationship between beautiful flowers and their pollinators? A lovely science book that alternates between poetic verse in which the flowers call to their respective pollinators and scientific information about the process.

And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano and Erin Stead

So this one is not brand new (it came out in 2012), but no collection of spring picture books is complete without it, as it earned awards and many starred reviews. Caldecott medal-winning artist Erin Stead and debut writer Julie Fogliano have created an amazingly beautiful picture book. The text consists of one poetic sentence about a boy patiently waiting, waiting, waiting for spring to come and his garden to produce. The woodblock and pencil illustrations are so poignant, they're nearly heartbreaking. I just can't heap enough praise upon And Then It's Spring.

Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw (ages 3-6)

The fourth book in a darling British import for preschoolers and young elementary schoolers. Lola gets the idea to plant a garden based on the nursery rhyme "Mary, Mary Quit Contrary." She enjoys sharing the results with her young friends. A celebration of patience, creativity, and friendship. 

Egg: Nature's Perfect Package by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page (ages 5-9)

Husband and wife pair Jenkins and Page have penned (and collaged) another wonderful science picture book, this time all about eggs. Kids will learn about various animal eggs, including their sizes, how they're protected, and how a baby animal develops inside them. The torn paper art is engaging and beautiful; enough scientific details are provided that kids doing research will find this book as useful as casual readers. 

Peep and Ducky by David Martin and David Walker (ages 18 months-2)

Two preschool friends enjoy a playdate in the park in this picture book, just released in board book format for littlest hands. 

Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood and Claudia Rueda (ages 4 and up)

I could not get over how funny this book was when it was released last year! It's a book I guarantee that you will enjoy as much as your child.  An irritated cat, tired of the Easter Bunny getting all the attention, conveys his plan to take over the holiday through signs, body language, and some very funny facial expressions. Because these are conveyed quite humorously in pen and ink drawings, even young children are brought in on the comedy. There's nothing like a feline attempting world dominance for laughs.

Cat and Bunny by Mary Lundquist (ages 3-6)

A soft, sweet new look at an age-old problem: two very young children have been best friends since birth. What happens when one invites a third person (and then more) into the circle and the other feels unsure and left out? The colored-pencil depictions of the world of little ones will engage a young audience. 

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Lasts Longer than Chocolate

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Last Easter we left the baskets in a hurry to get to church on time, which turned out to be a really dumb move, as our dog ate every piece of candy she could get to. Once I determined all that chocolate wasn't going to kill her, and the requisite wailing and gnashing of teeth from the children was lived through, I learned that candy sold the day after Easter is a lot cheaper than that which one can purchase the day before. 

This year, I'm thinking of a little candy, a couple of small things, and some books. Books last longer than chocolate, and I have a few on my radar this spring that are worth gifting. So whether you're looking to fill an Easter basket, celebrate a spring birthday, or just for some new books to take home from the library, consider these.

Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems by J. Patrick Lewis, Douglas Florian and Jeremy Holmes

We checked this one out from our local library about a week or so ago, and my 5 and 8 year olds loved it. You can't go wrong with imaginative, fun poems written by the United States poet laureate, along with established, award-winning children's poet, Douglas Florian. These two writers conjure up every different kind of automobile you've never imagined, from a backwards car, to a banana split car, to a dragonwagon and a sloppy-floppy-nonstop-jalopy. The detailed mixed-media illustrations provide hours of entertainment, and comprise a book that your kids will want to read more than once. 

Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Everything by Maira Kalman

Before you skip this one because presidential history is too boring for an Easter basket, consider Maira Kalman's ability to bring a complex historical figure to life in a way that kids adore. She speaks in a relaxed, engaging tone that at times sounds just like a ten year old's voice and at others like a loving teacher. She doesn't gloss over Jefferson's oxymoronic stance on slavery, but also celebrates his insatiable thirst for knowledge, turning this towering historical figure into a human being. And the hand-lettered print and bright gouache paintings make it even more accessible to kids. My daughters are really into anything on presidents and they both loved this book.

What's Your Favorite Animal? by Eric Carle, et al.

This multi-authored title is super cool! It's not an Eric Carle book, but one in which multiple authors render and write about their favorite animals. It's so neat to see various artist's concepts appear next to each other in the same book, culminating in a title that will inspire your kids to think about their favorite animals and how they might draw, paint, and write about them. 

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Here Come the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood and Claudia Rueda

This one is the surprise hit of the season, and a book that I guarantee that you will enjoy as much as your child. Most holiday books are less than fabulous, but this one is genuinely hilarious, with the added bonus that it appeals to children of all ages. An irritated cat, tired of the Easter Bunny getting all the attention, conveys his plan to take over the holiday through signs, body language, and some very funny facial expressions. Because these are conveyed quite humorously in pen and ink drawings, even young children are brought in on the comedy.  And this is a book your family will enjoy throughout the year, not just during the Easter season. There's nothing like a feline attempting world dominance for laughs.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

J. K. Rowling fans rejoice. There is good fantasy to be had post Harry Potter. Having heard nothing but positive  about this chapter book, which the critics have been falling all over themselves praising the past few months, I gave it to my 11 year old, who promptly devoured it in two days. It's based on the fairy tale of the Snow Queen, and touches on issues of friendship, trust, and courage. She said it was absolutely fabulous and that she would highly recommend it to (upper elementary and middle school) boys and girls who are looking for a good fantasy. Here is the publisher summary to give you an idea of what the novel is about:

A luminous retelling of the Snow Queen, this is the story of unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard who doesn't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room.  He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen.  And he has been waiting for Ophelia's help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested.  Along the way she learns more and more about the boy's own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.

A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.

I love any book about a girl who is so much braver than she gives credits herself, which I find is often the case in real life, not just in fantasy.