Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring in a basket and on the table

Spring is here, and this week, you can see it beginning to show inside our house. I spruced up our little seasonal table with a flower-sprigged embroidered cloth, some spring books, a nest full of wooden eggs, and a crocus from the garden. By the end of the day, a neighbor had dropped off a big bouquet of daffodils, which really brightened it up:

(The books shown are Countdown to Spring by Janet Schulman and Meilo So and Spring by Gerda Muller.)

And I stowed away the winter books from our basket and replaced them with spring books. Two of the boys made us a new sign:

Clearly, we must live where it's winter for most of the year, because I have about a million winter books and about 10 spring books! I have a ton of gardening books, but it doesn't feel like time for those yet. In there now are:

Spring is Here! by Lois Lenski
This book is requested every single day, multiple times. Its text is so quaint and almost sickly sweet, but the pictures are so appealing, as is the feeling it brings of a simpler time. Today, the kids asked "what's hopscotch?" while reading it, which led into a whole morning's play.

Galoshes by Kit Allen
This is a favorite of my youngest children, most of whom can "read" it for themselves ("Galoshes. Shirt. Overalls.") There is something appealing about that bald round-headed kid. Lucy signs "shirt" and "hat" as we read and acts out "stomp" and "sleep."

It's Spring! by Samantha Berger and Melissa Sweet.
I cannot resist that joyful bunny on the cover, and apparently, neither can the kids. Simple and happy.

Spring Story by Jill Barklem
I adore the detailed world Jill Barklem created in the illustrations of these Brambly Hedge books. What I find fascinating is that it's a 5-year-old boy who most often sits and studies this book or asks for it to be read. I'm so glad that it's not "for girls only."

Wonders of Nature by Jane Werner Watson and Eloise Wilkins
This is one of the books I just found at the book sale. I was so thrilled! I love Eloise Wilkins' children; they remind me of favorite books from my childhood, and of Lucy's face, and of an innocence I want to preserve for young children. And the wonder and reverence for nature in this book is just delicious.

Maple Sugaring Time in Vermont by Lula A. Shaver and Topsy Samuelson
A friend bought this for me when we started sugaring a few years ago.

Wake Up, It's Spring! by Lisa Campbell Ernst
Again, a favorite with the toddlers.

Spring is Here by Taro Gomi
This book actually encompasses all the seasons, but focuses mostly on spring. The illustrations of the calf are particularly wonderful: large and simple, but with a complex twist the older children notice: the spots on the cow are also the snow melting away on the land.

Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
Nothing can compare to the first and best one in this series, Bear Snores On. But this one is sweet, too, and if you love the first one, it's fun to see bear and his friends again in their other stories.

Tom and Pippo and the Washing Machine by Helen Oxenbury
Tom and Pippo are so adorable, and their adventures so familiar to toddlers. Here, they get muddy on a puddly day, and are separated while Pippo is washed.

Alfie's Feet by Shirley Hughes
Another book about rain puddles; and the importance of new shoes to toddlers, and the simple activities of daily life. We really love these Alfie books.

Over in the Meadow by John Langstaff and Feodor Rojankovsky
This folk song is not specifically spring-y, but the illustrations in this gorgeous rendition remind me of late spring days.

The ABC Bunny by Wanda G'ag
Again, not necessarily "spring," but bunnies seem to go with spring, don't they? This alphabet is unique in that each lettered item contributes to an ongoing story. And of course, the illustrations are wonderful!

The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown and Leonard Weisgard
I've never understood the (gorgeous) cover of this book: despite how it looks, it's not about Easter or even a decorated egg, but about a plain duck egg. I almost didn't take it out for the group, thinking "Easter," but if that's not your thing, don't worry--it's not! I just adore the illustrations in this book with their sweet animals in egg-shaped spaces framed by flower-decorated borders. And, as always, Margaret Wise Brown's storytelling captivates children.

Missing from my basket (because, um, there are a LOT of books in this house, and my nice organization is currently all messed up and I haven't found these yet!):

The Happy Day by Ruth Krauss and Marc Simont
Oh, I have to read this sweet, joyful book now, before the melting snow is a distant memory! Where is it?

Mud by Mary Lyn Ray
Gotta love the idea that as soon as the snow melts, you're going to sink naked feet into gooey, squishy, wonderful mud!

Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett
Again, best read while the snow's still melting away. This early full-on spring caught me off guard and unprepared!

The Story of the Root Children by Sibylle Von Olfers
For magic and fantasy.


Ruby said...

Thanks for the book list, I love love love children's book(And do children's book reviews on my blog sometimes) and will be looking into these for sure.
I've seen lots of Waldorf-y people do seasonal tables but I usually feel uninspired by them, but your spring table looks great!
The daffodils were a nice treat, makes me want to give some to a neighbor of mine!

{Amy} said...

We have several of these books but I love the little counting book you have open on the table, looks like great illustrations. And daffodils form a neighbor, what a great day-and a sweet neighbor!

Julie said...

Oh, how I adore your book reviews:)

renee @ FIMBY said...

Great list. we've read most of these through the years.

sunnymama said...

Your spring nature table is lovely and a wonderful list of spring books. Thanks for sharing. :)