Rainy days are the best. We know, we know—most people don’t feel that way. But hear us out. Sure, you can’t play outside, but those dreary days are the best time to curl up with a good book … or three! And who doesn’t love splashing in the perfect puddle?
While March can be a little chilly (and a lot rainy), these sweet springtime book recommendations from The Ivy Bookshop’s Rona Sue London are sure to put you in a sunny mood.
Board/Soft Books (newborn-toddler)
“Planting a Rainbow” by Lois Ehlert
Give little gardeners a head start with this educational read, which beautifully illustrates the growth of a flower from planting to picking. (HMH Books for Young Readers)
“A Book of Babies” by Il Sung Na
Celebrated illustrator Il Sung Na brings her talents to the world of baby animals, introducing young readers to ducklings, newborn seahorses, baby zebras and more. (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Picture Books (ages 2-6)
“And Then It’s Spring” by Julie Fogliano, Illustrated by Erin E. Stead
In this charming tale, a boy and his dog decide that they’ve had enough of the snow and are ready to bring on spring. Unfortunately, however, there’s more to the season than planting seeds. (Roaring Brook Press)
“Abracadabra, It’s Spring!”
by Anne Sibley O’Brien and Susan Gal
Sometimes it seems that the change of seasons occurs as if by magic—and in this whimsical tale, that’s exactly what happens! Peekaboo gatefolds and lush illustration only add to the mystical feel. (Harry N. Abrams)
Early Readers (ages 6-8)
“I Like Bugs” by Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Embrace all things creepy-crawly in this buggy book, part of the Step-Into-Reading collection. Oh, and it’s by the author of “Goodnight Moon,” so expect plenty of detailed fun! (Random House Books for Young Readers)
“Sam the Man & The Rutabaga Plan”
by Frances O’Roark Dowell, illustrated by Amy June Bates
In this second silly installment of the Sam the Man series, Sam’s teacher wants the class to practice responsibility by babysitting a vegetable … and Sam gets the rutabaga. But as he comes to care for the plant, he realizes he needs to make a plan to keep it alive—or fail. (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)
Middle Readers (ages 8-12)
“The Penderwicks in Spring” by Jeanne Birdsall
Springtime has arrived at the lovable Penderwicks’ home on Gardam Street, bringing with it a host of hijinks and heart, from Batty’s misguided but sweet dog-walking business to neighbor Nick’s return from war. (Yearling)
“The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett
If your preteen hasn’t read this classic novel yet, there’s no better time than spring to start unraveling the mysteries of Mary Lennox and Misselthwaite Manor—helped along by acquaintances-turned-friends Dickon and Colin. (Signet)
Teens (ages 13-18)
“Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson’s classic environmental masterpiece may seem a bit more “textbook” than light reading, but there’s no better way to celebrate the season. Inquisitive teens will delight in the innovative, eloquent discoveries of the book, which gave way to the modern environmental protection movement. (Houghton Mifflin) BC
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!
Each month, we celebrate a birthday of literary significance.
Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, was born in Massachusetts on March 2, 1904. It’s hard to believe that someone who roamed the earth more than one hundred years ago remains so relevant today. But indeed it’s so. You’d be hard-pressed to find a child’s bookshelf, circa 1965 or 2017, void of books from his beloved series, “The Cat in the Hat.” Giggling over one of Dr. Seuss’s super-silly stories, whose outlandish illustrations perfectly complement their rhyming verses, can almost be considered a childhood rite of passage.
Before making the leap to children’s literature, the Oxford University graduate honed his skills in the world of advertising. While his advertising cartoons caught the attention of many readers of leading American magazines from that period, Geisel made his indelible mark with his expansive children’s book series, Random House’s Beginner Books. As silly as his lyrical verses were, they offered some solid take-away advice.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
—From Dr. Seuss’ Oh The Places You’ll Go