by Mia Geiger
The countdown has finally ended. It’s spring! Winter was fun, with lots of snowman-building, hot-chocolate-drinking and sledding down the hill, but my daughter and I are ready for some springtime fun.
We’re looking forward to wearing just a light jacket instead of a bulky, heavy coat; driving to the local playground to swing on the swings; and having a catch in the cul-de-sac. Most of all, though, we’ll be riding two-wheelers together. Last summer my girl gave up the Strawberry Shortcake training wheels that adorned her pink bicycle and spent a few weeks practicing riding her two-wheeler. And I, someone who hasn’t ridden a bike in 20 years, recently took advantage of a bike sale. Wish me luck as I see if the old saying about learning to ride a bike is true!
With so many possibilities for outdoor activities, pull out your favorite blanket, spread it out on your lawn and settle in with these books and your favorite little person to celebrate the joys of spring.
Higher! Higher!by Leslie Patricelli
Ages 2-5, Candlewick
Bold, bright and engaging artwork captures the joy on a little girl’s face and the delightful sights all around her as she instructs her dad to push her “Higher! Higher!” Each time she swings higher, she sees something new in the sky: first a giraffe among the tall trees, then children playing on the roof of an apartment building, then a man high on a mountaintop. The charming story continues until the end, when she gives her dad another instruction: “Again!”
Spring Surprises, by Anna Jane Hays; illustrated by Hala Wittwer Swearingen
Ages 4-6, Random House
This early reader features cheerful pictures of all-things-spring, from children playing to ducklings swimming, paired with rhyming prose: “Wake up, wake up!/Spring is here, calling us outside./Frosty weather, say goodbye!” Includes two sticker sheets, comprised of pictures from the book.
Angel Cat Sugar: Spring Picnic, by Ellie O’Ryan; illustrated by Sachiho Hino
Ages 4 & up, Scholastic
Sugar decides to have a picnic, but her friends want to fly kites, look at cherry blossoms and play hide-and-seek. In this colorful book, geared to the developing reader, she finds a way to do what everyone wants, while still enjoying a spring picnic.
All Around the Seasons, by Barney Saltzberg
Ages 2-5, Candlewick
Spring is captured in all its possibilities in this delightful book that also describes fall, winter and summer. Vivacious artwork accompanies playful rhymes: “Rainbows and bunnies/scribbled in chalk, Skateboards and wagons/on the sidewalk.”
Mia Geiger is a freelance writer in the Philadelphia area.