Spring Into Poetry, Earth Day & Sports with Books

After a March that roared in like a lion, April may feel like the true kick-off for spring — a time for growth, renewal, an opportunity for more outside activity and a resurgence of poetry. Poetry? April just happens to be national poetry month. With much to choose from, here are some of the books available to greet the season, inspire activity and conjure up poetic imagery.

Ducks, bunnies and geese populate several books available for infants through pre-readers.

In the case of Bunny and Duck (both Random House, $5.99), the books also make noise, doubling as clackers when shaken. Both feature thick, easy-to-handle pages with colorful pictures and repetitive text that would be easy for even the very young to follow.

Emotions that children can relate to provide the narrative for Duck & Goose: How Are You Feeling? (Schwartz & Wade Books, $6.99). Each page offers a sweet photograph of the two friends and a single word to explain their emotions at that moment, from patient to angry to loving.

The music created by all the animals of the forest leads a little rabbit in search of his noise in the picture book Quiet Bunny (Sterling, $14.95). The book is a wonderful reminder that everyone can make himself heard in his own way.

Mark Earth Day with several books that celebrate what the planet provides.

In Holly Bloom’s Garden (Flashlight Press, $7.95), everyone in the family seems to have a green thumb except for Holly. But she doesn’t let that stop her from filling her world with flowers.

An industrious mouse learns that growing things takes patience and hard work in the beautifully illustrated Mortimer’s First Garden (Simon & Schuster, $16.99). And Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life (The Blue Sky Press, $16.99) explains simply and then scientifically why plants are vital to survival.

Older readers who mark the start of spring with batting practice can enjoy The Girl Who Threw Butterflies (Alfred A. Knopf, $15.99). An eighth-grade girl joins the boys’ baseball team, in part as a tribute to her late father.

In Mudville (Alfred A. Knopf, $15.99), the start of 22 years of rain puts a stop to the biggest baseball game ever between two rival towns. When the rain finally ends, it must be time for a rematch.

Combining poetry and all things athletic is Going, Going, Gone! And Other Silly Dilly Sports Songs (Simon & Schuster, $16.99). The tunes to common childhood songs like “Ring Around the Rosie” are comically paired with lyrics about football, swimming and the like.

For those who prefer their poetry without added melody, Favorite Poems (Doubleday for Young Readers, $26.99) offers more than 700 selections grouped around subjects like Almost Anytime is Laughing Time and It’s Fun to Play.

The Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry (Simon & Schuster, $21.00) pairs poems on different themes with dazzling illustrations in a variety of styles. And two collections from Barefoot Press, The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems ($19.99) and The Barefoot Book of Blessings ($18.99), are masterpieces of rich, stunning pictures carefully matched with classic words that are diverse in theme and illustration.

Categories: Early Education, Preschool Activities, Preschool Early Learning, SK Activities, Things To Do