Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Celebrating Spring in Picture Books

Spring conjures up so many different images: flowers, rain, warmer days and, best of all, baby animals. We've had some great picture books come into our home that make us long for all of these exciting signs of new life!

(oliver) by Christopher Francheschelli is a wonderful board book about Oliver the egg. Done in black, grey and white with only photos of the egg and its shadow, the simple words are enhanced by a real sense of motion and a fun, colorful surprise at the end. The final words of the book are actually on the back cover, next to the two halves of an eggshell --

(...Because miracles happen.)

I think this would be a perfect gift for a first-time expectant mother who could then share it with her little one the next spring. New life truly is a miracle!

Lemniscaat is a well-established (since 1963) publisher in Holland and have published in the US for twelve years as Lemniscaat USA. They have a really interesting backstory and a wide variety of beautiful books. This particular book is constructed in a very unique way and I'm glad they took the extra time and effort to make it so special.

Quiet Bunny's Many Colors by Lisa McCue is a celebration of everything spring and also a lesson about accepting and embracing what makes you different and unique. Quiet Bunny sees all of the beautiful colors of spring and is a bit disappointed by his own drab colors. He tries various ways to change his colors (including a roll in a blueberry patch) but eventually learns that he is beautiful in his own way.

This is another stellar title from Sterling Children's Books. The colors are absolutely gorgeous and they make us want to go right out and frolic in a meadow of wildflowers. Quiet Bunny is adorable, as are the many other creatures who are scattered around each page. This book also has a surprise at the end (this time a fold-out page) that makes it extra special.

This final book won't be out until May 1 but I think it's well worth the wait. 999 Tadpoles is written by Ken Kimura and illustrated by Yasunari Murakami. 999 tadpoles are hatched in a small pond. As they become small frogs, they quickly outgrow their pond and are desperate to find a new home. They set off together (with the requisite "are we there yet"s) and narrowly escape a snake only to be set upon by a hawk. However, the strength of 999 little frogs (plus mom and dad) is just enough to save them and they happily reach a new home.

The illustrations in this book are deceptively simple. They still manage to convey a wide range of emotions and are bright and happy. Another plus for this book is the integration of the jacket summary on the back of the book, perfect for those of us who are forced to immediately remove jackets from children's books! This Japanese picture book will be released by NorthSouth Books, a publisher that I've mentioned before that specializes in bringing international picture books to the States.

Seeing the signs of spring all around,
K and Z

Support our site and buy OliverQuiet Bunny's Many Colors and 999 Tadpoles on Amazon or find them at your local library. We received all of these books for review.


  1. I'm drawn to the simplicity of Oliver. And 999 Tadpoles is neat looking too.

  2. Oh, I hope my library gets a copy of 999 Tadpoles! Thanks for this lovely post.