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Diverse Reads for Every Season: Springtime Blooms

Photograph of Lisely Laboy

Lisely Laboy is the project manager at Diverse BookFinder. Lisely holds a master's degree in Information and Library Sciences from Florida State University and undergraduate degrees from the University of Florida in Sociology and Women’s Studies. She has 10 years of public library experience, including time as a programming librarian for children and teens.

Here at Diverse BookFinder, we love to encourage the use of diverse books all year round! Today we've got another great list of titles for you that are just perfect for celebrating the all the beauty and freshness of the spring season.

We know that the use of picture books that feature BIPOC characters allows BIPOC children to see themselves reflected on the page and that it allows non-BIPOC children to see the beautiful diversity of our world, and to build empathy for others. These lessons are important at every time of the year.

So, without further ado, we encourage you to check out some of our springtime favorites that include books about the season, about wonderful springtime holidays, about protecting our beautiful earth, and about growing your own garden.

Celebrating Spring

Illustration by Cinyee Chiu from Busy Spring by Sean Taylor & Alex Moss

Celebrate the coming of spring with all its natural pleasures! These books will help you wave goodbye to the winter chills.

Busy Spring


by Alex Morss, Sean Taylor and Cinyee Chiu

"A beautiful picture book featuring an imaginative narrative, with scientific information weaved in throughout and explored in the final pages. In this uplifting picture book about spring, follow two children and their father through their backyard as they discover all the different ways nature wakes up from its long winter sleep. Spot the busy creatures and plants as the tale unfolds, then learn about how each responds to the increasing daylight and warmth that usher in the season. Co-authors Sean Taylor (picture book author) and Alex Morss (ecologist, journalist, and educator) offer an inviting introduction to the science behind spring. The yard is bright, birds are singing, the bees are buzzing, and there are tadpoles in the pond! What is all the commotion about? In each colorful scene, the family discovers a different sign of spring—a bird collecting twigs for its nest, a fox snuggling her cubs, a caterpillar feasting on leaves… After the story, annotated illustrations explain the spring behaviors of various plants and animals. Inspire an appreciation for the natural world in this joyous exploration of spring." -- publisher

Any Child Informational

Patience, Miyuki


by Roxane Marie Galliez and Seng Soun Ratanavanh

"Anyone with a small child knows that patience is not a virtue easily won. In this magically illustrated story the young girl Miyuki, who we first met in the critically acclaimed Time for Bed, Miyuki, anxiously awaits the opening of one sleepy flower. When, on the first day of spring, the flower still hasn’t bloomed, Miyuki begins a frantic search for water to wake it up. Her grandfather gently encourages her to sit and watch with him, as she learns the important lesson that good things come to those who wait." -- publisher

Any Child

Growing Gorgeous Gardens

Illustration by Katie Rewse from The Wall and the Wild by Christina Dendy

As we welcome spring, we also welcome prime growing season in much of the world. Whether its full of flowers for their beauty or of bountiful and delicious fruits and vegetables, these books celebrate the power of a garden.

The Bear’s Garden


by Marcie Colleen and Alison Oliver

"An inspiring picture book about one little girl whose creativity, dedication, and imagination turns a vacant lot in a city into a beautiful community garden. In this lyrical picture book, one little girl imagines and grows a beautiful garden in an empty lot in a city. With the help of her stuffed bear, she imagines a place to grow, a place to play, and a place to love—and soon her garden becomes just that. The Bear’s Garden is a testament to how imagination and dedication can transform communities and create beauty for everyone in unexpected places. It’s inspired by the true story of a community garden in Brooklyn that local residents beautified themselves and named after a teddy bear found in the weeds." -- publisher

Any Child

Miguel’s Community Garden


by JaNay Brown-Wood and Samara Hardy

"Miguel searches for sunflowers in his community garden in this vibrant exploration of growing food and healthy eating, from the Where in the Garden? series. Miguel is throwing a party at his community garden for all of his friends, and he needs help searching for sunflowers to complete the celebration. What do we know about sunflowers? They're tall with petals and leaves—and, hold on, is that a sunflower? No, that's an artichoke. Where, oh, where could those sunflowers be? Can you help Miguel find them in time for his party? The second title in the Where in the Garden? picture book series stars a young Latino boy who visits his community garden with his two dads to explore the fruits and vegetables growing there. Playful text guides young readers to hunt for visual clues and compare and contrast the unique characteristics of sunflowers against apricots, spinach, mushrooms, and other produce that grows in Miguel's community garden. Artist Samara Hardy brings this multi-layered story to life with vivid, cheerful illustrations created from layers of hand painted ink and watercolor texture. Back matter includes a refreshing sunflower seed salad recipe for little chefs and their adult helpers to try together." -- publisher

Any Child

The Wall and the Wild


by Christina Dendy and Katie Rewse

"An exploration of the healing power of gardens and the importance of a healthy ecosystem. When Ana tries to take control by creating a perfect garden, she comes to realize that nature is inherently wild. In a plot of land at the edge of town, Ana grows only perfectly sized plants and perfect-looking flowers; she throws all the irregular shoots and uneven seeds over the wall into the disorderly Wild. But as her garden gets tidier, neater and more constrained, the Wild begins to grow…" -- publisher

Any Child

Dominic grows sweetcorn


by Mandy Ross and Alison Bartlett

"When Dominic visits Grandpa, they go into the garden together, and Grandpa shows Dominic how to grow sweetcorn, the way he used to grow it back in Jamaica. While they work, Grandpa tells Dominic about his life in Jamaica, and talks about how he met Dominic's grandma and what happened when they came to Britain. When the sweetcorn is ready to harvest, Grandpa and Dominic trade it for tomatoes from the next-door neighbour, just like Grandpa used to in the Caribbean. And everyone ends up having a lovely feast together"--Publisher's website. Includes recipe for sweetcorn fritters

Beautiful Life

One Little Lot


by Diane C. Mullen and Oriol Vidal

"In a bustling, urban neighborhood, count the ways one little lot becomes a beautiful community vegetable garden. Count all the ways (one to ten) an urban community unites to clean up an abandoned lot. From building planter boxes to pulling weeds to planting seeds, everyone works together to transform the lot into a bountiful vegetable garden. As the garden grows, strangers become friends, eventually sharing in a special feast with the harvest they grew." -- publisher


Springtime Holidays

Illustration by Vashti Harrison from Festival of Colors by Kabir Sehgal & Surishtha Sehgal

So many cultures and religions celebrate important holidays during the spring. These books spotlight some of the holidays the world will be celebrating this spring: Holi, Ramadan, Easter, & Passover.

Josefina’s Habichuelas / Las habichuelas de Josefina


by Jasmine Mendez and Flor De Vita

"Like all kids, Josefina loves to eat sweets. She loves warm chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven, cupcakes and candy! One night, while eating a piece of flan, Mami asks her to consider giving up sweets for Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter. "That's impossible!" Josefina says. When Mami promises to teach her how to make her favorite dessert, habichuelas con dulce, she agrees to give it a try. Josefina can't wait to end her fast and eat the delicious sweet cream beans, her family's traditional Easter dessert. While she and her mom, tías and abuela prepare the dish, they dance to merengue music and tell stories about life back in the Dominican Republic. The kitchen fills with the aromatic smells of cinnamon and sugar, but it's the feelings of love and happiness Josefina will never forget. On Easter Sunday, when the family eats the special dessert she prepared, the girl's grandmother proclaims, "It's the best pot of habichuelas con dulce I've tasted in my life!" This heart-warming, bilingual picture book for children shares a universal story all kids can relate to-learning about one's culture through food, music and family stories-while focusing on a cultural tradition specific to the Dominican Republic. As a bonus, the book includes the recipe for this special dessert-in both English and Spanish!" -- publisher

Beautiful Life

A Sweet Meeting on Mimouna Night


by Allison Ofanansky and Rotem Teplow

"A story about a young girl celebrating the Moroccan Jewish holiday of Mimouna with a new Muslim friend. It’s Mimouna — the Moroccan Jewish holiday that marks the end of Passover, and when blessings are given for a year of prosperity and good luck. Miriam wants to help her mother make the sweet moufleta pancakes they always eat at their Mimouna party, but after not eating doughy treats for the week of Passover, they don’t have any flour in the house! So, Miriam’s mother takes her to visit their Muslim neighbors, who share their flour. The women drink tea together, and Miriam makes friends with a young girl named Jasmine. Miriam almost drops the bag of flour when she and Jasmine go to fetch it from the storeroom — but luckily Jasmine is there to catch it! Jasmine and her family then join Miriam’s family and friends to celebrate Mimouna. This sweet story of friendship and shared customs will introduce North American readers to the Mimouna holiday. The book concludes with an author’s note and a recipe for making moufleta, the sweet, paper-thin pancakes featured in the story, so that readers can enjoy, too." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Cross Group

Our Beautiful Earth

Illustration by Francesca Sanna from My Friend Earth by Patricia MacLachlan

One important day that takes place every April 22nd is Earth Day. Earth Day reminds us how important it is to take care of our wonderful planet. The books below celebrate Earth and all the ways we can work to protect it.

My Friend Earth


by Patricia MacLachlan and Francesca Sanna

"Celebrate Earth Day with this valentine to our wonderful planet from the Newbery Award–winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall. Our friend Earth does so many wonderful things! She tends to animals large and small. She pours down summer rain and autumn leaves. She sprinkles whisper-white snow and protects the tiny seeds waiting for spring. Readers of all ages will pore over the pages of this spectacular book. Its enticing die-cut pages encourage exploration as its poetic text celebrates everything Earth does for us, all the while reminding us to be a good friend in return. • Interactive format and kid-friendly art will engage both toddlers and young readers • A celebration of the natural world and rallying cry for positive action for Planet Earth • Great opportunities to share life science concepts and amazing facts about the environment with children. This beautiful and innovative ode to our natural world will appeal to readers of Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth, The Poet's Dog, and Thank You, Earth. • Read aloud books for kids ages 3-5 • Earth books for kids • Climate change books for kids." -- publisher

Any Child

Giving Thanks


by Chief Jake Swamp and Erwin Jr. Printup

"A traditional Iroquois celebration of the beauty and spirit of Mother Earth, as told by a contemporary Mohawk chief. A traditional Iroquois celebration of the beauty and spirit of Mother Earth, as told by a contemporary Mohawk chief. For as long as anyone can remember, Mohawk parents have taught their children to start each day by giving thanks to Mother Earth. Also known as the Thanksgiving Address, this good morning message is based on the belief that the natural world is a precious and rare gift. The whole universe - from the highest stars to the tiniest blade of grass - is addressed as one great family. Now readers of all ages can share in this tribute to the environment, adapted especially for children by Chief Jake Swamp, whose efforts to share this vision of thanksgiving take him all over the world. Chief Swamp's inspirational message, along with Erwin Printup, Jr.'s unforgettable landscapes, make Giving Thanks a timeless celebration of the spirit of nature. A traditional Iroquois celebration of the beauty and spirit of Mother Earth, as told by a contemporary Mohawk chief." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

The whole wide world and me


by Toni Yuly

Just as a pebble is part of a mountain, just as a wave is part of the sea, so, too, is every one of us part of something bigger. With bright collage illustrations and a simple, lyrical text, acclaimed author-illustrator Toni Yuly invites readers to celebrate our relationship to the natural world.

Any Child

Moondragon in the mosque garden


by Troy Jackson, El-Farouk Khaki and Kate Commodore

Tajalli, Mujtaba, and Aasiya just want a break from adult conversations. They go to check out the old garden in their new mosque building, and end up making a new friend and learning an important lesson about caring for the earth. |cBack cover

Beautiful Life

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