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.
Celebrate the coming of spring with all its natural pleasures! These books will help you wave goodbye to the winter chills.
"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
The Story of Spring and Norooz
"A new version of Norooz story: The story of a girl named "Bahar" who lives in the sky and spends the entire year sleeping in her comfy bed, except for the last day of winter when she wakes up and ..... An easy-to-read Persian(Farsi) picture book for those children who are learning Persian as a second language." -- publisher
A mother and daughter explore the wonders of spring, from animals waking up from hibernation and flowers starting to bloom to birds' eggs hatching and rain falling and helping the grass and flowers grow.
"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
Growing Gorgeous Gardens
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
"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
Miguel’s Community Garden
"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
The Wall and the Wild
"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
Dominic grows sweetcorn
"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
One Little Lot
"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
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.
Festival of Colors
Siblings Chintoo and Mintoo collect flowers and press the petals into a fine powder as they prepare for Holi, the Indian springtime Festival of Colors. Includes author's note
The Gift of Ramadan
Sophia wants to fast for Ramadan this year. She tries to keep busy throughout the day so she won’t think about food. But when the smell of cookies is too much, she breaks her fast early. How can she be part of the festivities now? -- publisher
Josefina’s Habichuelas / Las habichuelas de Josefina
"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
A Sweet Meeting on Mimouna Night
"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
Our Beautiful Earth
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
"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
"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
The whole wide world and me
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.
An illustrated counting rhyme that celebrates the beauty of nature and recommends ways to protect our one and only world, including recycling, conserving energy, and repairing broken items
Moondragon in the mosque garden
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
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