Spring book recommendations from the Ottawa Public Library!

Thank you to Margaret Mary Conlon from the Alta Vista branch of the Ottawa Public Library for these book suggestions for May!

Kitten’s Spring – written & illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes

Children will enjoy exploring spring through the inquisitive eyes of Kitten. A simple, charming tale of new beginnings and discoveries, set off to advantage by the unique, inimitable style of Eugenie Fernandes’ artwork. Invite your child to join Kitten as she sets off to meet other animals and their young!

A Bloom of Friendship: The story of the Canadian Tulip Festival – by Anne Renaud; illustrated by Ashley Spires

A Bloom of Friendship is more than a book on the Tulip Festival. Using the much appreciated scrapbook style, Anne Renaud succeeds in making the history of it accessible and exciting, as well as putting the story into the historical context surrounding it. Everything from key events to notable people of the Second World War, such as Anne Frank, is highlighted without becoming overwhelming. A deftly written book with a distinct Canadian twist for those curious to learn more about this well known festival.

Quiet in the Garden – written & illustrated by Aliki

A splendid book that celebrates the inherent beauty of nature, Quiet in the Garden encourages children to see the exquisiteness of life right in their own backyard. From birds to spiders, a young boy and his bunny learn about other creatures and finally host a picnic for their wild friends! Aliki’s gentle words and realistic, mixed media illustrations are sure to charm everyone. You may even find yourself being quiet in a garden!

Ten Little Caterpillars – by Bill Martin Jr.; illustrated by Lois Ehlert

This book is much more than a counting book! Well known Bill Martin Jr. and Lois Ehlert have succeeded in creating a book that can be enjoyed on many levels. Young readers will enjoy counting the caterpillars and seeing what they do. Older readers will enjoy learning to identify the plants and animals featured. The caterpillars are mainly local, and are pictured at the end with the butterfly and moth species they become, enabling budding naturalists to go explore and perhaps find a caterpillar like one of the ten little caterpillars.

Explore Spring – by Maxine Anderson; illustrated by Alexis Frederick-Frost

This is the perfect book to accompany older children on their quest to turn their knowledge of the seasons into science. A mix of demonstrations, activities, science experiments and crafts, this book has something to interest everyone. Would you prefer to make a thunderstorm, build a wind chime, start a science journal or construct a bird nest? With this book, the choice is up to you!

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! – by Candace Fleming; illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Mr. McGreely had always wanted a vegetable garden. One day, he planted lots of yummy veggies, but he was not the only one who thought them yummy! Join the three hungry bunnies as they outwit Mr. McGreely, and teach him that things really do taste better when you share. Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!

Everything Spring – by Jill Esbaum; pictures compiled by National Geographic Kids

Vivid pictures and simple text combine to show children young life, including wild and domestic plants, birds and animals. A special page allows them to follow along with a tadpole as it transforms into a frog! Featuring the close-up, high quality photography associated with National Geographic, this ‘sneak-peek’ is sure to fascinate children.

Butterflies in the Garden – written & illustrated by Carol Lerner

What plants do butterflies like? How do you attract them to your garden, balcony or window box? Written like a story and beautifully illustrated by the author in striking watercolour, this book is both an engaging read and a good starting point for those looking to attract northern North American butterflies to their home!


Grow It, Cook It: Simple gardening projects and delicious recipes – edited by Sonia Willock-Moore

A fantastic visual guide to growing and cooking your own food for you and your children! No garden? No problem! This unique guide features tips on container gardening various vegetables and herbs. Everything from growth time and conditions required, to recipes featuring your home-grown produce is available at your fingertips. A great way to celebrate spring!

Backyard Birds – Jonathon Latimer & Karen Stray Nolting; illustrated by Roger Tory Peterson

The perfect bird guide for young birders from well known Peterson Field Guides! This edition features common birds that children are likely to see in cities and suburbs, rather than focusing on birds that are uncommon, thus encouraging the would be bird watcher. Clear pictures combined with close-up drawings to highlight identifying characteristics render this book invaluable to anyone who loves birds. A must-have for spring!

What are you reading this spring!?

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Books to Swing into Spring With...

This post is part of a series of monthly blog posts by Ottawa Public Library children’s librarians! We hope you enjoy today’s post and remember to check back every month for great children’s books ideas. Get your children into the swing of spring with a visit to your local library.  The following books from the Ottawa Public Library are sure to get the whole family excited about the change of the seasons.

Stimulate your child’s senses this spring with touch and feel books.  Spring is appropriate for babies and introduces vocabulary for the season.  From blossom and flower to fawn and lamb, your baby will love the colourful pictures and playing with the textures.   

After you’ve seen the cute bunny and felt its fuzzy nose, you’ll have to pick up I love bunnies.  From the same series, this touch and feel book offers simple rhymes to describe the fluffy and bouncy quality of bunnies.  With sparkly flowers and a felt carrot, this book offers as much to touch, as it does to look at it.  

*Both Spring and I love bunnies are part of OPL’s English board book collection.  Board books cannot be requested through the library’s hold system but every branch and the bookmobile offer a wide selection.  They are a great way to introduce books to your babies without having to worry about ripping pages.  Go into your local branch to find these two titles and see what else is available!

With the cold days of winter behind us, it’s time for Wake Up, It’s Spring! by Lisa Campbell Ernst.  This story will take you and your child on a journey through the rebirth of the earth and its inhabitants as the days get warmer and longer.  One by one, things start to wake up.  By the end, both you and your child will be wide awake and celebrating the days of spring!

As the season changes, your child can finally shed the layers that were needed to keep them warm all winter.  Welcome the transition from winter to spring with It’s Spring! By Linda Glaser.  The text is accompanied by beautiful images of gushing streams and flowers, plants and trees created by cut-paper illustrations by Susan Swan.  Through Glaser’s story and Swan’s illustrations, you and your child will be able to see, hear, feel, smell, and taste the changes of the season!

One of the wonders of spring is getting outside and into the garden.  Include your child in this process with Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert.  It is the colourful story of the plants and flowers one child and mother team plant in the garden.  Discover red tulips, orange tiger lilies, yellow daffodils, green ferns, blue morning glories, and purple violets for a bouquet that includes all the colours of the rainbow!

Take a closer look at the life span of a flower with Eric Carle’s The Tiny Seed. Your child will learn about the cycle in a garden as a seed germinates and turns into a plant, blooms and goes to seed.  Carle’s bright artwork is sure to captivate your little one.

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