New Children’s Books in Bloom
by Laura Ransom, Children’s Program Coordinator
I am looking forward to seeing spring flowers pop up around our city. Some beautiful, new children’s books at the library have inspired me to keep on waiting for spring to bloom.
“Have You Ever Seen a Flower?” by Shawn Harris was chosen as a 2022 Caldecott Honor Book. This distinguished award honors some of the best illustrated picture books from the previous year. Harris asks the reader if they have seen a flower, but also if they have ever been a flower. The girl in the story grows along with the flowers around her, and the book offers a unique way to think about our relationship to the natural world. I am also drawn to the bright orange and pink hues Harris features in his illustrations.
“No Bunnies Here!” by Tammi Sauer is a hilarious story set in Bunnyville, the Land of a Thousand Bunnies. One day a very big wolf comes to town, and a fearful bunny quickly tries to convince him to leave. All of the bunnies somehow transform into unicorns, comfy pillows, lamps, and puppies. The wolf finally gets a chance to explain why he’s searching for bunnies, and it turns out he is in desperate need of a friend! This funny twist makes the story even more fun to read together.
Kids can learn facts about flowers, seeds, and animals in “Outside, You Notice” by Erin Alladin. This picture book shows kids and families walking near a stream in a forest, picking strawberries from their own backyard garden, and discovering colorful produce at the farmer’s market. Facts about nature are included on each page. I learned that broccoli is actually a flower!
If you like the nonfiction series “You Wouldn’t Want to Be…”, you will probably enjoy “How Would You Survive as a Bee?” by David Stewart. Other books in the series feature polar bears, lions, and killer whales. The text challenges the reader to imagine their life as a bee, buzzing from flower to flower, living in a colony, and watching out for predators along the way. Real-life photographs of beekeepers and a “bee quiz” about the book’s content are fun features near the end of the book.
“Small but Mighty: Why Earth’s Tiny Creatures Matter” by Kendra Brown highlights small animals that make a big difference in the environment. Leafcutter ants are titled “Fungus Farmers” because they use leaves to make fungus gardens in tropical rain forests. Termites are “Nature’s Engineers” that build giant mounds filled with soil-enriching nutrients. The mounds can reach a height of 17 feet. Brown also talks about cookie cutter sharks, millipedes, krill, and more tiny creatures.
My favorite new picture book is “She Heard the Birds: The Story of Florence Merriam Bailey” by Andrea D’Aquino. Florence explored the outdoor world with her family throughout her childhood in the 1860s. She loved listening to bird songs and learning each of their names. While she was in college, a fashion trend swept through the United States and Europe: wearing hats decorated with exotic bird feathers. This was so disturbing to Florence that she and her classmates decided to do something about it. They encouraged people to boycott bird-decorated hats and fought for the preservation of birds in the wild. Florence went on to become the first woman fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union in 1929 and author ten books. I appreciate her pioneering spirit in a field that wasn’t very welcoming to women. Florence’s concern for the life of birds is very inspiring because I enjoy bird-watching as well!
For more great children’s book recommendations, stop by the library, give us a call at 785-776-4741 ext. 400, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.