New Spring Picture Books for Young Readers

When book lovers’ thoughts turn to Spring, it is with a literary bent–even those of us who gravitate toward  hanging out with young children.  Luckily, there are lots of new (and high quality!) books just out this Spring that are a delight to share with toddlers, pre-schoolers, and early readers.

Easter-CatHere Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Claudia Rueda

The illustrations make this book about a cat with attitude especially hilarious, with humor fit for a wide range of ages.  (It’s one of Grandpa Jim’s new favorites!) Cat is sick of the Easter Bunny getting all the credit, and decides he would do a much better job.  He hops on his Harley, outfitted in a resplendent sparking suit, and discovers the bitter truth: it’s a tough job!   The story is mostly conveyed through Cat’s facial expressions, which are priceless.   Witty and delightfully illustrated, this is a perfect book for the Easter Basket.


MapleMaple by Lori Nichols

When Maple was “still a whisper,” her parents planted a maple tree in her honor.  As she grows, so does her friendly tree.  Her tree shelters her, and is always there to talk to, but isn’t very good at interacting; she does long for a friend who can throw snowballs!  One day, she finds a willow sapling next to her tree companion, and realizes they both are soon to have a sibling.  Readers get to meet the new baby, Willow, and see the sisters under the shifting maple leaves.  A sweet story with delightful lush illustrations.


Nest  Nest by Jorey Hurley

You can tell that Jorey Hurley is a designer by trade, as her illustrations are simply stunning.  They have the simplicity of Japanese woodcuts, with vivid color and lots of detail.  Nest tells the story of a robin family through the seasons, with minimal words that are in perfect synch with the pictures.  Very fitting baby gift that will grow with the child and be a treat for parents as well.


I-HatchedI Hatched by Jill Esbaum

“I’ve studied me, and oh, my word. I am one amazing bird! This stripe is handsome, don’t you think? And look! My eyes can…blink blink blink!”  This is one energetic newborn killdeer chick!  Much like an enthusiastic and bubbly toddler, the chick sets off to explore with gusto.  The rhymes are fun, the pictures are enticing.’s an all-round great read for pre-schoolers.


Say-HelloSay Hello Like This by Mary Murphy

Captivating rhymes, vivid pictures, animal sounds, and lift-the-flap page layouts.  What’s not to like?  A wonderful read-aloud for the youngest listeners, and fun for preschoolers–even kindergartners–as well.  A great book for chiming in and being silly.    Lots of fun-to-say words and rhymes, from   “flappy and clucky” chick greetings to “tiny and tappy” beetle salutations.  Great adjectives, too, like dogs who are “licky and loud” or cats who are “prissy and proud.”  And the pages are made of sturdy stuff, perfect for the exploring and none-too-gentle hands of babies and toddlers.



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