Around here the birds are chirping their hearts out, which means our daily walks are filled with toddler yells of “Listening to the robin! Chickadee! Tufted titmouse!”; the forsythia is in full bloom; and the daffodils are almost here. We’re grateful to have our yard and neighborhoods to walk around in where we can be far enough away from people in this strange time.
I’m always trying to make things celebratory around here, but right now it’s feeling tougher than usual. We celebrate Easter and this year we’ll be baking our traditional Hungarian coffee cake, having Maeve hunt for (empty) eggs in the yard, and giving her clues to find her basket in the house. What traditions do you have for Easter or any holiday you celebrate during the springtime? I’m hoping to add some to our list.
Below is a list of books and other things, with affiliate links, that I compiled before and edited a bit after our world changed. Perhaps some of these might still add a little sunshine for you and your loved ones. I hope so.
Also, last year I put together a list of books and other Easter-y, spring-y things here, if you care to check that out.
I hope you are as well as you can be. Sending out love.
– Easter Eggs by Wednesday Kirwin
Stunning illustrations, plus it’s so creative because there’s a wheel on each page for you to move and hide the eggs before the kid guesses where the egg is hiding and lifts up the flap. Interactive at its best and one you’ll want for those Easter baskets. Thank you, Chronicle!
– When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes
Henkes has a gift of observation that wends its way into our everyday life. I can’t get enough of his books’ simple beauty.
– Hoppy Floppy’s Carrot Hunt by Lucia Gaggiotti
Honestly, as a parent I’m not as into the lift-a-flap books without much story, but Maeve is always pulling this one out of the bookshelf and happily flipping through it. Basically, if it’s a win for the kid, it’s a win. Unless it makes noise? Thank you, Candlewick!
– Counting with Critters by Teagan White
I adore White’s illustrations and the activities that the animals in these books are good ol’ wholesome fun. If you prefer sticking to the rabbit theme, there’s Bunny Roo, I Love You also illustrated by her.
– The Littlest Family’s Big Day by Emily Winfield
Wander in the woods with this little bear family. Such sweet details in this one!
– William Wakes Up by Linda Ashman and Chuck Groenink
We’re obsessed with A Cozy Good Night, so this story about celebrating the coming of spring was one we knew we had to have. We’ve certainly read our copy from the library over and over again and will be buying a copy once we have to return it again. The meter, the message, the pictures…so good.
– My Friend Earth by Patricia MacLachlan and Francesca Sanna
The description makes it sound hippie dippy, when really it’s just gorgeous. It’s one of the best put together books I’ve ever seen and I spend a lot of time with picture books. Thank you, Chronicle!
– Singing in the Rain by Tim Hopgood
We have and absolutely love Hopgood’s What A Wonderful World (another great pick). The vibrant colors of these illustrations are stunning, plus all the feel good feelings from a beloved movie. Maeve’s getting this one in her basket.
– The Library Book by Tom Chapin and Chuck Groenink
For those rainy spring days and all those of us who love the library. The song to this is fun, too.
– Hazel and Twig: The Lost Egg by Brenna Burns Yu
Two mouse sisters who find an egg and try to hatch it. The sweet, pastel illustrations give me lovely Peter Rabbit vibes. Thank you, Candlewick!
– Two Little Trains by Margaret Wise Brown and Greg Pizzoli
For your train-obsessed kid, this refreshed classic is illustrated in lovely spring-y colors with very cool textural details. In typical Margaret Wise Brown fashion, it’s a great one to read aloud. Thank you, Harper Kids!
I am nerding out about the idea of bringing these along on little hikes and trips to local parks.
– On Wings of Words: The Extraordinary Life of Emily Dickinson by Jennifer Berne and Becca Stadtlander
One of my favorite illustrators for the story of one of my favorite poets. This book is a stunner and I can’t wait until Maeve is a little older for it because…well, take a look at it. Thank you, Chronicle!
– Tiny, Perfect Things by M.H. Clark and Madeline Kloepper
The story of “shared wonder” between a grandfather and his grandson seems perfect for this time of year.
– The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse by Patricia MacLachlan and Hadley Hooper
Maeve got this for her birthday and we love it. It’s about the early influences in Matisse’s life and how they appeared in his artwork later in life and it’s thoroughly lovely.
– Only A Tree Knows How to Be a Tree by Mary Murphy
The message in this one warms my heart and I honestly feel a sense of peace and joy every time we read it together. It reminds me of a favorite quote of mine supposedly by Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”. The illustrations are equally refreshing- there’s something childlike, yet very detailed about them. A beautiful presentation of a beautiful message that’s a new favorite. Thank you, Candlewick!
Books For You
Do you get an Easter basket for yourself if you do them for your kids? We don’t, but maybe we should be…treat yo’ self.
– Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount
The perfect book for book lovers. Truly. It’s beautiful inside and out and is chock full of fantastic book lists and facts about books. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
– A Kind of Paradise by Rebecca Amy Tan
This works for your older kids, too, but I hope you all by now how much I adore this love letter to the power of libraries and stories? Warm, introspective, full of heart. A favorite.
– Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery
One of Montgomery’s better novels. (Dare I say, better than some of the Anne ones? Gasp.)
– Upstream by Mary Oliver
To get you extra excited as the season shifts.
While they’re both about the autumn of life, a short, witty, and fresh collection of essays feels right for spring. I love her lists of things she will and won’t miss.
– All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
I think many of you would love this series. Don’t be thrown off by the fact that it’s the memoirs of a vet, like I was. It’s so charming.
– The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
How beautiful is this cover? How perfect is it to read this one in the spring?
– Orchard House: How A Neglected Garden Taught One Family to Grow by Tara Austen Weaver
A story of gardening and the internal growth that brings about.
– Dominicana by Angie Cruz
To me, this is like Anne of Green Gables, but more mature. It’s feel springlike in the main character’s quiet tenacity despite all the obstacles in her way.
– Apple Bough by Noel Streatfield
I haven’t read this one, but I’m so tempted by it. A book all about making a home and by the author of Ballet Shoes? Very promising. Plus, that cover.
Not Just Books?
– Keep those kiddos outside and curious! Try out these binoculars or a telescope(might be easier depending on their age), this magnifying glass, and this hand-illustrated bird memory game that can work first as an identification guide of sorts, then a matching game, and then a memory game (it will be in Maeve’s basket). Throw in a notebook and some crayons and pencils and get them drawing what they see, tallying numbers, going on scavenger hunts…so many possibilities.
– I love all of Maileg’s products. These baby mice twins snuggled up in their matchbox are well loved around here.
– What’s more Easter-y than a wooden rabbit in his carrot car?
– Actually, maybe this softest ever rabbit. I know I won’t be able to resist those in Maeve’s future.
– A magnetic play scene replete with woodland animals picnicking. I feel like these would be great for traveling, too.
– Maeve already has a tea set, but the floral pattern and cute colors of this tin tea set have me tempted.
– I like that this cute gelato set has lots of room for interaction and imagination.
– This paper doll kit is so sweet.
– A really fun car for your kid who only wants cars. This one is different than other pull back and push ones because it doesn’t need to be pulled back. I’m also wanting this truck for Maeve eventually.
– I’m a big fan of open-ended play and I can see this toy, Squigz, getting a lot of use.
– Also if your kid (or husband, cough) likes building, check this awesome set out.
Annnd For You
– This enamel pin that says “It’s too peopley outside.” is introvert perfection. Maybe it’s too on the nose for right now?
– I stumbled on this folklore rabbit enamel mug and thought it was lovely, plus…rabbits.
– These lightweight book scarves, particularly the Pride and Prejudice peacock cover one. Book nerds, you know the cover I’m talking about.
– You’ve Got Mail pencils.
– All the puzzles: an English garden and cottage, this one too, Harry Potter, a fantasy library, these sweet gardeners, or a book stack done by the always amazing Jane Mount.
– Speaking of Jane Mount, these bibliophile postcards look amazing. I’m considering getting them to frame my favorites.
– A candle scented like old books.
– Perhaps random except for the pastel colors, but these we got these toothbrush holders for Christmas and they make me happy every day. (Also, yes they do stand up in them.)
– Rifle Paper Co. coasters that feel both spring-y and might satisfy a little of the wanderlust you’re sure to be feeling.
How are you planning on celebrating Easter and springtime? How are you feeling these days?