As you know, if you’ve been visiting my blog for a while, I have a 3 year old who is approaching “preschool” age. We recently have been carving out devoted learning spaces in our home, and one that I’m very pleased with is our reading nook in the school room. This book case (an old find off of Amazon) easily becomes overstuffed and cluttered. And of course, if it’s overstuffed and not appealing, nobody wants to access what is inside. So, we did a huge book clean out and rehomed books that we’ve outgrown to families that could give them new life, ones that are sentimental or gifts to other areas of the home where they will get more use (such as bedside), and now we have this empty book rack that’s easy to curate as a capsule collection themed for a couple weeks at a time as well as keep library books corralled. We are sticking with a Caterpillar and Seeds theme for the next couple weeks, so, I thought I’d share our current book picks on this theme. If you have any favorites on this theme, please leave them in the comments down below!
We planted a tree is a simple, charming narration that follows colorful illustrations following families all over the world planting a tree. It has a lot of repetition with the naration which can make it more interactive with young children since they can enjoy the rhythm of the words and participate. The illustrations also draw out an underlying commonality between all the families involved in the story and they all benefit from the tree they planted. It’s lovely and sweet. It also can spark conversation of how planting a small seed can help our communities and world.
Spring is a part of a seasonal collection featuring the other 3 seasons by Gerda Muller. It’s a classic in Waldorf shops and for good reason. There is no narration in this board book, but the illustrations are purposeful, beautiful, and can easily spark a child’s own narration as it follows a little girl though the activities of a spring season. This book has an emphasis on planting and cultivating a garden, as well as a large presence of baby animals. My favorite illustration is towards the end of the book featuring a girl with her father as they are under a rainbow. This would make a lovely addition to any home library. We look forward to collecting the rest of the collection.
Lola Plants a Garden is a sweet story about Lola and her quest to be “Mary, Mary” from her favorite garden poem. It follows her as she and her mother plan out a flower patch, purchase seeds, plant them, protect them as they grow, and find things to do while they wait for their flowers to bloom. The illustrations are darling and vibrant, and the story is one your young one (and you) are sure to fall in love with.
While this issue is full of beautiful stories, our personal favorite this month is “Things In the Dirt” on page 8. If you haven’t discovered Ladybug magazine, it is a magazine available for annual subscription under Cricket media. It is aimed at 3-6 year olds. It’s full of stories, puzzles, poems, songs, and charming rhymes. We enjoy receiving this in the mail every month. To access a subcription, click here.
We really aren’t a fan of “first reader books” at our house since we love the philosophy of Charlotte Mason which upholds that children deserve high quality literature that contains information, feeling, and thought. One type of story that we do enjoy are these small books available at our local library that are considered “a first book of first definitions”. It has very simple sentence structure, simple illustrations, and the information included is focused on building a child’s vocabulary and language without hammering in force academics. The illustrations by Maurice Sendak are simple, clear, and evoke emotion. We are really enjoying this series. While this doesn’t necessarily dwell on springtime, caterpillars, or seeds, this is the one we chose for this week in our reading nook.
I hope some of these suggestions give your reading selection some new life! What are your favorite spring time books? I’d love to hear from you in the comments down below!