Awakening the Imagination

As we head into March – National Reading Month – my thoughts wander to the sights and sounds of spring, and the awakening of the earth, and our imaginations, after the cold winter snows have melted away.  New books that are ‘blooming’ this year (and one from last year) with themes of new beginnings and awakening the imagination are …


When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes, Illustrated by Laura Dronzek, HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2016

Kevin Henkes uses striking imagery, repetition, and alliteration to introduce basic concepts of language and the changing of the seasons. And Laura Dronzek’s gorgeous, lush paintings show the transformation from quiet, cold winter to the joyful newborn spring. Watch the world transform when spring comes!  –– HarperCollins/Greenwillow

Parachute by Danny Parker, Illustrated by Matt Ottley, Eerdsmans, March 2016

This compelling book, perfectly complemented by Matt Ottley’s expressive artwork, lends a sympathetic ear to children’s fears while simultaneously assuring readers that they can overcome them.  –– Eerdsmans



Rain Fish by Lois Elhert, Illustrated by author, S&S/Beach Lane, April 2016

Complete with an author’s note explaining how Ehlert collected the found materials she used to make the book over the course of a year, Rain Fish is a spirited celebration of imagination, creativity, and observing the world in your own way—and it invites you to discover your own rain fish.  –– S&S/Beach Lane



Sky Pig by Jan L. Coates, Illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo, Pajama Press, September 2016

In Sky Pig, Jan Coates weaves a story of sweetness and whimsy, ingenuity and empathy. Plasticine artist Suzanne Del Rizzo brings dimension and energy to the tale of a pig who wants―against all popular truisms―to fly. He may never reach the sky on homemade clockwork wings, but Ollie still dreams as hard as ever a pig can dream. And Jack, a true friend, realizes that just because a pig can’t fly in the ways they have tried doesn’t mean he can never soar. An uplifting picture book for anyone who has tried and tried again. –-Pajama Press


This is Sadie by Sara O’Leary, Illustrated by Julie Morstad, Tundra, 2015

O’Leary puts Sadie at the center of her own story, and invites her audience to follow Sadie’s lead. “Sadie has wings, of course,” we learn — “Maybe you have them too. Have you checked?” In Morstad’s quietly delightful gouache and watercolor illustrations, black-haired Sadie looks both delicate and strong, pretty and at times androgynous. She’s a mermaid and “a boy raised by wolves,” howling at the moon; she carefully chooses dresses and artfully hammers nails into wood. It’s an appealingly rounded glimpse of girlhood that’s somehow both timeless and modern.” —The New York Times review

There are many wonderful books about spring, imaginations, and new beginnings! Below you will find three different lists of books to explore – you are sure to find the perfect book to read with your children, or your students!

11 Children’s Books About Spring

Chidren’s Books for Celebrating Spring

Ten Books for Spring

Happy spring and happy reading!