Children's Lit: Spring Picture Books / by Madeleine Riley

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Note: Top Shelf Text received these titles from Tundra books in exchange for a feature on TST. All opinions are my own!

Each month, I'm aiming to bring you a selection of newly released or new-to-me titles to spread the love for children's literature. This month, I'm reading a few middle grade books that I'm hoping to share on my next Let's Talk Kid Lit Live with my friend (and fellow teacher, book blogger, and kid lit lover) Lorraine. We'll be live on Instagram on Saturday, May 12th and I'll share those titles on the blog following our live.

In the meantime, here are four picture books that I'm in love with this spring and would recommend for reading with the littles in your life!


Sonya's Chickens by Phoebe Wahl

This sweet story is about a little girl who cares deeply for her family's chicks. Readers learn about loss and empathy. I have many students who have chickens that they help care for at home and I think this book will resonate with them! Bonus: Sonya's family is interracial and the illustrations are just gorgeous.


The Pink Umbrella by Amélie Callot, illustrated by Geneviéve Godbout

This is my favorite picture book of 2018 so far. I want to frame every page. I love the illustrations, the characters, and feeling that reading this gives me. It's both a love story and a reminder that a positive perspective changes everything!


From the Heart of Africa: A Book of Wisdom collected by Eric Walters

"If you wish to go fast, go alone. If you wish to go far, go together."
- N'Gambay People, Central Africa
Meaning: If you need to get somewhere fast, going alone means no one will slow you down. But if you're alone, you might be stopped by obstacles that you can't overcome without help.

This collection of wise words were collected from all different parts of the African continent. Each quote has an illustration, with details on the origin and meaning.


Sakura's Cherry Blossoms by Robert Paul Weston, illustrated by Misa Saburi

I love this one especially as a springtime read. The story follows a little girl from one cherry blossom season to the next, as she moves with her family from Japan to America, adjusts to a new culture, and mourns the loss of her grandmother. The story is written in a series of tanka poems, a traditional Japanese poetry structure.