Spring ushers in a parade of Easter and Passover titles, as well as books on the changing seasons. We’ve gathered a selection of new and noteworthy springtime picture books for young readers, both secular and spiritual.
Bare Tree and Little Wind: A Story for Holy Week
Broadly inspired by scripture, Perkins draws on nature to illuminate the story of Holy Week in this wide-ranging picture book. Le’s elegant depictions of nature foreground seeds and fronds, gentling Perkins’s fast-moving, forward-looking chronology.
Emile and the Field
A child forms an intimate connection to a field throughout the changing seasons in this distinctive dual children’s debut from poet Young and artist Ebinama. Young’s distinguished poetic lines and Ebinama’s gauzy watercolor and ink paintings offer a gentle vision of nature as meaningfully accessible and ample.
Firsts and Lasts: The Changing Seasons
Each season’s traits are captured through snapshots of firsts and lasts in this change-forward chronicle by Schubert and Robin. In cut-paper collage scenes, characters play in the melting snow and revel among emerging greenery. Among other things, spring embodies “the last time we hear ‘Snow day!’ ” and “the first time we see new grass.” Schubert’s descriptions combine with Robin’s textured portraits for a nostalgic ode focusing on weather in the global north.
No Bunnies Here!
After a toothy gray wolf arrives in Bunnyville—“land of a thousand bunnies”—a quick-witted white rabbit springs to action trying to persuade the wolf that there are “no bunnies here!” With over-the-top narration and humorous, crayon-textured illustrations, Sauer and Burach provide a comic send-up to all that’s lovable about fluffy-tailed friends—one that ends fittingly with a basket of treats.
One Busy Bunny
“One Busy Bunny has a job today:/ A basket full of eggs to give away.” A long-eared brown bunny delivers holiday happiness to animal friends in this rhyming novelty board book that’s shaped like a rabbit. A gentle hoppy tale just right for tucking into Easter baskets.
This upbeat board book introduction welcomes readers into the home of a family—a child, parents, and a bearded grandparent—for a peek-a-boo tour of the seder table’s symbolic and culinary elements. Garofoli’s illustrations have soft shapes and textures, rendering characters with oversize heads, open-mouthed smiles, and a love of gesticulation. It’s like spending Passover with a group of very happy plush toys.
A Persian Passover
“Many years ago, in a small town in Iran,” siblings Ezra and Roza help their parents prepare for the seder. All does not go smoothly, but the duo’s misadventures provide an opportunity to wander through a bustling, friendly neighborhood, with stops at a local market that end in ample takeaways for the festive meal.
In Inquisition-era Spain, Raquela Rivera and her parents are forbidden by royal decree from practicing Judaism. The family secretly celebrates Shabbat each week in the wine cellar under their house, but Raquela yearns for a seder. Papa, a fisherman, has a plan; forgoing the cellar, they sail far away from land and hold their seder in safety at sea. As her parents tell the story of Exodus, Raquela feels a kinship to the family’s ancestors in Egypt, who endured hardships and gained freedom.
Spring arrives like a parade in this welcoming picture book paean by Kay and Howard. Rhythmic prose is concise but evocative, while vibrant impressionistic paintings build to busy, joyous scenes—a pageant that reaches its pinnacle beneath the smudgy confetti of cherry tree blossom petals, inviting readers to celebrate.
The Spring Rabbit: An Easter Tale
With a folktale-like spin on Easter traditions and vibrant, naïf-style paintings, McAllister and Corr offer up an Easter Bunny origin story in this seasonal picture book. Gouache art bursting with flowers and light distinguish this volume that’s as much equinox fable as Easter tale.
Where’s My Easter Basket?
Searching for an Easter basket, a wide-eyed blue chick meets up with a bevy of friends in Holt’s dialogue-driven board book. Via candy-colored, video game–like digital graphics, the brief journey sees the chick and friends flying, walking, and zooming across spring-tinged scenes until the joyful group encounters a new companion whose help results in a bubbly conclusion—and the hoped-for holiday hold-all.