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After what has felt like a very long winter, I am particularly excited for the start of Spring this week. The weather hasn’t fully caught on yet, but it is a real mood booster to see the flowers start to bloom and to gain a slither of daylight at the start and end of the working day.

To celebrate the start of Spring, I have picked out some books that encapsulate the season of new beginnings.

Firstly there are a couple of books that we use in The Story Project that are perfect for this time of year:

The Boy Who Grew Flowers by Jen Wojtowicz

This kind and gentle story helps teach children about treating others with kindness and respect and can start some interesting conversations about body image, diversity and bullying. The main character in this story, Rink, happens to grow flowers from his head. Therefore when another pupil can’t join in the school dance because they have one leg shorter than the other, Rink shows great empathy and kindness by making a special shoe for her. Rink’s flowers make this a great book to read during spring.

Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya by Donna Jo Napoli

This book tells the true story of Wangari Maathai, who was the first African woman to win the nobel peace prize for her work in encouraging the planting of trees in Kenya. This book covers the importance of trees as well as the inspiring story of Wangari. It’s connection to the ‘new life’ of the trees that were planted and its celebration of nature make this a great story to read during Spring.

Some other books I have just discovered and I am looking forward to reading are:

For the little ones:

Little Bear’s Spring by Elli Wood

This is book is a lovely gentle introduction to spring and the seasons for younger readers. It also tells the story blossoming friendships and adventure. It would be a great book to read at the start of Spring and to open discussions about how the world outside is changing.

For slightly older readers:

Bloom by Nicola Skinner

This glorious book is suitable for children age 10 or older and tells the story of Sorrell who is a very dedicated student who never puts a foot out of line. Until she finds a pack of surprising seeds and life gets a lot more rebellious, but. This story also features a child with flowers growing out of their head, which might be my new favourite genre of stories!

And not forgetting the adults. If you are looking for a book to shake of winter, one of these might appeal to you…

Spring Cannot be Cancelled by David Hockney

With everything going on in education and the wider world today, I think the title of this book alone gives me hope and shines some positivity. Written by the famous artist, David Hockney, this book is a celebration of his commitment and wonder in art. Written during the Covid pandemic, this book captures the resilience of art and spring to overcome even the most trying times.

Light Rains Sometimes Fall: A British Year in Japan’s 72 Seasons by Lev Parikian

Whenever I think of Spring, I am drawn back to my time teaching in Japan when the blossoming of the cherry blossom trees was my favourite time of year. Parties were held under the ‘Hanami’ (the Japanese word for Cherry blossom trees) and there was a real feeling of celebration. Japanese culture is very proud of their distinct seasons and when I saw this book I loved how the author had celebrated Japan’s seasons, whilst also relating them to his life in the UK. I’d recommend finding a cherry blossom tree and reading this underneath.

Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu

Continuing the blossom theme but taking the conversation to China, this fiction story is loosely related to spring through its title, but the story is focussed on the intergeneration experience of a Chinese family and how family history impacts on the present day even though the family have moved to the US by the time the story starts. An interesting book if you are looking for something with substance.

I hope something has caught your eye here and hope that you enjoy the start of Spring!

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