Spring Picture Books for Primary Learners

picture books

Spring is such an exciting time of the year for young learners! As the weather warms up, the birds begin chirping, and the flowers start to bloom, you might also be ready for some new topics in your lessons! Luckily, I’ve got plenty of ideas to share. These beloved spring picture books are the perfect way to freshen up your lessons and welcome a brand-new season!

This image features the words, "Spring Picture Books for Primary Learners" and images of various spring read alouds. Some of the titles include "And Then Comes Spring", "Bear Wants More", and "Waiting for Wings".

My Favorite Spring Picture Books

Picture books are kind of my thing. As an avid reader myself, I’m always looking for ways to inspire children to get lost in a good book too! We all know this starts in early childhood, with vivid and colorful picture books on engaging topics. In the springtime, we’re lucky to have many different themes to explore! So whether you’d like to learn about gardening, baby animals, insects, or weather – there’s a little something for everyone on this list of spring picture books. Oh and be sure to stick around until the end to see some activities that go along with these books!

1. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner

This image features the read aloud "Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt". This is the perfect addition to lesson plans in March and April!

Is there anything more fun than playing in the dirt? If you ask a small child, they’ll likely agree that being outside, digging holes, and planting seeds sounds like a pretty great way to spend the day! As the spring season begins, this book will be the perfect companion to learn what’s beneath the dirt, and about planting a garden.

In this colorful picture book, students will discover the wonders that lie below the ground such as earthworms and animal burrows. Students will also learn about all phases of gardening from planning to planting, and even harvesting too! If you’re hoping to start seeds of any kind with your students this year, this read-aloud will be the perfect companion to your lessons.

2. Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms by Julia Rawlinson 

This image shows, "Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms" a sweet spring picture book that is great for primary learners.

Fletcher the Fox is going to take students on a seasonal adventure in this captivating spring picture book. Kiddos will follow along as Fletcher plays outside and enjoys the warmth of spring weather. All of this seems wonderful until he notices snowflakes falling from the sky. Fletcher rushes off to warn everyone about the return of winter and finds many surprises along the way.

This will be a relatable story for your students in colder climates who often experience a “false” spring! Plus, I know you and your students will love the bright, watercolor pictures that simply scream SPRING!

3. We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines

This image showcases the spring picture book "We are the Gardeners" by Joanna Gaines.

As someone who is a big fan of Joanna Gaines, I just LOVE this spring picture book! Many of us who follow along on her shows, see that she is quite the avid gardener herself. In this heartwarming story, students will follow along as the Gaines family learns to become gardeners.

The story begins with the first plant that Chip bought for Jo and continues to the thriving garden they care for today. This book is also filled with beautiful social lessons as well such as, the importance of patience and learning from mistakes. You and your kids will love this one as you learn the basic steps of starting a garden together!

4. Bear Wants More by  Karma Wilson 

This image shows the book "Bear Wants More" a great spring picture book to use for primary learners.

Ready for a fun spring picture book to make your students smile? After spending all winter in a warm den, Bear wakes up and is absolutely starving. Sadly, he can only find some roots to eat! What on earth is he to do? Thankfully, his friends help him find some more appealing eats, but he is still hungry!

Bring students along to see how Bear solves this problem as he wakes up for spring. This is an adorable spring story that is a fantastic way to introduce the concept of hibernation to young learners as well as friendship themes.

5. A Butterfly Is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston

This spring picture books is perfect to use within a butterfly unit. It is titled "A Butterfly is Patient".

Looking for an interesting read about the butterfly lifecycle to use this spring? This book is filled with stunning, realistic watercolor illustrations that show butterflies up close and personal. Students will get to compare and contrast different types of caterpillars and butterflies and take a close look at each stage in the life cycle.

This is a book students will want to read again and again. This book is especially fun if you plan to raise butterflies in your classroom! I like to keep this one in the science center along with some small magnifying glasses. There are lots of interesting pictures inside that I know students will like to take a closer look at!

6. Busy Spring: Nature Wakes Up by Sean Taylor

In this image, the book "Busy Spring" is shown. This is a great spring picture book to share in lower elementary classrooms!

Looking for a book that describes and illustrates the seasonal transition from winter to spring? This is the one! This book follows two children as their family prepares the backyard for spring. Students will love learning about the changes that occur as the plants and creatures “wake up” after a long winter.

This is a great book to help children understand the seasonal shift that occurs and why warmer weather and more sunlight make such a drastic difference in how plants and animals thrive! I also love using this one with students who are interested in gardening as well. It does a great job of showcasing all of the tasks and duties that go into preparing the yard for planting.

7. Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring by Kenard Pak 

"Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring" is a spring picture book that students will love!

It’s time to say goodbye to winter, and hello to spring! In this book, students will follow along and observe spring through the eyes of a young boy and his dog. They explore the countryside together to see the changes that occur as the days get longer and warmer.

I love using this book as the opening to a discussion on what our favorite things about spring are. Some students might share specific holidays or events, while others will remember playing outdoors and starting up sports. You can make a fun anchor chart together to brainstorm “spring things” and descriptive words for the season. After discussing, have kiddos write a short story on their favorite thing about spring to extend the activity further. Make sure to have them reference the chart if they need additional inspiration!

8. Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert 

In this image, the story "Waiting for Wings" by Lois Ehlert is featured. This is about butterflies and perfect for learning about the butterfly life cycle.

This spring picture book is another great option for teaching students about the butterfly life cycle. The beautiful, vibrant illustrations do a great job of visually explaining all of the questions your little learners will likely have about butterflies.

Students will learn where butterflies come from, what caterpillars eat, and how they make the transformation from egg, to caterpillar, to butterfly! This book, and many of the others on the list can also be found on YouTube. Videos can come in handy if you’re looking for more ways to share the read-aloud with students, or if you don’t have time to order it. Check out this video to have students listen as the book is read aloud.

9. All About Weather: A First Weather Book for Kids by Huda Harajli

This image shows the book, "All About the Weather". Students can learn about different types of weather in this story!

Is weather part of your spring learning themes? Weather is a really fun topic to explore in the spring and it’s one of my favorites to include in our lesson plan. As winter fades away, you’re likely able to observe many different weather patterns in your own backyard.

Use this book to explore the many different kinds of weather with students. They will learn about each season, how clouds form, what causes a rainbow and so much more! Use this book to create a fun, visual anchor chart with your students by drawing a simple illustration for each type of weather mentioned in the book. Make sure to write the vocabulary words as well to encourage reading as well. When you’re finished, you can take a simple poll to see which type of weather students like best!


This image shows "And Then It's Spring". This spring picture book is perfect for teaching students about the changes that happen when spring comes!

This sweet storybook follows a young boy and his dog who have had quite enough of the winter blues! After a long winter, they decide to plant a garden together. In doing so, they hope to make spring come quicker! If you live in a cold environment, I’m sure you’ll relate to this feeling popping up at one time or another!

Follow along as they dig, plant, play, and patiently wait for the arrival of warmer weather and longer days. Students will love listening and watching to see when the first signs of spring are revealed in this picture book!

11. When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes

This image shows "When Spring Comes" by Kevin Henkes, which is a spring picture book that young children will love!

In this book, Caldecott Medalist and Newbery Honor author Kevin Henkes captivates readers with a story all about the changing of the seasons. Children will see the contrast between winter and spring and how the world around them changes. I love the descriptive language and bright, colorful pictures in this one!

This story starts out by showing how the trees look in winter and then comparing it to the changes that can be seen as spring begins to appear. These comparisons continue as the author shows all of the things that change when spring arrives. Here’s a video link to this one if you’d like to use it with your kids!

12. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

This image shows the book, "Make Way for Ducklings". This is another great read aloud to share in your primary classroom.

I’m not sure there’s anything cuter than a brood of baby ducklings! This book will make your students smile as they follow Mrs. Mallard and her little ducks. Boston is such a busy city and Mrs. Mallard is worried about how she and her eight ducklings will safely arrive at the pond in the Boston Public Gardens. Luckily, the Boston police are there to help!

Students will love the amusing story of the Mallards and their journey to the pond. This is an especially fun book to use if you plan to focus on a farm theme or learn about baby animals this spring!

More Spring Picture Books & Activities

These are just a few of my favorites from my list of Spring Picture Books on Amazon. If you’re looking for even more inspiration for your spring lessons, you can check out the full list here. And speaking of inspiration for your lessons, I’ve got you covered there too! I pair many of these books with my thematic centers and activities units. Thematic teaching makes it fun and easy to explore new topics such as spring seasonal changes, plants, weather, and animals. Here are the units that work well with these books:

This photo features resources that can be used alongside some of the spring picture books mentioned earlier in the post. With these activities, students will learn about and compare oviparous and viviparous animals.

The great thing about each of these thematic teaching units is that they’ll help you target important skills in an engaging format. Your students will love the interactive writing prompts, crafts, fine motor activities, and math and literacy games in each one. Use them throughout the spring to keep those little learners engaged and excited to learn each day!

For more info on how to get started with thematic centers in your classroom, be sure to check out this post. Have fun picking your spring picture books and planning your lessons!

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Need some great ideas for spring picture books that your primary learners will love? This post has you covered with great spring read alouds that can be used alongside spring units like oviparous animals, caterpillars and butterflies and gardening.