“For winter!” your child proudly proclaims as she holds out her polka-dot bathing suit. It’s nothing to worry about: The concept of seasons is somewhat abstract for young kids, and it can take time to grasp. The good news is that lots of captivating seasonal books exist, which are aimed at toddlers and preschoolers that the two of you can enjoy together. She’ll love exploring the wonders of leaf piles, snowmen, puddles, and sand castles through words and pictures.
You’re dog-tired from raking leaves — and who can blame you? Take a break and snuggle up on the couch together with one of these books that are sure to complement this fab season of pumpkins, full moons and cool nights. “Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf” by Lois Ehlert tells the story of the life of a tree through gorgeous water color collage. “Moon Glowing,” written by Elizabeth Partridge and illustrated by Joan Paley, is a rhythmic, simple tale about four forest creatures preparing for winter, as autumn leaves swirl around them. And kids will be thrilled by “Time to Sleep” by Denise Fleming, in which animals put off settling down for their long winter’s nap — sound familiar?
Admit it: Sometimes being snowed in isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. After all, only so many times exist when you feign excitement about building a fort with blankets, watching cartoons, or having pajama day…again. Break the monotony with these wintry picks. “Oh!,” written by Kevin Henkes and illustrated by Linda Dronzek, showcases children and animals thrilled to wake up to a bright white, snow-covered world, and “All You Need for a Snowman,” written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Barbara Lavallee, is the tale of children in a snowy village who make a giant snowman together by working cooperatively. Another good choice: “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats, which is the story of one boy’s adventures making angels and snowballs against a colorful, urban landscape.
Pause from puddle-jumping and share these spring-themed gems with your child, as the earth slowly warms up. “Bear Wants More,” written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman, is about a bear who wakes up from hibernation and who just can’t find enough snacks to nosh on — kids will love the brightly colored pics and rhyming text. “And Then It’s Spring,” written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Erin E. Stead, is the sweet story of a little boy who is tired of the brown shades of winter and decides to plant a garden to brighten his world. Also worth checking out: “Mouse’s First Spring,” which is written by Lauren Thompson and illustrated by Buket Erdogan, and is about a young mouse discovering the wonders of spring, like butterflies, worms, snails and flowers — for the very first time.
Ah, summer — sipping fruity drinks on white sandy beaches while getting a mani-pedi, the kids play peacefully nearby. Okay, not exactly. Keep dreaming — and in the meantime, teach your child about the glories of the warmest season with these titles. “Sea, Sand, Me!” written by Patricia Hubbell and illustrated by Lisa Campbell Earnst, is about a young girl who is having a blast building sandcastles, dipping her toes in the ocean and hanging out with her pal. “Hot Day on Abbot Avenue,” written by Karen English and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe, tells the story of two friends who, on one hot, sticky summer day have a fight and who then are brought back together with a game of double-dutch. And “A Summery Saturday Morning,” written by Margaret Mahy and illustrated by Selina Young, is the fun tale of kids, parents, dogs and geese romping through the mud under a summer sun.