Children's Book Recommendations

Ten New Easter, Spring, and Passover Picture Books

recommended by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian

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Happy Easter from the Crayons 

by Drew Daywalt  (Author), Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Philomel Books. 2023. PreK-1. Hardcover.

Brief summary: The crayons prepare for Easter by making various shapes to paste onto an egg. This small picture book(5.88 x 0.36 x 7.13 inches) could fit inside an Easter basket.

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Easter (Happy Holidays! series) 

by Rebecca Sabelko (Author). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bellwether Media. 2022. K-1. Early reader. Nonfiction paperback. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1648348532.

Brief summary: This early reader nonfiction chapter book has nonfiction text features explaining what Easter is and how it is celebrated. A site word chart is at the beginning.
This smaller hardcover book(5.22 x 0.07 x 8.59 inches) could fit nicely in an Easter basket.

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Easter Eggs and Matzo Balls 

by Janie Emaus  (Author), Bryan Langdo (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Sky Pony. 2023. PreK-1. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1510769229.

Brief summary: Michael texts the Easter Bunny to let him know that he has a new stepsister, Anna, who celebrates Passover but wants to make sure she gets something special in the Golden Egg since both holidays were at the same time. Both siblings hunt for the Easter Egg and Afikoman bag needed to celebrate the holiday.

The back includes a chicken soup recipe and a matzo balls recipe. There is a glossary of Passover and Easter terms.

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Passover: A Celebration of Freedom (Big Golden Book) 

by Bonnie Bader  (Author), Joanie Stone (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Golden Books. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593563885.

Brief summary: This narrative nonfiction story explains why Passover is celebrated by retelling the freedom of the Israelites led by Moses, the Ten Plagues, and the Red Sea’s parting. Young readers learn about the food and the symbolism of the Passover Seder.

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Pick a Perfect Egg 

by Patricia Toht  (Author), Jarvis (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Candlewick. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1536228472.

Brief summary: This beautiful digitally illustrated rhyming story begins with a mother and daughter going to the country farmer to pick out their eggs to decorate. They use natural coloring from plants as well as dye tablets to color their eggs. The two decorate with care and then go to a festive egg hunt the next day.

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Pete the Cat and the Easter Basket Bandit

by James Dean  (Author, Illustrator), Kimberly Dean (Author). Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperFestival. 2023. PreK–2. Paperback. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062868374.

Brief summary: Poor Pete wakes up on Easter morning and finds that his Easter basket is missing. He follows a trail of jellybeans to a friend’s house who has not seen it. Pete the Cat follows more candy trails, all leading to various friends. Who has his basket?

Includes a poster in the front, stickers, and Easter cards. Cute book for a child’s Easter basket.

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Happy Easter, Little Bunny (Baby Animal Tales) 

by Amanda Wood  (Author), Vikki Chu (Illustrator), Bec Winnel (Photographer). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harry N. Abrams. 2023. Baby-Prek. Board book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1419766640.

Brief summary: Bunny and Mouse wake up on Easter Morning looking for eggs until a Fox appears causing them to go back in Bunny’s burrow where there is a beautiful surprise. The first board book in the Baby Animal Tales series.

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I’m a Little Bunny

by Hannah Eliot  (Author), Liz Brizzi (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Little Simon. 2023. Baby-toddler. Board book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1665927024.

Brief summary: Bunnies and friends discover Spring all around them. This story can be sung to “I’m a Little Teapot!”

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Sister Spring

by James Christopher Carroll (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Creative Editions . 2023. K-2. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1568463841.

Brief summary: A young woman, Sister Spring, comes up from inside the earth and brings the daffodils, the rain, peepers, and all of the spring elements of Nature. A beautifully illustrated picture book with spring colors.

Teachers could include this book when studying personification.

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Don’t Touch that Flower!

by Alice Hemming  (Author), Nicola Slater (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728271361.

Brief summary: Squirrel wakes to the sounds of birds and bees and realizes it is spring. The informative blue bird helps the squirrel learn the proper way to care for the yellow wildflower he mistakenly claims to be his own.

“Our Flowers” section in the back explaining about the wildflower.

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Author quotes

New Picture Book Biographies

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Rock, Rosetta, Rock! Roll, Rosetta, Roll!: Presenting Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Godmother of Rock & Roll 

by Tonya Bolden (Author), R. Gregory Christie  (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins. 2023. Grades 1-3. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062994387.

Brief summary: Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Godmother of Rock & Roll, was born in Arkansas in 1915 to two musical parents. Rosetta learns to sing and plays the guitar at an early age. Her family moves to Chicago, where her performance in church begins her career. She marries a preacher. He preaches, and she plays her guitar, where the Sunday service is broadcasted on the radio, thus reaching a broad audience.

Rosetta’s musical career takes off with her playing around the USA and Europe, performing gospel, blues, and rock and roll producing one hit after another.

The timeline at the back of the book lists her notable musical accomplishments and personal life events. Author’s Note and Sources included.

Buy here.

The way to really understand the energy and personality of this musician is to hear and see her perform.

ReelinInTheYears66. (2017, December 27). Sister rosetta tharpe- “didn’t it rain?” live 1964 (Reelin’ in the years archive). YouTube. Retrieved March 18, 2023, from

The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music 

by Roberta Flack (Author), Tonya Bolden  (Author), Hayden Goodman (Illustrator).Publisher ‏ : ‎ Anne Schwartz Books. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593479872.

Brief summary: Roberta Flack grew up in a Blue Ridge Mountain town in North Carolina, living in a house with two musical parents. She longed to have a piano of her own. Her father found one in a junkyard and spruced it up by painting it green. Her love of music blossomed forth.

The Author’s Note and Career Highlights are in the back.

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I added a 1972 performance of her playing the piano and singing “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” One needs to hear her sing to feel her heart.

OLDTAPES. (2018, January 29). Roberta Flack – First Time ever I saw your face 1972. YouTube. Retrieved March 18, 2023, from

Mary Anning Breaks New Ground: Courageous Kid of Paleontology (Courageous Kids) 

by Carol Kim  (Author), Mark Simmons (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Capstone Pr Inc. 2022. Grades 4-6. Paperback Graphic Novel. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1666334302.

Brief summary: Mary Anning was only twelve when she discovered an Ichthyosaurus along the cliffs near Lyme Regi, England, in the early 1800s. This area was known as the heart of the Jurassic Coast, where ammonite and belemnite fossils were often found unburied. Her father, a carpenter and cabinet maker, would fossil-seek as a hobby taking his children, Joseph and Mary, along the cliffs to find fossils to sell to tourists.

After their father died, her brother learned the upholstery business while she sold fossils for a living. It wasn’t until 2010 that the Royal Society acknowledged Mary and two other women, Mary Somerville, and Caroline Herschel, for their contributions to paleontology.

This is a narrative nonfiction graphic novel with a glossary, read more, internet sites, and about the author sections in the back.

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The Fire of Stars: The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made Of 

by Kirsten W. Larson  (Author), Katherine Roy (Illustrator).Publisher ‏ : ‎ Chronicle Books. 2023. K-3. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1452172873.

Brief summary: Cecilia Payne moved from the country as a girl to London so her brother, Humfry, could attend a better school. Her school did not teach her the science curriculum that she desired until a new science teacher and friend, Miss Dalglish, was hired. Cecilia wins a University of Cambridge scholarship to study plants but is inspired once she attends a lecture by astronomer Arthur Addigton, whose work created a new field called astrophysics. She moved to America to study astronomy at Harvard, where other women were studying the same subject. Through her work, she discovered what stars are made of, thus building a foundation for astronomers to learn and better understand the stars.

This narrative nonfiction biography picture book has two-page illustrations paralleling Cecilia’s beginning of her career and that of a star’s.

The back sections are: Cecilia Payne: Science Superstar, A Star is Born, and a Timeline.

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Milloo’s Mind: The Story of Maryam Faruqi, Trailblazer for Women’s Education 

by Reem Faruqi (Author, granddaughter of Maryam Faruqi), Hoda Hadadi (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins. 2023. K-3. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0063056619.

Brief summary: In 1930, a young Pakistani girl, Milloo, loves to read and study but is told that since she finished fifth grade, she will need to stay home to do housework. Milloo wanted to become a teacher, so her parents only agreed if she learned English. With a lot of hard work and determination, she graduated from high school and college. She is ready to become a teacher. She marries, but her husband wants her to stay home. She makes a school in her house and then opens more and more schools.

There is a glossary and author’s note in the back.

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