10 Great Kids’ Books to Read in March 2016

We continue the series "Book Calendar" on interesting dates and books related to these dates. The spring season is an exciting time of year. Children are looking forward to warm days of playing outdoors. Every day there is something exciting to see—baby animals, new flowers, returning birds. Channel some of that spring excitement into reading good books. At bedtime or on a rainy day, a book can be just the thing to settle a restless child or perk up a bored child. In our article you'll find ideas for books to read with preschoolers and with children aged 4-10.

March 1st. Beginning of Meteorological Spring

Book’s Title and Author: When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes
Age Range:  4 - 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool - 3th grade
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

In the northern hemisphere, meteorological spring arrives in March. Celebrate the new season with your child by reading "When Spring Comes" by Kevin Henkes. Alliteration, internal rhymes, and wonderful descriptive language help children understand the contrasts between winter and spring, when sleeping plants and animals wake up again from their winter rest. Henke’s wife, Laura Dronzek, provided the paintings that illustrate this award-winning children’s book.

The character theme of patience is woven in with the description of spring weather and the transforming outdoor landscapes. Reading this book can lead to important discussions about how we sometimes need to wait for good things to happen. The illustrations may also inspire your child to take up crayons or paints to create a winter or spring landscape of their own.

From Good Reads Review

I was so glad to see this book a little early - it's featured in our Book Fair. Absolutely loved it - wonderful to see Kevin Henkes as the author and his wife, Laura Dronzek, as the illustrator. The illustrations are gorgeous, the words are softly spoken and absolutely compliment the pictures. The Henkes' family are Wisconsin dwellers and I see the midwest depicted beautifully in this book. Cannot wait to own it this week!

 March 4th. Antonio Vivaldi’s birthday

Book’s Title and Author: Vivaldi and the Invisible Orchestra by Stephen Costanza
Age Range: 6 and up
Grade Level: Grade 1 - Grade 5
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, born March 4, 1678, was a composer in the Baroque era. This Italian musician is best known for composing The Four Seasons. Introduce children to this amazing composer with "Vivaldi and the Invisible Orchestra" by Stephen Costanza. This story is told from the viewpoint of a fictional orphan who transcribes Vivaldi’s daily compositions into sheet music for the orchestra.

From Amazon Review

My seven-year-old daughter plays the piano and we've (husband and I) been introducing her to some of the famous composers. I've always loved Baroque composer Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, and when I saw this picture book, I thought it would be a great way to introduce her to the composer, besides listening to his music. Not only is this a delightful tale but also a musical mystery which for the purpose of the story has been changed a little... Each word is well-chosen and together with the accompanying illustrations which are beautiful and vivid, the story of these 'invisible children' comes alive, and both my daughter and I were incredibly touched. My daughter has been inspired by this tale and is now keen to explore poems and write poetry! A recommended read!

Book’s Title and Author: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by Anna Harwell Celenza
Age Range: 6 and up
Grade Level: Grade 1 - Grade 5
Publisher: Charlesbridge

For another excellent story, read "Vivaldi’s Four Seasons" by Anna Harwell Celenza. This book is illustrated by Joann E. Kitchel. Vivaldi actually worked as music teacher at an orphanage where boys learned a trade and girls received a music education. He composed while working there, so the orphan orchestra had the privilege of playing his music when it was new!

Introduce children to this great composer who not only wrote amazing music, but shared it by teaching children to play it. In a time when many celebrities seem self-centered, Vivaldi is a role model for good character. He was a gifted man who used his talents wisely and generously.

Be sure to play some of Vivaldi’s music for the children as well. The Four Seasons could lead to a discussion of the seasons: why seasons change, what we enjoy each season, etc. Good books and good music can lead to good times talking with children about life.

 March 8th. International Women's Day

Book’s Title and Author: Girls Think of Everything : Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women by Catherine Thimmesh, Melissa Sweet
Grade Level: Grade 4 - Grade 7
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


Recognize International Women’s Day by learning about some of the inventions created by women. Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Inventions by Ingenious Women by Catherine Thimmesh is illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Melissa Sweet in a unique collage style. Readers are introduced to inventors old and young (even age ten!) From baby products to office products to inventions used in space travel, women have made big contributions all over the world.

From Goodreads Review

I loved this book! It is an inspiring collection of biographies on how multiple women came up with their ideas and how they made their dreams possible. Inventions ranging from everyday use to more complex ideas. Such as, the Apgar score, disposable diapers, Kevlar, Liquid Paper, Scotchguard, paper bags , Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe, windshield wipers, the Snugli, computer compiler, flat bottomed paper bag, drugs for the treatment of leukemia and kidney transplant rejection and more. The stories seem to hold a lot of value and seem to be credible. This book would be perfect for motivating kids to do what they want and that no dream is unreachable!

Book’s Title and Author: Heroines: Great Women Through the Ages by Rebecca Hazell
Grade Level: Grade 5 - Grade 9
Publisher: Abbeville Kids


"Heroines: Great Women through the Ages by Rebecca Hazell" includes some female inventors. It also tells the story of women who stood out for military, artistic, or humanitarian achievements. Each woman’s story is an opportunity to talk about her country as well as the times in which she lived.

From Amazon Review

I can't emphasize too much how important it is for girls to be introduced to strong, accomplished, but often historically obscure women like these portrayed here. As an example, I was taught in college that Samuel Richardson, an 18th century Englishman was the first novelist. Decades later I learned that Lady Murasaki, an 11th cenury Japanese woman was. She wrote The Tale of Genji, a novel tht was enormously influential during her time.
This beautifully illustrated book gives the young reader a sampling of each historic figure. Enough to keep her interested, but not enough to satisfy. Personally, I feel it's a perfect appetizer to tempt her to further reading.

March 14th. Butterfly Day

Book’s Title and Author: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Age Range:  1 - 4 years
Grade Level: Preschool
Publisher: Philomel Books

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle is a long-time classic for young children. The amazing process of metamorphosis is simply illustrated through the story of one very hungry caterpillar. The caterpillar’s one job is to eat—and eat, and eat—until it is time to change into a butterfly. The illustrations show the caterpillar actually eating the book, emphasizing how hungry he is!

As the caterpillar eats, your child also learns the days of the week. He eats on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. Young children are delighted that a tiny egg on a leaf becomes a beautiful butterfly after first going through the process of hatching as a caterpillar and transforming as a pupa. Build science vocabulary as you discuss how real caterpillars do just what the caterpillar in the book does.

For more fun, perhaps your family can build a butterfly house for the back yard or color pictures of butterflies. If there is a butterfly farm in your community, that would make an excellent field trip for the whole family after reading this book.

March 19th

Date: Earth Hour
Book’s Title and Author: Planet Earth (Usborne Beginners, Level 2) by Leonie Pratt 
Age Range:  6 and up
Publisher: Usborne Pub Ltd

Reproduced from Planet Earth by permission of Usborne Publishing, 83-85 Saffron Hill, London EC1N 8RT, UK. www.usborne.com . Copyright © 2007 Usborne Publishing Ltd

Reproduced from Planet Earth by permission of Usborne Publishing, 83-85 Saffron Hill, London EC1N 8RT, UK. www.usborne.com . Copyright © 2007 Usborne Publishing Ltd

For this worldwide observance, why not read a good book with your child about our special home, the earth? "Planet Earth" by Leonie Pratt is an Usborne Beginners Book (Level 2.) Read it aloud to a preschooler or let a beginning reader read the book to you. The text is easy to read, yet full of factual information about the earth. Color illustrations help the child visualize what the words tell them.

Reluctant readers sometimes prefer to read nonfiction rather than fiction. An interesting science subject might be just the thing to get a child excited about books. After reading this book, look for more about earth at your local library. You may also want to go to the NASA website to see more pictures of earth taken from space.

March 20. World Storytelling Day

Book’s Title and Author: Stories from India Hardcover by Anna Milbourne (Author), Linda Edwards (Illustrator)
Age Range: 4 and up
Grade Level: Preschool - Grade 4
Publisher: Usborne Pub Ltd

Reproduced from Stories from India by permission of Usborne Publishing, 83-85 Saffron Hill, London EC1N 8RT, UK. www.usborne.com. Copyright © 2009 Usborne Publishing Ltd

Reproduced from Stories from India by permission of Usborne Publishing, 83-85 Saffron Hill, London EC1N 8RT, UK. www.usborne.com. Copyright © 2009 Usborne Publishing Ltd

Throughout history every culture has taught children and preserved their history and traditional values through storytelling.  "Stories from India" by Anna Milbourne includes sixteen stories retold for children. Many traditional Indian stories involve talking animals and trickery, using these story elements to engage children and to teach them a moral lesson in an engaging way. Enjoy these stories with your own children and discuss the character traits involved in each story.

Children familiar with the fables of Aesop will learn that other countries and cultures also have fables. Use this opportunity to talk about the values all people have in common, even though we may have different clothing, food, and languages. Your local library should have stories from a variety of cultures, so keep reading!

From Amazon Review

This book is for everyone who whats to understand and enjoy Indian culture, customes, religion and more. I am a grandmother and could not put it down. Perhaps understand is a big statement but it did bring me closer to what I saw in India. I sent it to my grand daughter who is 5, and she loves the pictures as well as the stories.

March 21th.

Book’s Title and Author: "A Child's Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Stevenson
Age Range:  4 and up
Publisher: Everyman's Library

21 Poetry

"A Child’s Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Stevenson is a classic in English literature. This Scottish author, known for novels such as Kidnapped and Treasure Island, also had a gift of writing for young children. He wrote this book in 1883 while confined to bed with tuberculosis. Each poem describes an experience familiar to children and introduces them to the elements of poetry naturally. They will hear the rhymes and rhythms as you read each poem and develop a taste for good poetry.

This collection features simple and beautifully-crafted poems such as “The Swing” and “My Shadow.” After reading some poems, try playing a rhyming game with your child. Say a word such as “cow” and see how many rhyming words you can think of!

March 27th. Easter Day

Book’s Title and Author: "God Gave Us Easter" by Lisa Tawn Bergren (Author), Laura J. Bryant (Illustrator)
Age Range: 3 and up
Publisher: WaterBrook Press

For Christians, the most important event of all time was the resurrection of Jesus Christ. "God Gave Us Easter" by Lisa Tawn Bergren is a sweet book that tells the Easter story to young children. Little Cub is celebrating Easter with his family, but he has many questions. Papa explains what Easter is all about and why it is so important. Laura J. Bryant created the watercolor illustrations that make this book even more appealing to young children and their parents.

Religious concepts such as sin, prayer, and heaven are theologically complicated subjects. It is truly a gift to be able to explain these concepts to children in an understandable and engaging manner. "God Gave Us Easter" is part of the “God Gave Us…” series of books for young children.

From Amazon Review

This is one of the most amazing pieces of literature I've ever come across. It's so simple yet so truthful; there were parts (my pastor can tell you) that can make an adult want to weep. Touches your heart. If you need a book for your next class Resurrection celebration or just to read to your children, I highly recommend it :)

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