If you’re anything like me, you’ll hate any kind of cleaning and put it off for as long as possible. But, it must be done! My least favorite thing to clean though, are my bookshelves. (Yes, multiple shelves; I have three and they’re all full!) I hate going through my shelves because I hate getting rid of books, even the ones that I don’t like and I know I’ll never read again. But, once again, it must be done every few years or so!
I’ll go through my shelves and if I haven’t read the book, didn’t like the book, or don’t intend to read the book in a few years, then I’ll make a donation pile. You can donate your old books to any Goodwill, Half Price Books, or most resale stores. You can also donate your old books to the Aurora Public Library District’s daily Book Sale, which is kept at the Dillsboro Public Library. A lot of people have yard sales throughout the spring and summer, too, so you could also resell your old books that way. Either way, you can rest assured that someone else down the line will love your old books as much as you did, and enjoy the ones that you did not.
When I had just one bookshelf (in junior high and high school), I used to have a system to organize my books, much like the shelving system that most libraries utilize. Over the years, I’ve definitely lost those organizational skills and kind of shelve my books wherever they will fit. Take my advice: don’t do this!
You can shelve your books alphabetically by author, by series, or even by color. I’ve seen some bookshelves that look like tiny rainbows with the books shelved by the hue of the cover. You can also play favorites and shelve your favorite books on the top shelf and work your way down (I definitely do this with the shelf in my bedroom). It’s your bookshelf; organize it however you want!
Take the rainy days of spring to organize your books. You’ll feel so much better! And while you’re at it, you could listen to audio books that you have checked out from the branches of the Aurora Public Library District or that you’ve downloaded to your device from the Indiana Digital Download Center.
Spring is a wonderful time to explore nature with your children! The warmer weather allows you to get up close to buds and sprouts and even squishy mud. In addition to these picture books, you might try some of our non-fiction books about why we have seasons (Sunshine Makes the Seasons by Franklyn Branley) or gardening (Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots by Sharon Lovejoy) or weather (Weather Words and What They Mean by Gail Gibbons).
I’ve written before about using art as a “hook” to draw reluctant readers into books. As you share these books, take a look at all the different art styles used by the illustrators. You can usually find a small note on the back side of the title page that identifies the art media. You might even be inspired to try creating some original art work with your kids.
And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano is all about anticipating seeds sprouting through the ground as the soil warms. For the illustrations, Caldecott winning artist Erin Stead created delicate pictures using wood block printing along with colored pencils. Spring Blossoms by Carole Gerber is less of a story and more of a stroll through a glade filled with flowering trees. The beautiful illustrations by Leslie Evans use a mixture of linoleum printing, watercolors and collage.
Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms by Julie Rawlinson shows the beauty of the season in pastel illustrations by Tiphanie Beeke. It’s Spring by Linda Glaser discusses lots of things that happen in nature with the coming of Spring and includes suggestions for hands-on activities. Susan Swan created the illustrations with a combination of cut paper and painting. This is part of a 4 book series about the seasons, so grab another Linda Glaser book when the season changes again.
Skunk’s Spring Surprise, written by Leslea Newman and illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev has amazingly detailed illustrations that are reminiscent of the artwork of the late Richard Scarry. Although author Kevin Henkes often illustrates his own books, When Spring Comes features acrylic paintings by Laura Dronzek. Henkes and Dronzek also collaborated on Birds and Oh!.
Sharing the Seasons: a Book of Poems, edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins is a book you’ll want to return to many times. Prepared to be awed by the glowing illustrations by graphic design artist David Diaz.