The last day of April here in North Carolina definitely brought the showers. All day it was wet, dark and dreary -- our favorite days for curling up with a good book (or a few), drinking hot tea (herbal for the boys) and nibbling our favorite almond cookies with chocolate from Ikea. The boys had plenty of time to do that, but I was busy. Not only is May bringing us flowers, it's bringing us a week long celebration filled with donations gifted throughout our community and lots and lots of giveaways just for you guys!
This week (May 1-7) is Children's Book Week and what better way to celebrate than with a new book list -- our favorite diverse flower books for kids. May is a month of growth, welcoming new experiences. A month of celebrations; birthdays (Milo's 5/9) and Mother's Day (5/14). A month of beauty and blooms. Rather than share books with talking flowers or tiny seeds, we are featuring books with a vast, diverse cast of characters, cultures, and genres. Our kids need more poetry. Our kids need more nonfiction. Our kids need to see and learn about cultures that are different than their own. Below we chose just a few from our full list to feature. These books are some of our favorites and even a few upcoming releases this month. Be sure to click the button below to check out our full list (yes, we included a few animal books too -- couldn't leave out Ferdinand) of flower books. Jot down a few and head to your local library to fill your month with flowers.
may flowers -- board books:
An ode to Black girls, this beautifully illustrated book introduces the idea of self-love in a simple, playful rhythm. A reminder that each little girl is as unique & as beautiful as a blossoming flower. We added this one to our donation wishlist to gift to daycares & preschools around our communities. Remember, teaching starts at birth & what a beautiful concept to begin teaching early: self-love.
Lift-the-flap First Questions and Answers:
How Do Flowers Grow?
The perfect introduction to biology with a lift-the-flap interactive book. The bright & bold colorful illustrations grab a child's attention while the flaps provide endless fun. Learn age appropriate facts while keeping your child engaged. We love this series from Usborne! Perfect for preschool science units, especially during the Spring.
May flowers -- Upcoming picture book releases
Flower Girl -- 5/2
This heartwarming, gender-affirming story celebrates the magic of finding the clothes that help us shine. Nicki's favorite aunt is getting married, and Nicki is excited to be the Flower Girl; but all the dresses don't make Nicki feel like herself. Nicki must find her voice--and her own style of expression to match it. Perfect for Spring & wedding season. Another book that all kids need to read!
Âmî Osâwâpikones (Dear Dandelion) -- 5/23
A debut picture book by Indigenous author, SJ Okemow, that celebrates self-love, care, and resilience with one of the most widespread plants--the dandelion. Both a love letter to the dandelion and a call to love ourselves in a difficult world, Âmî Osâwâpikones reminds us that we are not defined as others see us. The most important reminder for us all. Adding this to our donation wishlist & buying for our home.
may flowers -- picture books
A Crown for Corina
We just recently borrowed this from a local library and wow, it is beautiful. It's one that my kids have gravitated to multiple times for the past few days. A charming story about a girl who learns a beloved family tradition and the symbolism behind the Mexican flower crown. It's Corina's birthday, and she is so excited to make the biggest crown from the most beautiful flowers from her abuela's garden. Each flower tells a special story about how she is rooted in the family she loves. Another must read!
The Boy with Flowers in His Hair
Everyone likes David, the boy with flowers in his hair. He's sweet and gentle. But one day David comes to school wearing a hat, and he is quiet. When he takes off the hat, his bright petals flutter down like butterflies. Now, where his flowers were looks twiggy and prickly, causing the other children to stay away. But David's best friend has an idea--a way to help David get his color back, wielding paintbrushes and plenty of love. Sensitively told, Jarvis's story invites even the youngest children to talk about difficult subjects in an age-appropriate way--and feel inspired to support others when they face trying times.
I'm Growing Great
Confident, empowered girls are celebrated in a flower-filled, nature-loving, read-together picture book that encourages growth and positivity. This book boasts beautiful Black and Brown girls with gorgeous natural hairstyles full of flowers, butterflies, and other garden treasures. We're here for the promotion of confidence and self-esteem.
Watch Me Bloom: A Bouquet of Haiku Poems for Budding Naturalists
You know how much I believe all kids (& adults tbh) need more exposure to poetry. So, of course, this is our May MOSS Kids Book Club pick! These mindful haiku poems invite us to explore 24 flower species growing close to home. This gorgeous collection of poems teaches us that treating ourselves and our planet mindfully can also be a treat for the senses. Cannot wait to share this beautiful book with you all this month!!
My Self, Your Self
This book is probably one of my all-time favorite children's books. I have even requested it this year for my birthday. This book is beautiful & healing. The concept is simple, yet incredibly complex. What is a self? What is it we like about ourselves? My kids adored the illustrations & I am still thinking about how much I wish I read this book when I was younger. And how grateful I am to read it now. Perfect reminder to love yourself, you're pretty incredible.
People call wallflowers: shy, quiet, maybe even a little scared. People think that these are bad things. But maybe they are just loud. And maybe instead of learning to be loud, maybe those people just need to learn to listen. This heartwarming story doesn't just acknowledge shy wallflowers, it celebrates them! A reminder to all to give the wallflowers time and space to blossom and grow.
A Garden in my Hands
This incredible book celebrates the custom of applying henna for special occasions through a mother and daughter who share family memories and stories. There's a wedding tomorrow and one little girl patiently sits while her mother applies intricate henna designs on her hands. As her mother delicately applies the design, she shares family stories -- connecting us to our roots and reminding us of the garden of love we curate with those closest to us.
The Train Home
This one is one of my most anticipated reads of the month. When a young girl wishes for a quiet place to call her own, her imagination takes her on a journey to discover the endless possibilities. Author-artist Dan-ah Kim's stunning picture book is an exploration of creativity, family, and the true meaning of home. All about creativity and imagination, this one is for anyone who lets their train of thought wander. See what I did there? But seriously, just look at the beautiful cover.
From beloved African American folklorist Zora Neale Hurston comes a moving adaptation by Ibram X. Kendi. Magnolia Flower is a girl with a vibrant spirit. Not to be deterred by rigid ways of the world, she longs to connect with others, who too long for freedom. Magnolia must make a choice and set off on a journey that will prove just how brave one can be when leading with one's heart. This one is lengthy, but my *almost* 5 yo was engaged the whole time with stunning illustrations by Loveis Wise.
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pure Belpré
A non-fiction biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City's first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature. When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura's legacy. Cannot wait to read this one with the kids!!
Emile and the Field
In this lyrical picture book from an award-winning poet, a young boy cherishes a neighborhood field throughout the changing seasons. With stunning illustrations and a charming text, this beautiful story celebrates a child's relationship with nature. This relatable and lyrical ode to one boy's love for his neighborhood field celebrates how spending time in nature allows children to dream, to imagine...and even to share.
May flowers -- chapter books
Both books featured are diverse retellings of The Secret Garden.
The Secret Garden on 81st Street
In this full-color graphic novel, Mary Lennox is a loner living in Silicon Valley. With her parents always working, video game and tech become her main source of entertainment and "friends." When her parents pass away in a tragic accident, she moves to New York City to live with her uncle who she barely knows, and to her surprise, keeps a gadget free home. Looking for comfort in this strange, new reality, Mary discovers an abandoned rooftop garden. With the help of her new friends, Colin and Dickon, Mary works to restore the garden to its former glory while also learning to grieve, build real friendships, and grow.
A Bit of Earth
Growing up in Pakistan, Maria Latif has been bounced between reluctant relatives for as long as she can remember--first because of her parents' constant travel, and then because of their deaths. Maria ends up being shipped off to a host family in the US. When Maria arrives on Long Island, things are not quite what she was expecting; inexplicable things keep happening in the Claybornes' house. Maria finds a locked gate to an off-limits garden. Since she's never been good at following rules, Maria decides to investigate and discovers something she never thought she'd find: a place where she feels at home.
So many incredible diverse floral reads. We hope book lists, like this one, help to introduce you to new books that you may not have seen yet or to entice you to check them out. When curating these book lists, I choose to feature ones that I am genuinely excited to read to my kids and honestly, to read myself. I think, us adults, can learn so much from children's books.
That's why I am so excited to celebrate Children's Book Week with you all. Hopefully you spotted our *hint* for today's giveaway: which book is our May MOSS Kids Book Club pick? If you did, be sure to head over to our instagram post & enter the giveaway to win your own copy of our May pick! Stay tuned throughout the week as we take you along to donate throughout our communities for Teacher Appreciation Day and Floyd Cooper Day. And share some incredible giveaways we have curated with some incredible businesses and people. As always, if you are able we would greatly appreciate any financial or book donations. Helping us, helps others.
Click the buttons below to donate: