April showers bring May flowers, but what do winter showers bring? Apparently Mother Nature played an early April Fool's joke on us in March! Is it a coincidence that Earth Day, Arbor Day and April Fool's Day all fall in one month?
You be the judge and the jokester. Who are you fooling this month?
I was born fooling my friends and family considering that I was a day late for April Fool's Day, even though my mother and doctor were certain I was coming on the first. That is why I have always had a connection to that very often overlooked holiday! If you ask my friends and family, you'll discover I much prefer to be the fooler rather than the fooled.
An interesting thing that can sometimes fool a person about April is that it shares the Easter season with March. See, even March likes to get in on some of the tomfoolery! With that silly little thought, I move on to some FUN favorites for a few of the holidays to come.
"April Foolishness" by Teresa Bateman, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
Teresa and Nadine both grew up on a farm with many different animals, so it is no surprise that this tale is full of farmyard chaos. Who knows the full family affair of rounding up loose farm animals more than old pros? This makes it quite surprising that Grandpa is so calm when his grandchildren begin telling him that his various animals are loose and causing mischief. Bateman uses rhyming text to tell the story of a wise grandfather who cannot be fooled on such an expected day.
"Imagine," said Grandpa. "Amazing. Oh, my!" as he popped some eggs into the skillet to fry.
Westcott's watercolor work is cheerful and fun. It portrays the perfect cartoon farm running amuck, while Grandpa sits back coolly making his breakfast. However, Grandma gets the last laugh in the end. Request the book from you local librarian to find out how Grandma turns the tables.
"Fancy Nancy: Every day is Earth Day" by Jane O'Connor, cover illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser, interior illustrated by Aleksey Ivanov and Olga Ivanov
In true Fancy Nancy style, O'Conner teaches children the basics of being green while using a "fancy" vocabulary. Not only is the story a lesson in being green, but it is also a lesson in not being overly pushy with your beliefs and actions. While Nancy is trying to follow her teacher's lessons, she finds herself in tears when she turns her sister's night lamp off to save energy, not realizing the grief it would cause for her sister and parents. Read the story to hear about the other situations where Nancy ends up turning a good intention into an irritation. In the end, Nancy and her family work together to be green, and Nancy learns a lesson in being flexible.
"My First Story of Easter" by Tim Dowley, illustrated by Roger Langton
This nonfiction story is about the final days of the life of Jesus and his resurrection. In a delicate version for young children, Dowley relates the important facts of the season that is designed for the comprehension of a young child. Langton's pictures do a great job of depicting life in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus, while keeping it aesthetically pleasing for young readers. This story is a must for anyone looking to explain the meaning of Easter to their toddler-age child!
"Panda's Easter Basket" by Tara Jaye Morrow, illustrated by Aaron Boyd
Morrow tells the tale of a panda that gets over-excited about his candy from the Easter Bunny. He unintentionally eats his entire basket and gives himself a bellyache. This story is a good lesson that is learned the easy way!
"Happy Easter Mouse" by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond
The "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" mouse is back for Easter in this simple board book! When Mouse wakes to find eggs hidden all over his house, he wants to know who hid them. Can you guess who?
- Casey Stratton lives in Colerain with her husband and son. She has a bachelor's degree in early childhood education from Ohio University, and is the children's librarian for the Martins Ferry Public Library.