Baby Bear Sees Blue
By Ashley Wolff
(Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane Books, $16.99; ages 2-6)
Colors, nature's wonders and childlike curiosity are the focus of this portrait of a young bear's awed reaction to his first spring. The bear's questions ("Who is warming me, Mama?") get tender, direct answers, and Wolff's bold linocut illustrations revel in the beauty — and palette — of sunshine, berries, birds and more.
By Mac Barnett, illus. by Jon Klassen
(HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $16.99; ages 4-8)
Barnett and Klassen knit a cozy fable about creativity and generosity starring a girl who brings color to her snow-white and soot-black world. Her limitless supply of yarn helps her create sweaters for everyone and everything she cares about — including animals and trees — and triumph over the greedy forces that try to steal her magic.
And Then It's Spring
By Julie Fogliano, illus. by Erin E. Stead
(Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Books, $16.99; ages 4-7)
It's been an oddly mild winter throughout most of the United States, but that doesn't mean we're not all eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring. In this gentle and poetic ode to those final brown and gray weeks of winter, a boy plants seeds in his garden and anticipates those first signs of green. His patience is richly rewarded.
Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-It-All
By Peter Catalanotto
(Simon & Schuster/Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, $16.99; ages 4-8)
Suburbia gets a superhero makeover in this comedic faceoff between two determined children with abilities that won't seem farfetched to some readers. Question Boy vanquishes neighborhood figures like Mailman and Paperboy with his endless interrogations, but he may have met his match in a girl who has answers to his every query — and more.
One Cool Friend
By Toni Buzzeo, illus. by David Small
(Dial, $16.99; ages 5-8)
The eerie resemblance between pet owners and their beloved animals certainly applies to quiet, tuxedo-wearing Elliot and his brand-new pet, a penguin. Their friendship is central to this tale, but it's Elliot's relationship with his outwardly dissimilar father that gives the story its heart.