1. The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim
'To those who appreciate Wistaria and Sunshine....'
2. A world of Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker
'Joy! The winter's nearly gone!
Soon will Spring come dancing on.'
I love the premise of Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies. Each fairy is named after and resembles a particular flower, and each fairy has it's own individual poem or song associated with it. So, for instance the Poppy fairy's dress is red like a poppy and her song is about living in a wheat field. The picture above is of my favourite flower fairy; the Almond Blossom fairy. To me, she is the perfect symbol of the joy of Spring; I love her expression and the way she is posed, always ready to dance.
Barker's love of flowers and wildlife spills out onto every page, and her illustrations are all stunning to look at - they are guaranteed to make you want to run off into a meadow and pick wildflowers. They may have been originally aimed at children, but they still give me great pleasure as an adult.
3. Spring Story by Jill Barklem
'The Spring sunshine crept into every cottage along Brambly Hedge
and the little windows in the trees were opened wide.'
This image is actually taken from my copy of The Complete Brambly Hedge, but you can purchase Spring Story as an individual book if you prefer. Spring Story tells the tale of an excited young mouse called Wilfred and the events that take place on his birthday. Again, like the flower fairies above, the world of Brambly Hedge is aimed at children, but the illustrations are so sumptious and detailed, you can't help but appreciate them as a grown-up. Spring Story is so fresh and appealing, that it makes me feel like putting on a crisp white apron [not that I own such a garment] and start Spring cleaning.
What books put you in a Spring frame of mind? Let me know below [aww, go on, don't be shy!]