Monday, March 31, 2014

And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano; illustrated by Erin E. Stead (2012)

Fogliano and Stead do a bang up job of illustrating the starkness and waiting that is late winter for people who live in four season climates.  I happen to live in the two season climate of southern California (hot or not), but I grew up in Kansas, and I remember well thinking and imaging spring was finally here, when it still was weeks away.  Stead's illustrations are particularly good, and capture the drabness of February and early March (although the sky is too gray; a March sky is always blustery blue, at least in Kansas).  There is also small things happening in each picture, especially the illustration of the very humorous birds.  The entire book is one long sentence / poem, which is always an interesting concept.  The only bit I didn't care for - the bears.  The lines didn't scan very well, and it interrupted the sweet whimsy with a punch of surrealism that just didn't quite fit.

I had to sit in for storytime last week, and read this aloud.  It was my first story, and it worked out well.  Except the line, which I think was the most beautiful, but also difficult to read aloud:  "an is that a little green? no, it's just brown sort of brown."  The above mentioned bear section sort of fell flat too.

And Then It's SpringAnd Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A Goodreads recommendation; I wasn't disappointed.  Fogliano's text and Stead's illustrations do a bang up job of capturing the drabness and waiting-ness of late winter, when all you want is for spring to finally arrive in a burst of green (and, of course it does).  A few minor quibbles - the bears in the middle of the book slam realism into what had been a whimsical prose poem with just a touch of fantasy; I wondered why they suddenly made an appearance.  Other than that, a sweet little picture book that would be perfect for a "spring is coming" storytime or readaloud.

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