In this appealing early reader, spring arrives via rhymed couplets and set within a pleasant valley. Featuring stanzas like “Welcome, sunshine, / warm our cheeks. / Melt the snow / and fill the creeks,” the text is spare but covers a lot of ground in not too many pages, as four children play outside—by a river, in a meadow, and at a farm. In keeping with the Step Into Reading series, this “Step 2” story includes basic vocabulary, short sentences, and a few fun new words, like hollyhock and pollywogs, that students will be able to sound out. Swearingen’s illustrations feature happy, active children and animals—even the dolls made from hollyhocks look bright-eyed in this accessible ode to spring. The book ends as night falls, with the world seemingly exhausted by the day of adventure and play: “Bullfrogs croak, / owls WHO-WHO. / That is all / this day can do.” Preschool-Grade 1. --Abby Nolan
About the Author
Anna Jane Hays is a former editorial director and child development specialist for The Children’s Television Workshop, the previous incarnation of Sesame Workshop. She has written and coedited numerous books for young children, including several Step into Reading Phonics Readers. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Hala Wittwer Swearingen’s lovely illustrations can be seen in Dragon Egg, Meow: Cat Stories from Around the World, Odysseus in the Serpent Maze,
and Love & Kisses, Bunny.