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Finding Spring Hardcover – January 27, 2015
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—A small, inquisitive cub is anxiously awaiting his first spring. After his mother falls asleep for the winter, Maurice goes out to look for spring, asking other woodland animals for help along the way. Mistaking snowflakes for spring, a satisfied little bear scoops some up into a snowball and then returns to hibernate. When he wakes up, the snowball has melted, but Maurice finally learns what spring really is. Berger writes with simple, rhythmic clarity as well as with an unaffected innocence, making for a charming read-aloud. Young children will relate to Maurice's eagerness, as they share a similar enthusiasm to learn about the world around them. Berger's collages, which include several striking spreads, are a creative blend of paper cut-outs. With Berger's gentle storytelling and warm, joyful art, this is a winning entry into spring-themed picture books. Pair it with Julia Rawlinson's Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms (Greenwillow, 2009) for a charming story hour about springtime mix-ups.—Laura J. Giunta, Garden City Public Library, NY
“Multidimensional and magical . . . Exceptional, exhilarating artwork perfectly suited for a story about anticipation, discovery and joy.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“The balletic grace of Berger’s artwork provides exceptional visual drama throughout.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Breathtaking . . . The beauty Maurice found is there for all to see.” (Horn Book Magazine)
“With Berger’s gentle storytelling and warm, joyful art, this is a winning entry into spring-themed picture books.” (School Library Journal)
“Chock-full of visual cues and information, this is a charming exploration of seasonal changes.” (Booklist)
“Beautiful collage illustrations help tell the story of one little bear’s exuberant search for spring—even though he should be hibernating. . . . A sweet ending helps readers celebrate the changing of the seasons.” (Shelf Awareness)
“Berger’s storytelling is . . . streamlined to maximize the drama of Maurice’s first sightings of both winter and spring. Elegant illustrations . . . skillfully evoke the wonder of nature, and the craft will draw extended study from artistically minded youngsters.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
Praise for Forever Friends: “A lovely window onto the seasonal round.” (The Horn Book)
“Sophisticated, sensitive and accessible, this picture book will offer new insights and pleasures with each season.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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Top customer reviews
Berger opens a forest animal story with a sense of innocence and natural curiosity. My reader found the words easy to learn and colorful paper collages to inspire him to ask many questions about the collages, such as do forest animals really wear clothes and why doesn’t the mama bear have clothes on? Do bears get to choose round holes or caves to sleep in? Why do tree leaves have words on them and the cave rocks have numbers? Do trees really have a shadow? Where do squirrels and rabbits really sleep? Above the ground or under the ground? How can I know spring is here? I told him the artist had used recycled paper to make the beautiful pictures, he laughed and said, oh that lady! We have read her other stories that have trash paper pictures. We then discussed other ways to use recycled paper other than make pictures. He thought a game board would be the most fun because he could invite his friends over and tell them about the story.
FINDING SPRING is a great resource for the home or school library of children between the ages of two through eight. I thought a game board was a great idea for the classroom to draw a map of where Maurice went, then place squares for the different forest animal homes and Decorate the Great Hill as the winner’s circle. Use dice and cut-in-half 3 x 5 cards with unexpected directions to move around the board. The first person to reach the Great Hill wins. Mapping and using problem-solving skills, social interaction, turn taking, and using imagination are great practice skills for the student. FINDING SPRING can encourage language arts and science by answering the questions mentioned. Math skills can be practiced by counting the same type of animals.
Thank you Carin Berger for another great child-inspiring picture book.
In this story a mother bear tires to convince her little cub, Maurice, that it's time to hibernate and sleep the winter away. Maurice has other ideas though, and while mama bear sleeps, Maurice ventures off to explore alone. [yikes wrong message here IMO]
While little Maurice is off on his own he meets other critters along the way and some mysterious white flakes falling from the sky as well. He's convinced he has found spring. He finds his way back home to his mother bringing a snowball with him. Once home he dozes off to sleep, and when he wakes he finds that his snowball has melted -- can spring be far away?
My favorite part of this book was the fantastic illustrations and handcut art work that details the forest and the change of seasons. The story was cute enough, but honestly, to me it seemed to send the wrong message -- a little one sneaking out to explore while his mother slept.
With "Finding Spring," author and illustrator Carin Berger has created a delightful story that little ones are sure to love. Maurice the bear embodies the curiosity that all children possess, and the excitement he feels over his first spring–and his inability to sleep because of it–is something kids will identify with. The pictures, which are cut-paper collages made in Berger’s unique and award-winning style (and will be familiar to readers who have seen other examples of Berger’s work), capture the whimsical nature of this adorable story. "Finding Spring" is sure to be loved by young kids, older kids, and their parents alike!
Review originally written for San Francisco Book Review.