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And Then It's Spring (Booklist Editor's Choice. Books for Youth (Awards)) Hardcover – February 14, 2012
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Amazon Best Books of the Month for Kids, February 2012: and then it’s spring pays homage to the hopefulness and anticipation that accompanies planting the first seeds of spring in the dark soil of winter--waiting, checking, waiting, wondering if the first green shoots will ever come and imagining all the things that could have gone wrong for those little seeds. Then one day spring is suddenly, gloriously, here--replacing the brown with shades of green happiness. Illustrations by 2011 Caldecott Medalist Erin Stead (A Sick Day for Amos McGee) match the graceful simplicity of the text, capturing the emotion of the characters and expanding the story with whimsical details. --Seira Wilson
*Starred Review* A first-time author and the Caldecott Award–winning illustrator of A Sick Day for Amos McGee (2011) team up in this beautiful ode to a patient gardener. After the winter, “you have brown, all around you have brown,” but small hints of spring, like red robins and rain, hold promise. A young boy, joined by his dog companion, plants seeds, each labeled with a picture of carrots or sunflowers or peas. But as much as they wait, hope, and examine the dirt with a magnifying glass, there’s no green to be found. Fogliano’s simple, tender text has a solemn tone, which perfectly reflects the anticipatory state of the boy and his animal friends. The woodblock and pencil illustrations give life to animals so expressive and endearing it hurts, and the layout—a mixture of full-bleed spreads and white-bordered vignettes—paces the story well. A two-spread fantasy in the middle of the story—in which the boy imagines birds pecking at the seeds or bears stomping on them—is smile-inducing, particularly a scene of a befuddled bear with a planter on his head. But what’s most fun to notice throughout are the small, subtle details on each page. It’s not easy to wait . . . and wait . . . but children, like the boy, may realize that patience often yields big rewards. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Fans of A Sick Day for Amos McGee—and award-watchers, in general—will be eagerly anticipating this, Stead’s first children’s book since winning the 2011 Caldecott Medal. Preschool-Grade 2. --Ann Kelley