Great Illustrated Books

And Then It's Spring

By Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin Stead

Roaring Brook Press, 2012
Pages : 32
Suggested Ages: 3-7
ISBN: 9781596436244

In Julie Fogliano's poetic text that flows from page to page as smoothly as the seasons move from one to the next, we see the brown of late winter/early spring slowly change to a"hopeful, very possible sort of brown." Yet the seeds one little boy has planted show no signs of coming up. The boy is worried, but when he puts his ear to the ground and closes his eyes he can hear a greenish hum. How satisfying it is when his diligence is rewarded, his hopes fulfilled, and he is surrounded by green at last.

Erin E. Stead's gentle lines and soft colors take us through that always impatient waiting time when the promise of spring is everywhere but where you are That period when winter coats are put away, replaced by rain gear, and finally by short sleeve tee-shirts. She captures both the patience and the terribly-long watchful waiting, with simple expressions and body attitude. And when spring comes, we see the boy kicking up his feet in a joyful tire-swing surrounded by shoots of vegetables and just-blossoming flowers.

It is an experience every child knows, and one we keep close even when we grow up. Its essence is captured in both the sparseness of the words and pictures, and in their fulfilling richness.

Tips for Parents and Teachers:
Make a "Waiting for Spring" calendar with your children. Have them look carefully at the changes in nature every day, and record them in words and/or pictures. Remind them to look for the "hopeful, very possible brown" and to listen for "the hum of green." Is there something in the air that they can taste? Or smell?

Plant some seeds – in a garden, in a pot – and watch them daily, too.

Reviewed by : LLW


If you love this book, then try:

Muth, Jon J. Zen Shorts. Scholastic Press, 2005.

Lamb, Albert. Tell Me the Day Backwards. Candlewick Press, 2011.

Sakai, Komako. Snow Day. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2009.

Critics have said

Many treasures lie buried within this endearing story, in which humor and anxious anticipation sprout alongside one another. This sweet seedling will undoubtedly take root and thrive.
Kirkus Reviews
This seemingly real-time experience of getting to green is a droll, wistful ode to the stamina behind wanting, will, and perseverance.
School Library Journal
In an understated and intimate partnership, Fogliano and Stead conjure late winter doldrums and the relief of spring's arrival, well worth the wait.
Publishers Weekly