Fogliano, J. And Then It’s Spring. Illustrated by Erin E. Stead. Roaring Brook Press, 2012. 32 pages. $16.99. ISBN 9781596436244.
Caldecott Award-winning illustrator Stead (A Sick Day for Amos McGee) creates a soft, intimate world for this gentle story with her signature woodblock and colored pencil illustrations. “First you have brown,/ all around you have brown…” is how the story begins, a story of a brown world that becomes a green world over the course of several weeks. Our protagonist is a somber boy with glasses who plants seeds. He waits and waits for his seeds to sprout; he worries that it was the birds that might have eaten his seeds, or maybe the bears who might have stomped on them. He waits for rain and sun. He waits another week, and another… And finally that brown world turns to green! This book is beautifully illustrated and conveys the perfect mood for the simple, progressive text.
There is lots that would connect this book with a kindergarten or first grade study on seeds and gardening. There is so much waiting with gardening for children, and this book conveys that in a very sweet way. Kindergarteners may be invited to notice how the boy’s attire changes as the season progresses, from ski hat and scarf to shorts and bare feet.
In one two-page spread, Stead creates a view of the earth beneath our feet: she shows the worm and ant tunnels, as well as the tiny roots of the seeds. This is a great page for a close look: noticing those little roots, even when there is no green showing above ground.
None yet (4/30/12)!
Seasons, Spring, Gardening
It’s Spring (Glaser) is more vibrantly illustrated but both books embrace the coming of spring and the change of seasons.