And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano

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And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner Erin E. Stead (Roaring Brook Press, 2012) is picture book celebrating a child growing a garden. In this case, the emphasis is on the child waiting for the brown to go away, waiting for the green to appear.

I love the stark contrast between the brown of the majority of the book and the bright, cheerful green on the last page. The boy is a ray of hope throughout, however, as his bright red wagon, bright red hat, and bright red umbrella provide the hope that the brown would some day pass. I love the illustrations (woodblock printing and colored pencils) which seem to emphasize the boy’s hopes and fears. His imagination (something must have gone wrong, like bears coming to stomp on the garden!) will resonate with kids, who must likewise get impatient when Spring takes a long time to arrive.

Although this is a stark contrast to Grandpa’s Garden (reviewed here), which emphasized the green and brightness of growing plants, And Then It’s Spring is a perfect almost-spring picture book, which emphasizes the wait that comes in those last brown and gray days of winter.

I admit, it’s a little strange to read spring and summer books when the season is so quickly passing into full-blown autumn, and the hint of snow is in the air. But picking up spring-themed books to consider for the Cybils 2012 award was refreshing right now: a nice reminder that yes, we will make it to spring again! The green and life will will return to the plants around me in time.

Reviewed on October 31, 2012

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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