“First you have brown, all around you have brown” begins this gentle tale of a young boy and his hope for spring. With his companions – a loyal dog, turtle and rabbit – at his side, he plant seeds, wishes, and waits for the start of the new season. The young gardener keeps a close watch on his seeds, worrying about the threat of birds and maybe even bears. He posts signs that read “Please do not stomp here – there are seeds and they are trying.” And, then one day, finally, “the brown isn’t around and now you have green.”
First-time author Julie Fogliano’s sparse text perfectly portrays a child’s anticipation of warmer weather after a frosty winter. Caldecott Medalist Erin Stead’s signature illustrations partner flawlessly with the tender text and bring personality and humor to the tale. She incorporates soft, muted tones and clouds of white space. Readers will enjoy studying each layout and the little details surrounding the boy’s animal friends.
This picture book can be used to compare the differences between winter and spring, such as the differences in nature, activities, and clothing. Children can discuss their favorite things about each season. The book emphasizes the colors of brown and green; readers can discuss the different colors associated with seasons and suggest colors for the seasons not mentioned, summer and fall. Additionally, the book can introduce a study of plants. Children can plant and care for seeds individually or in a garden.
Other books celebrating the start of spring:
Carr, Jan. SPLISH, SPLASH, SPRING. ISBN 9780823417544
Glaser, Linda. IT’S SPRING. ISBN 9780761313458
Hilenbrand, Will. SPRING IS HERE. ISBN 9780823416028
By Jill Bellomy