Crinkle, Crackle, Crack: It's Spring!by Marion Dane Bauer, John Shelley (Illustrator)
Rap, bap, tap.Late one winter night, a boy wakes to strange noises. There's a bear in his yard! The bear leads him to a forest, where the snow has grown muddy and the trees have sprouted buds. The frost is melting--crinkle, crackle, CRACK. As they move deeper into the forest, the sounds grow louder.Rap, bap, tap, crunch, scrunch, crinkle, crackle,/i>/i>
Rap, bap, tap.Late one winter night, a boy wakes to strange noises. There's a bear in his yard! The bear leads him to a forest, where the snow has grown muddy and the trees have sprouted buds. The frost is melting--crinkle, crackle, CRACK. As they move deeper into the forest, the sounds grow louder.Rap, bap, tap, crunch, scrunch, crinkle, crackle, CRACK!In an explosion of spring a baby bird is born, ice shatters, and flowers burst forth.
John Shelley's illustrations celebrate the season in a burst of color, as the woods transform from a moonlit winter wonderland to a wonderfully bright floral scene.
PreS-Gr 2—Wakened by strange sounds on a late winter night, a child ventures to the door and sees a bear standing in the yard. The shaggy animal issues an invitation to follow saying, "It is time." As they venture into the woods, they listen to the sounds around them and the bear insists that the time is right, but for what? Breezes and buds echo the refrain as do a rabbit, squirrel, and beaver that join the snowy walk. Their destination? A huge nest topped by a gigantic egg that bursts open with a tremendous "crack" and releases a shower of birds, flowers, and butterflies to usher in spring. The twisted branches and gnarled roots of Shelley's trees recall the illustrations for Halloween Forest (Holiday House, 2012), a previous author/artist pairing. But these India ink and watercolor illustrations, including the fuzzy woodland animals, are inviting, not scary. Bauer's text flirts with rhyme and repetition that could have created read-aloud engagement but settles for prose that yields no surprises. VERDICT An adequate but not essential purchase for collections whose readers need a glimpse of spring as winter drags on.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato
Bauer's imaginative first-person romp puts (some) readers right into the story, inviting them to journey with the animals in the moonlight to welcome spring. Under the eaves of a homey (and nicely untidy instead of spic-and-span) house, "you," pictured as an androgynous blond, Caucasian child, are startled by some noises and must investigate. Stepping outside, you meet a bear who says, "It is time….Come with me." You are kept wondering what it is time for as more noises follow the first ones, and animals and plants and even the breeze join the bear's chorus that it is indeed time. Curiosity battles fear as more and more animals join the hand-in-hand parade to an unknown destination, the noises growing ever louder. Readers may start to feel their own curiosity fading in the lengthy setup to an over-too-quickly climax: A gigantic egg cracks open to spill out all things spring. Still, the text is at times lyrical and calming: "Cold mud sucks at your feet. / The moon is ice. / Even so, traveling with a bear / is rather nice…." Shelley's India ink-and-watercolor illustrations are charmingly detailed if ethnically limiting in their representation of "you." His animals are gentle and friendly, and the forest is a wonderfully textured place that harbors nothing scary. A new perspective on the "arrival of spring" theme best suited to blond, pink-skinned readers. (Picture book. 4-7)
Meet the Author
MARION DANE BAUER has written more than 80 children's books, including picture books, easy readers, early chapter books, and novels. She won a Newbery Honor for On My Honor, a middle grade coming-of-age story. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Visit her website at www.mariondanebauer.com.
John Shelley is an award-winning artist who has illustrated more than twenty books, including Crinkle, Crackle, Crack and Halloween Forest by Marion Dane Bauer. In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews praised Halloween Forest as “elegantly designed.” He lives in Norwich in the United Kingdom.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews