“Pitched in soothing cadence, [Or ie’s] narrative poses a series of questions, asking readers if they have heard, seen, or experienced various phenomena that signal the approach of spring.”—Publishers Weekly.
- Publisher's Weekly
Debut author Orie, who grew up on an Oneida reservation, describes this book as a song, "a celebration of the circle of life-the return of morning to night as well as of each cycle of the seasons." Pitched in a soothing cadence, her narrative poses a series of questions, asking readers if they have heard, seen or experienced various phenomena that signal the approach of spring. Though her brief introductory note explains the meaning of certain Oneida symbols, many of her questions may seem obscure ("Does your memory bring Sweet Grass's fragrance?"; "Did you see the fields of the Three Sisters coming?"; "Did you see Trillium's Stars lying upon the Forest bed's heaven?"). More appropriately geared to the target audience are Canyon's (The Ever-Living Tree) dramatic, large-scale paintings, in which animals, insects, birds and flowers and are rendered in impressive detail. Beadwork motifs enliven the endpapers. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
- Gisela Jernigan
Beautiful, glowing oil paintings are skillfully blended with a brief, poetic text to guide us in an appreciation spring coming to the forest, meadow, creek, and marsh. A nice variety of wild animals, including deer, a turtle and a wolf, as well as many colorful plants such as, violets, buttercups and wild strawberries are shown at different times, from the bright sunlight of noon to a moon drenched nighttime scene. An author's note gives some background information on her Native American group, the Oneida of Wisconsin.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4Orie's celebration of Spring is full of imagery reflecting Oneida traditions. Structured as a series of questions, the song/poem explores the sensations, emotions, and spiritual experiences connected with the season: a hawk circling in the sky; the Three Sisters (corn, beans, and squash) sending out their green shoots; the first wild strawberries. The arrangement of the textone question per double spreademphasizes the contemplative quality of the verse. Each one evokes an image and invites reflection. An author's note explains the significance of the various symbols depicted. Canyon's lush, vibrant, double-page paintings spill out of their frames and are rich in detail, revealing dewdrops on a snail's shell; imperfections in a green leaf; and scattered spider webs that herald the final depiction of a complete web. The simple, graceful, italic typeface serves to unite text and illustrations. While the pictures are large and clear enough to be seen by a group, the calm exuberance of the poem lends itself best to one-on-one sharing. The book is an especially appropriate supplement for school units on Natvie American culture.Donna Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA