When Spring Comes

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The tranquil scene on the title page sets the tone for this tale of a country yesteryear: a girl kneels by a window, dreamily staring out at the snow-covered landscape beyond. The story (actually more of a bucolic seasonal catalogue) details her reverie of all the fun that spring will bring--from sugaring off to picking strawberries and running barefoot--and then veers back to the present with a trip on the snow roller and an evening sleigh ride. The wintry sky gleams so bright with stars that the girl wonders if even a spring night could be ``as dark and wonderful as now?'' Kinsey-Warnock's ( The Canada Geese Quilt ) carefree mood piece recalls the wholesome joys of an earlier, rural time, a viewpoint bolstered by the sweeping, lyrical artwork. Schuett's large-as-life perspectives imbue the story with an engrossing sense of drama--witness the sleigh-ride scene that whisks readers off into a shimmering winter night. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 4-- This picture book anticipates the coming of spring to a Vermont girl's farm in the not-so-distant past. The requisite props are here: Morgan horses, sugaring off of the maple syrup, and making the local delicacy called sugar on snow. The warmth of the season, with the coming of wild flowers and strawberries, contrasts with the crisp coolness of the winter in which the story is set. This is a clean, inviting recollection, with none of the muddy ruts or dreariness that New England springs feature. It is simply told from a young girl's point of view, right down to the putting away of long underwear and shoes. A charming story with all the glow of nostalgia for a season brief though evocative, this narrative is illustrated with acrylic and pastel paintings, in some ways primitive in the poses of the human beings, but appropriately impressionistic for a book that emphasizes the atmosphere, especially the sky. The pacing of pages and text is slow and orderly, not punctuated by any action except the inexorable change of seasons and the flash forward and back to the wintery frame of the story. A small gem with expansive illustration. --Ruth K. MacDonald, Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, IN
Deborah Abbott
An appealing title page illustration of a young child and her dog looking longingly out a window at the snow-swept countryside is a perfect introduction to this book of springtime memories. Spring is a time for boiling maple sugar, listening to the songs of returning Canada geese and tree frogs, fishing in the cool river, and picking new blossoms to place on Grandpa's grave. It is also a family time for planting seeds, picking strawberries, and washing dirty feet at the end of a busy day outdoors. Finally, memories return to reality as the little girl joins her father in a sleigh ride as the cold, crisp black night highlights glittering white stars--and she wonders if the spring nights can offer the beauty she sees now. Kinsey-Warnock's talent for establishing a deep sense of place while openly portraying the thoughts and feelings of her characters shines through once again. Schuett's vibrant color paintings in acrylic and pastel on gessoed paper richly and movingly capture the starkness of winter and the rebirth of spring. The endpapers contribute to the overall effect, with a frozen winter scene in the front, and the same scene, lush and green in spring, at the end. A convincing portrayal of a close-knit farm family living decades ago.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525450085
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD1040L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 11.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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