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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Kite Day, wirtten and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. Holiday House, Thomas Allen. 2012. $19.95 ages 3 and up

"Bear collected.
Mole studied.
Bear snatched.
Bear measured and cut.
Mole drew.
They both constructed."

Welcome back, Bear and Mole!

March in Manitoba is snowy, cold and blowy!

March in the United States (in a widely affected area) has wrought destruction and dismay as early season tornadoes touch down with enormous force.

March has traditionally turned the thoughts of children to gentle winds and kite flying.

Bear and Mole are just like kids! Bear gets a 'whiff' of spring in the air and home he goes to announce 'kite day!' to his friend Mole. Together they spend time doing all that is needed to make a kite that will help them enjoy the return of spring and the shared delight of taking that kite to the meadow and letting it loose.

When dark clouds appear, their joy is disrupted and watching their kite break apart and leave them behind is disconcerting. Their race to save it from destruction leads them to discover something quite magical and they are content.

This is a 'just right' book for early readers. The short sentences, the repetitive language, the lively detailed illustrations and the expressive faces of both characters help young readers find success in 'reading'. The brilliant blue sky is an open invitation to adventure, and Bear's obvious delight in his discovery hurry him home to Mole. The use of white space in the following two spreads provides for a careful consideration of all that goes into the kite building. The darkening sky as the storm approaches changes mood from exuberance to consternation. Finally, the brilliance of the warm colors in the final spreads takes readers right back to joy and contentment, as the sun peaks through and offers up a big surprise!!

Can't wait to see their next adventure.

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