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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Finding Spring, written and illustrated by Carin Berger. Greenwillow Books, Harper. 2015. $21.99 ages 3 and up

"I wish it was spring right now,"
Maurice told Mama.

"Waiting is hard," she said.
"Right now it is time to sleep."

"Maybe you will dream about
spring," Mama whispered.

Soon she was softly snoring ..."

Spring is on its way to us in Manitoba! The water is flowing into nearby gutters, kids are outside in sweatshirts throwing and catching snowballs, walkers pour past the house all day long and the sun is shining brightly providing above freezing temperatures for days in a row. The weather network reports that it is going to continue through the next two weeks! What?

It sent me to the den and the book pile that awaits posting for a second look at Carin Berger's lovely story of a bear cub searching for spring. It is his first and he can't wait to welcome it. His mama warns him that it will take patience as she settles in for her long winter's nap. Maurice pays no heed to her gentle message; he sets off on his own to find spring right now. Along the way, the other forest animals provide the same advice as his mother has given him.

Aha! As we go, we are cognizant that Maurice has not yet experienced winter's long sleep. He is adamant that he will find spring and looking for it is his purpose. When snowflakes make both the sky and ground around white and cold, Maurice finds his way back to his mother and their winter den, finally accepting that spring will come in its own time. His job is to wait for it, and to sleep while he waits.

Imagine his wonder when spring finally does arrive with warmth, budding branches, rushing water and brilliant color.

"The illustrations in this book are assemblages created using a combination of cut paper and found ephemera. Each piece was then photographed digitally to prepare the full-color art." An apt description for the innovative and beautifully designed paper collages that will leave young listeners and their parents awe-struck at the detail and intricacy of each spread. These dioramas boast bold colors, changing design, and a true sense of dimension and texture. Exceptional!

                                  Spring Spread

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