Tuesday, April 3, 2012
and then it's spring
I love A Sick Day for Amos McGee - the text is simple with lines I love, like "Belly full and ready for the workday, he'd amble out the door." And the illustrations, how I love the illustrations. So I was very excited to find out that the Stead's were stopping by my local library. My kids and I loved it. Philip Stead read two books, Amos McGee and one of his own - Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat. The kids joined in and echoed common refrains and proudly held up their own copies of the Caldecott winner. And Erin Stead brought some of her artwork for Amos McGee to show - a piece of wood she carved and then prints of headless Amos and an elephant with no eyes - areas that she later filled in with pencil. My children were so excited to learn about the process of being a real artist that we came home and put to test her suggestion of carving potatoes to create their own masterpieces.
It was that day that we saw Erin's newest book and then it's spring written by Julie Fogliano. This is Fogliano's first book and I really like the text. It is a simple - in a poetic, conversational type of way. It is the type of text that I find myself liking more and more every time I read it. It tells about a boy and his dog (and a bunny and a turtle) who are tired of waiting for winter to end. So they plan and plant a garden and then wait, and wait, and wait for spring to come and their garden to bloom.
The illustrations perfectly mirror and add to the text. On each page you must spend more time reading the pictures then the text. Erin Stead uses a similar artistic process to that of Amos McGee - carving wood blocks to make prints and then adding detail in with pencil. I love the colors used - at first brown is dominant with pops of color in the background and in various small items - a yellow raincoat, a red wagon and umbrella. And the end picture, when spring has finally sprung, is green, and bright and cheery. It feels just like when I walk outside and see that my tulips have finally bloomed.
This book perfectly captures the long wait for spring to come and, especially, the child's take on waiting for planted seeds to turn into something - be it flowers or fruits and vegetables. Enjoy this book while it is still spring!