And Then It’s Spring

{Ok. So I know that summer JUST started and I’m a season late on this. But in all fairness, it’s pretty much summer all the time in scorching southern California, so I’m going to blame my tardiness on the fact that living here is like one long day. Some days it’s hard to tell if it’s February or August.}

The tender language of And Then It’s Spring celebrates the turning of the season, and it’s refreshing to just pick this up and sit with it for a while.

This book is flawless. Really. Julie Fogliano and Erin E. Stead created something beautiful.

First you have brown, all around you have brown

The pulse of this story is sweet and soft, but there’s a palpable excitement to the waiting. Erin E. Stead captures both of those feelings with her use of color. Her woodblock and pencil illustrations at the beginning of the book are warm, rich browns, the everywhere browns. Everything is slightly desaturated, enhancing the coolness of winter, but never becoming too icy or lonely.

I love our hero’s bright yellow rain slicker and red umbrella to counter to gray winter day.

{please do not stomp here, there are seeds and they are trying.}

Page turn by page turn, the colors get ever so slightly more vibrant and saturated, just as winter melts into spring. The shift is subtle, and surely echoes the long wait of the gardener.

All of these illustration choices represent the words and the theme of the book exceptionally well. Even the cover image up above shows the young boy marching onward and progressing forward, just like the seeds’ transformation. Just like spring.

One final thing — that red house up on the hill is where the bespectacled boy lives. Look for it in every wide spread of this same location. Its fireplace burns warmth through the winter, and slowly stops breathing smoke as the seeds succeed. Because…and then it’s spring.

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13 thoughts on “And Then It’s Spring

  1. Great post! I was able to read this book at our bookstore in Seoul, and I loved the illustrations. Thanks for your analysis, as I’m not an artist by any means.

    • I just realized I will *hopefully* meet her tomorrow at ALA in Anaheim. She and her husband Philip will be at their publishers’ booth. Crossing my fingers to not say something lame!

  2. Carter….I just have to tell you how many great books I have checked out from the library recently because of your blog. I just love it. I have it in my Google Reader and I look forward to reading about the books you highlight. Thanks for your posts!

  3. This book is really cute. It’s also Fogliano’s debut book. Congrats!

    Carter, I never noticed the little red house in all the pages as a constant. Now I’m wanting to check it out again to see how the smoke stops when the seeds start.

  4. Pingback: A Home For Bird « Design of the Picture Book

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