Tag Archives: Spring

PPBF: When Spring Comes

imageAnyone living in the Midwest or the Northeastern United States should understand the reason I chose this perfect picture book for today. If there’s any doubt, a very recent picture of some very sad pansies (before a snow blanket covered them) will show you why!

51So8yP1rNL._SX411_BO1,204,203,200_Title: When Spring Comes

Written By: Kevin Henkes

Illustrated By: Laura Dronzek

Publisher/date: Greenwillow Books, February 9, 2016

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: Seasons, spring, weather, nature, waiting

Opening: “Before Spring comes, the trees look like black sticks against the sky. But if you wait, Spring will bring leaves and blossoms.”

Brief Synopsis: In lyrical language accompanied by vibrant illustrations, this book describes the change from winter to spring.

Links to Resources: As the seasons change,

  • draw what you see outside a window. What color is the grass? Are there leaves on the tree? Do you see flowers? What colors are they?
  • Take a walk and look for signs of spring.
  • Prepare for spring by planting seeds indoors (or outdoors if the snow has melted and the ground isn’t frozen). Tomatoes, cucumbers and marigolds are happy to start indoors and get transplanted outdoors. Sunflowers, beets and onions like to start and finish in one place.
  • There are so many springtime crafts! Try a thumbprint hyacinth or a birds’ nest collage

Why I Like this Book: This quiet concept book captures not only the sights, sounds, smells and feel of Spring, but the sense of anticipation for the earth’s rebirth. With a refrain of “If you wait” repeated throughout the book, the reader and listener are drawn into the change of seasons. The bright and simple illustrations complement the lyrical text and focus on aspects of spring that will delight children. The publisher recommends When Spring Comes for ages 4-8; I think younger children will enjoy it, too.

This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!

Fifty Precious Words: The Best Nest

My friend, Vivian Kirkfield is welcoming spring and celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a new contest, Fifty Precious Words: Write a story in 50 words or less for kids ages 12 or under. It can be prose, rhyme, free verse, silly or serious, and the title doesn’t count toward the word count (Whew!). You can find the contest details here at Vivian’s blog, as well as other entries listed in the comments.

“Quite the challenge,” thought I! So I decided to kick it up a notch. Vivian’s contest happens to coincide with ReFoReMo (Reading for Research Month, for those “not in the know”), where I discovered some all-dialogue mentor texts. Now, those who have read my scribblings know that I am not one to dispense with the setting, background, and anything else I can throw in to “set the stage.” But ReFoReMo is all about reading new types of stories and thinking about how we can adopt techniques to strengthen and grow as writers. So, what better time to try an all-dialogue story! Without further ado, my springy entry follows:

The Best Nest

A prize!

For the best nest!

I’ll try.

Me, too.

Perfect spot.

Twigs,
grass,
wad of wool.
Set!

Perfect spot.

Mud,
spit,
dab of grass.
Set!

Two judges.

Dashing duo.

Tweeting about my nest.

Singing about mine.

Ruby Robin chooses my nest.

Sheila Swallow picks mine.

TIE!

Best Nests!imgresimgres