Thursday, February 26, 2015

Finding Spring by Carin Berger

Finding Spring by Carin Berger
Greenwillow Books

Rating: 4 stars

Seasons are such a great thing. They embody that wise, ubiquitous "this, too, shall pass" magnet that is stuck on most of our refrigerators but we've seen it too many times to really remember what it's all about. Every year, the same magical thing happens: Winter melts to Spring. Spring morphs to Summer. Summer blows into Fall. Fall gives way to Winter. Again and again and again. Seasons are one way--a really great way, methinks--to teach our kids that life goes on. No matter what.

And when I look outside and see snow falling a-freaking-gain, I have to do my best to shake my head and smile, try to appreciate my kids' delight on another morning with freezing temperatures and school delays closures, and choose not to be grumpy. Instead, I'll dust a bit of "snow" (powdered sugar) on their waffles to celebrate this white stuff.

I've gotten off topic. No, I actually was never on topic. I started the blogpost with a tangent rather than interjected one in between paragraphs... Either way, Finding Spring was of course going to find its way to our library bag because I really want to find Spring in my own life. My kids, despite loving the snow, really want to find Spring, too. So we read this with earnest, as if somewhere in the pages of the book was the answer to Spring's whereabouts.

Mama and Maurice are bears preparing to hibernate for Winter. But all Maurice can think about is Spring. "Waiting is hard," Mama says wisely. "Right now it is time to sleep."

"Wow!" says Maurice.
Mama nods off; Maurice wanders off. He's just not sleepy and is curious to find Spring. Alone and unafraid, he asks forest creatures and looks everywhere for Spring. He comes up empty-handed until he feels an icy sting on his nose. A snowflake! He chases the snowflakes falling from the sky until he arrives at the top of Great Hill, where he witnesses a gorgeous snowfall, a sweet illustration made from a photograph of dozens of different snowflakes, some held up with push-pins and some glued down. It's a neat change of illustration pace.

Maurice realizes Winter is coming and runs back to the cave, to his Mama, and sleeps.

When they wake, they realize Spring is here. Finally! But Maurice wonders where it is exactly, and asks the same creatures he asked months before. He searches high and low until he remembers Great Hill. Together, in parade-like form and celebration, he and his pals march up and look out and see flowers blooming everywhere. Hoorah!

Okay, my turn. Can I look out and--nope, not yet. With one inch down and snow still falling, it is clearly still Winter around these parts!

(The snowfall pages in this book made me think of this Waiting for Winter book we bought years ago. The kids ran to find it in on our messy shelves and we laughed again at the animals' thinking that toothbrushes and tin cans were snowflakes...!)

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