"If Winter Comes, Can Spring Be Far Behind?" Bunny's First Spring by Sally Lloyd-Jones and David McPhail
BUNNY WAS BORN IN SPRING
WHEN THE WORLD WAS GREEN AND NEW.
"THE EARTH IS NEW LIKE ME!" HE SAID.
Bunny is thrilled with everything, all fresh and young and bright!
Flowers and butterflies are all around, as he sets out to meet all the other new forest babies, the robins and lambs who frisk and call energetically from the greening fields and trees.
Bunny grows bigger and stronger through spring and summer. Then one day he notices that his fur has gotten very thick. That's fine, but then he notices something that is disturbing. His favorite apple tree is dropping all her leaves, and his friends the robins are all flying away.
DON'T GO!" HE CRIES.
Bunny's mother and father advise him to wait and see what happens, but he doesn't understand. The cold winds blow, ruffling his thick coat, and then snow covers the wilted, brown plants. Frost turns the soft earth where he played to stone. His apple tree in the moonlight is like a skeleton of its summer self.
But the wilted flowers from beneath their snow blanket whisper that they are just hiding, and the apple tree shows Bunny something he hadn't noticed.
"OUR BRANCHES MAY LOOK BARE,
BUT ALL OUR BUDS ARE THERE!"
And in those waiting buds on the bare branches is nature's eternal promise that spring will come, and life will go on, in Sally Lloyd-Jones lyrical poem to the life cycle in Bunny's First Spring (ZonderKids Books, 2015). Notable illustrator David McPhail's gentle and realistic paintings celebrate the vitality of spring and summer and the promise of rebirth in the waiting winter forest beautifully for youngsters "grieving over Goldengrove unleaving."* A softer, more hopeful look at the little death that is winter, Lloyd-Jones and McPhail have crafted a lovely look at the seasons and the joy in spring that all creatures share.
"SPRING! IT'S THE BIRTHDAY OF THE WORLD!" SAYS BUNNY.
*Poem, "Spring and Fall: To a Young Child" by Gerard Manley Hopkins