Coping with Change! The Thing about Spring by Daniel Kirk
"THE WORLD LOOKS A LITTLE DIFFERENT TODAY," MOUSE SAID ONE BRIGHT MORNING.
Ah! The first signs of spring!
Everybody loves them, right?
Apparently not in this forest. Mouse and Bird are rhapsodizing about budding trees and warmth in the air, but Rabbit is not at all pleased. With a sour expression, he is going about the meadow, scooping up the vestiges of melting snowdrifts into his pail. Mouse inquires about Rabbit's curious behavior.
"SAVING SNOW WHILE I CAN!" SAID RABBIT. "WE WON'T SEE ANY MORE OF THAT UNTIL NEXT YEAR!"
Some of us have problems with transitions, and Rabbit seems to be the only one in the woods who is going to miss snow. Ever the contrarian, he points out that snow helps him track down his friends, and it is useful for snow forts and snowball fights.
Bird points out that Rabbit won't be cold when spring comes, and besides, he and Mouse are not going anywhere anyway.
But Rabbit has another complaint.
"THE THING ABOUT SPRING IS THAT BEAR IS WAKING UP. I KNOW HOW BAD HE SMELLS AT THE END OF A LONG WINTER, AND I'M SURE HE'LL WANT A HUG."
And right on cue, a disheveled Bear appears, and Rabbit, holding his nose, suffers through a stinky embrace, just as a warm vernal drizzle begins to fall.
"THE THING ABOUT SPRING IS THAT IT RAINS WHEN YOU'RE NOT EXPECTING IT," RABBIT WHINGES.
But Bear replies that the falling rain is right on time to give him a good wash, as he pointedly scrubs his armpits.
But nothing about the change of the seasons pleases Rabbit. It's too noisy. Birds peep and squirrels chatter! It's all so annoying. Rabbit is all hot and bothered from the whole conversation.
And now he is thirsty!
Bear agrees that all this palaver is making him thirsty, too, giving Rabbit a chance to have the last word:
"WELL, THEN," SAID RABBIT, "YOU SHOULD BE GLAD I SAVED SOME SNOW. LOOK INSIDE MY PAIL!"
Daniel Kirk's newest tale, The Thing About Spring (Abrams Books, 2016), gives the curmudgeon in all of us a chance to complain about change. Story books are full of joyful rabbits and bouncy bunnies as the harbinger of spring, but Kirk turns the tables on our expectations with a truly funny bunny who takes a cranky stand in favor of snow. With delightfully wry dialog, he gives his Rabbit his moment in the sun, whether he likes it or not. Kirk's signature style of illustration, with his characters mostly full frontal or profiled, has a look all his own, giving this novel seasonal story a new twist.
Kirk's earlier books include his popular Library Mouse
series and Ten Thank-You Letters.