Waiting... Again! When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes
BEFORE SPRING COMES, THE TREES LOOK LIKE BLACK STICKS AGAINST THE SKY.
Tell us about it.
It's that time in late February and early March when even the staunchest mitten fancier is ready for a change.
A proud snowman, snug and smug in his knit cap and buttoned-down jacket, grows disheveled as he shrinks and slumps, until he's just a lumpen figment of his former self. The brown grass underneath and the abandoned garden begin to show ragged tufts of tender green weeds.
Of course, we mere mortals have no choice about the waiting, for as even the youngest among us will learn, spring has a mind of its own.
SPRING CAN COME QUICKLY OR SLOWLY.
BUT WHEN SPRING IS FINALLY HERE TO STAY, YOU WILL KNOW IT. . .
The daffodils always win, and even in the face of sudden freezes and soggy late snows, they survive and show their colors, and then...
Spring has come, with its birds and blossoms and bees and warmth to bask in, to ride bikes and fly kites in, to plant seedlings and chase butterflies in, to glory in, to forget the dull and dismal days of winter in long hours of sunshine. But. . .
NOW YOU HAVE TO WAIT... FOR SUMMER--
For, as the poet said, "What is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days."
And it is all worth the wait, as Kevin Henkes makes clear in When Spring Comes (Greenwillow Press, 2016). A Caldecott and Newbery Award winner, Kevin Henkes portrays the bated-breath waiting for the coming of spring in simple but elegant English that makes the heart sing. An award-winning artist himself, Henkes calls on his sometime illustrator, his wife Laura Dronzek, for the lovely, iconic artwork that brings his spare prose come to life. Dronzek's bowed by not broken daffodils, her melted snowman reduced to a splayed-out splotch, and of course her cheeping baby birds and bouncy kittens speak volumes of the welcome rebirth of life that spring brings.
This one recalls the veiled mystery and loveliness of Henkes' other memorable nature-linked books, like Kitten's First Full Moon and his other collaboration with Dronzek, Birds.