Two Picture Books Celebrate Spring

BookendsLynn: It’s hard to get very far from water here in West Michigan! Ponds, lakes big and small, rivers, and creeks are everywhere—and that means ducks and geese are ubiquitous. One sure sign of spring is the sight of duck couples waddling around the neighborhood, looking for the perfect place to make a nest. They seem completely comfortable with the bushes that flank our neighbor’s front doors and the huge
rhododendron by our deck. So it seems eggsactly right to review these two new spring picture books featuring our feathered friends.

Shake a Leg, Egg!Shake a Leg, Egg! by Kurt Cyrus (2017) by Kurt Cyrus opens with a Canadian goose parent inspecting a nest populated by cracked egg shells, fuzzy goslings, and one stubborn holdout.

“Hello in there!
Are you aware…
How long we’ve all
been waiting?”

It is spring at the pond, and everyone is waiting for the last egg to hatch. Lovely rhyming text using only a few sentences per page describes the sweet sense of spring and joyous new life. When the straggler finally breaks through, the family encourages the frazzled, dubious hatchling to join the fun! Extra-wide pages allow plenty of room for Cyrus’ gorgeous nature illustrations that celebrate the season with exquisite details and wide-ranging perspectives.

Midwest author Helen Frost and illustrator Rick Lieder know how long we have to wait for spring to finally arrive. Their latest collaboration urges us all to Wake Up! (2017) and enjoy it.

Wake Up by Helen FrostFrost’s poem, delivered a line at a time, is accompanied by Lieder’s stunning photographs that capture the many wild creatures and plants eager for the sun’s warmer spring rays.

New life is everywhere—
open your eyes.

Spiders creep along a curving blade of grass, and in my favorite photo, we spy a praying mantis in shadow through a startlingly pink peony petal.

Lieder provides delightful images of glowing gray garden slug eggs, tree swallow eggs in a feather-lined nest, lambs, a sandhill crane chick, a tadpole, and a woodchuck family. Each reminds the reader to look carefully as she emerges from their own hibernation to view the life that thrives in the glorious days of spring. This book is perfect for lap reading or springtime story hours. Wake up!



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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