When Spring Comes

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
When Spring Comes Book Poster Image
Gorgeous, poetic chronicle of spring's slow blossoming.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Depicts key changes from winter to spring: melting snow, emerging buds and shoots, baby animals, rain, and warm-weather activities. Reinforces importance of being patient.

Positive Messages

Spring requires patience -- it can come quickly or slowly, and sometimes it's two steps forward and one step back. But not only are good things such as spring worth waiting for, there's much to enjoy along the way. There's joy and comfort in appreciating the transition from one season to the next.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The gentle narrator has a sense of humor about spring's setbacks, including snowfall on flowers and soggy, soaking rain.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that When Spring Comes is an observant, beautifully illustrated collaboration by two acclaimed figures in children's books, author Kevin Henkes and illustrator Laura Dronzek. It's a patient appreciation of the often slow turn from winter to spring, enriched with repetitive phrasing and lush artwork.

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What's the story?

Before spring, trees are starkly black, grass is brown, and gardens are bare dirt. But if you wait, leaves and blossom burst forth, the grass revives, and green shoots emerge from the soil. There's plenty of rain, too, and sometimes even snow. Eventually spring settles in for good, and the world is bursting with color and life ... and then you'll need to wait for summer.

Is it any good?

Spring is a teasing season, unfurling in fits and starts and testing our patience -- and that's part of its charm, as the talented husband-and-wife team of Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek point out. WHEN SPRING COMES showcases Henkes' poetic eye for detail along with Dronzek's vibrant, gorgeous acrylic paintings. Double-page spreads show a snowman melting away, kittens frolicking in spring grass, and children and animals savoring the warming weather. As always, Henkes writes with a kindly, good-humored voice. Daffodils bob like miniature suns on one page and on the next bend under the weight of a springtime snow: Spring, Henkes notes, "changes its mind a lot." Spring involves a lot of waiting, but the journey is to be savored -- much like this book. It's a perfect companion to the couple's Birds and Henkes' Waiting and My Garden.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about signs of spring where they live. What signals the arrival of spring to you? Do you get impatient for spring and summer?

  • What is your favorite season, and why?

  • Try making an art journal chronicling the transition from one season to another. Draw pictures of the changes you observe.

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For kids who love picture books and nature stories

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