cover image North Country Spring

North Country Spring

Reeve Lindbergh. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $17 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-82819-9

In a fresh rush of rhyming couplets, the voice of spring calls northern creatures to life: ""Wiggle out, swim about, says the voice to the trout./ Skim the silvery riverbanks, in and out""; ""Strut out, tall moose, from your stand of spruce./ Walk around, feel the ground, let your bones get loose."" Lindbergh's (The Midnight Farm) ebullient verse is a triumph song of spring's melting, sensory flush. And in first-time artist Sivertson's acrylic paintings, readers will float, swoop and exult along with the creatures: she gives the animals playful and unmistakable gestures that suggest by turns long-legged awkwardness, timid grace and soaring power. Her paintings are a sensory feast, setting the animals' often indistinct but expressive forms against backlit evergreens and grasses, or sometimes more abstract, energetically brushed, prismatic backgrounds. A glossary describing 14 animals is included. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)