cover image When Spring Comes

When Spring Comes

Natalie Kinsey-Warnock. Dutton Books, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-45008-5

The tranquil scene on the title page sets the tone for this tale of a country yesteryear: a girl kneels by a window, dreamily staring out at the snow-covered landscape beyond. The story (actually more of a bucolic seasonal catalogue) details her reverie of all the fun that spring will bring--from sugaring off to picking strawberries and running barefoot--and then veers back to the present with a trip on the snow roller and an evening sleigh ride. The wintry sky gleams so bright with stars that the girl wonders if even a spring night could be ``as dark and wonderful as now?'' Kinsey-Warnock's ( The Canada Geese Quilt ) carefree mood piece recalls the wholesome joys of an earlier, rural time, a viewpoint bolstered by the sweeping, lyrical artwork. Schuett's large-as-life perspectives imbue the story with an engrossing sense of drama--witness the sleigh-ride scene that whisks readers off into a shimmering winter night. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)