cover image SPRING'S SPRUNG


Lynn Plourde, , illus. by Greg Couch. . S&S, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-84229-0

Like Plourde (Snow Day, reviewed above) and Couch's two previous collaborations (Wild Child and Winter Waits), this lushly illustrated book heralds a change in the seasons, but also demonstrates the universal experience of sibling rivalry. When Mother Earth wakens her daughters, March, April and May, they all vie for their mother's attention—each asking if they dressed the fastest. Mother Earth replies judiciously, "You are the fastest March I ever did see./ And the fastest April I ever did see./ And the fastest May I ever did see." Similarly, when each girl sings a spring song, Mother Earth shushes their bickering by telling them, "The truth—/ I love you ALL the best." The girls delight in their mother's politic answer as they wake up the world and shout for summer to come. Each of their songs reflects the characteristics of that month (March, for instance "howls and growls/ like a monsoon,/ then whiffs and puffs/ a quieter tune"). Couch fills his evocative acrylic-and-pencil illustrations with a haze of lavender shadows, infused with soft yellow sunlight and spring green. In one particularly exquisite painting, Mother Earth takes the form of a graceful tree wearing pink blossoms in her hair, reaching out her branch-like fingers to awaken the sleeping children. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)