Spring Is Here!
Will Hillenbrand, Holiday House, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-1602-8
Hillenbrand's (Don't Slam the Door!) simple tale treads lightly on familiar picture book ground: a perkier species tries to rouse a bear from his long winter's nap. In this case, the chipper critter is Mole, who has awoken to smell the fresh spring air and feel the mud under his feet with a "Squish. Squish. Squish." Despite his knocking, horn tooting, and tickling, the only response Mole gets from the slumbering Bear is "Snore." At last, a special homemade breakfast treat does the trick, causing Bear to wake up and smell the goodies, even as Mole's efforts leave Mole exhausted. These friendly animals have some of the coziest dens around—Bear snuggles in striped pajamas in a fluffy bed with comforter and pillows; Mole dashes about in blue gingham overalls and is a whiz with basic kitchen appliances. The repetition, ample onomatopoeia, and tender tone of the spare text, combined with heavily textured mixed-media renderings of this gentle pair of pals, create a sunny welcome to the season. Ages 3–6. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/24/2011