cover image The Thing About Spring

The Thing About Spring

Daniel Kirk. Abrams, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1492-4

The arrival of spring makes Mouse and Bird “feel warm and happy,” but their friend Rabbit finds a lot to complain about. He anxiously shovels the last remnants of snow into a pail (“We won’t see any more of this until next year!”) and grumbles that spring means he can’t follow his friends’ tracks in the snow, build snow forts, or throw snowballs. Rabbit’s friends patiently put up with his litany of Eeyore-like rants, even when they take some strange turns: “The thing about spring,” he says, “is that Bear is waking up! You know how bad he smells at the end of a long winter, and I’m sure he’s going to want a hug.” Eventually, Rabbit’s chirpy pals bring grouchy Rabbit around to their upbeat perspective, though the turnaround comes quickly after all of his griping. Kirk’s (the Library Mouse series) pen-and-ink illustrations are more successful—anthropomorphic touches, like Rabbit’s scarf and Bear’s ball cap, give the characters a bit of personality, while the drab (but brightening) palette evokes the dissipating gloom of spring’s earliest days. Ages 4–8. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Feb.)