cover image First Notes of Spring

First Notes of Spring

Jessica Kulekjian, illus. by Jennifer Bower. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0473-9

A springtime symphony awakens the forest from its winter slumber in this musical celebration of the season. When badger Juniper auditions for the First Notes of Spring animal ensemble, her “strong sticks, a thumpity toadstool, and rowdy rhythms” cause band leader Mr. Moose to cover his ears. Luckily, Juniper soon finds that her “BOOMEY BOOM BOOM” pairs perfectly with a woodpecker’s “tap-a-tap,” a beaver’s “clap-a-clap,” and a rabbit’s “thumpity thump.” Declaring themselves “the first BEATS of spring,” the percussionists join forces with the more melodic Notes for a vernal harmony that ushers in the season. Depicted with pencil and digitally, Bowers’s forest creatures have the outsize gestures and expressions of cartoon characters, and the illustrations’ contemporary stylings sing alongside Kulekjian’s onomatopoeic narration. Back matter discusses seasonal sounds. Ages 3–6. (Feb.)