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Review of Finding Spring

berger_finding springFinding Spring
by Carin Berger; illus. by the author
Preschool   Greenwillow   32 pp.
1/15   978-0-06-225019-3   $16.99   g

As the forest grows cold and most bears start to think about hibernating, a little bear named Maurice can only think about experiencing his first spring. His mother tries to settle him down (“‘Maybe you will dream about spring,’ Mama whispered”), but soon she falls asleep, leaving Maurice wide awake. He decides to set out in search of spring; meanwhile, the autumnal landscape offers viewers plenty of pleasures of its own. Berger’s three-dimensional collage illustrations are done in rich colors with interesting patterns and feature scraps of fabric, catalogues, typewritten letters, etc. Maurice’s journey introduces him to many creatures preparing for winter while taking him farther and farther away from his sleeping mother. The variety of page layouts and perspectives help convey how small Maurice is, but he forges on, bold and determined. When he sees the first snowflakes fall, he thinks they might be spring, and the enthusiasm builds until a page turn reveals a breathtaking dark and snowy winter landscape. He scoops up some of the “spring” to take back home and snuggles in to sleep, but by the time the real spring arrives, his souvenir has melted, and none of the other animals believes his story. In order to convince them, he returns to the scene — and while things have changed with the seasons, the beauty Maurice found is there for all to see.

From the January/February 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Julie Roach About Julie Roach

Julie Roach manages youth services at the Cambridge Public Library in Massachusetts. She also teaches children’s literature at Simmons College’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science and at Lesley University.

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