and then it's spring
by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Roaring Book Press, 2012.
"First you have brown, all around you have brown." A young boy and his dog start a garden in the early spring--still brown, yellow, the palest of blue skies, and the wind chill. They plant seeds, wait for rain, are glad for rain, but everything is still brown. But it is "a hopeful, very possible sort of brown." The reader must wait patiently with the boy and his dog, a rabbit, a turtle, and the early birds for something green. Watching doesn't help, nor worrying whether the birds have eaten the seeds, nor listening to the beginnings of a green humming beneath the ground where the ants and field mice and worms are rousing themselves. But finally the day comes--green all around, just like that. Julie Fogliano's tender tale of the eternal hope of Spring is beautifully illustrated by Caldecott-winner Erin E. Stead, and is certainly in the running for this year's Caldecott award.