And Then It’s Spring. DVD. 8 min. Weston Woods. 2013. ISBN 0-545-57133-2. $59.95; CD: $12.95; CD with hardcover book: $29.95.
PreS-Gr 2–“First you have brown…all around you have brown.” A boy and his dog wait and wait in the gloom of late winter for the first signs of spring. Blue sweater and red pom-pom hat brighten an otherwise bleak landscape as the boy digs, plants, sows…and waits. Accompanied by his equally anxious pooch, a rabbit, a turtle, and a bird, he looks for some color of the season. “Is that a little green?,” he wonders, wielding a magnifying glass to a small mound of dirt. “No, still brown.” He also worries…have the birds eaten all the seeds? Has the bears’ stomping crushed them? While the young gardener bemoans the fact that the bears can’t read his “Please, no stomping” sign, viewers chuckle as one beast stretches and lazily scratches his underarm with the sign while another sits with a flowerpot on his head. A wish for rain works, resulting in a “hopeful, very possible sort of brown.” An underground maze shows mice and worms readying the ground while a “greenish hum” fills the air. Then the sun shines brightly as the boy hangs a tire swing and sways patiently. Walking outside the next morning to greet the relentless brown, he is happily surprised—“And now you have green! All around you have green.” Erin E. Stead’s whimsical wood-block-and-pencil illustrations are gently animated, adding to Julie Fogliano’s tender tale (Roaring Brook, 2012). The male narrator’s voice reflects the characters’ disappointment, hope, and joy when the much anticipated green finally and gloriously appears. An interview with the first time author reveals her Catskill Mountain inspiration and how she came to collaborate with Caldecott-winner Stead. Use to enrich units on spring, plants, or gardening.–Barbara Auerbach, P.S. 217, Brooklyn, NY