Good-bye, Winter! Hello, Spring!

NorthSouth. Mar. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780735843455.
PreS-Gr 1–Three tiny squirrels are enticed by the sounds of snow melt. They follow a stream that turns into a brook, which meets up with a lake, and before they know it, they are adrift on a log far from home. A flush of ducks explain to the squirrels that the “snow goes back into the earth and the sea and the sky.” The three siblings float safely to shore on the backs of the ducks, and there they enjoy an acorn snack with Mom and Dad, who have come to find them. The story touches briefly on the migration of ducks and the water cycle, but ultimately it’s an adventure story. Iwamura’s delightful illustrations still appeal today, 29 years after the original publication. What’s missing is a consistent, effortless cadence to the English text. It appears that Wilson translated the book not from the original Japanese but from a German translation into English.
VERDICT Sadly, Wilson’s awkward phrasing and attempt to maintain a rhyming structure detract from the overall excitement and interest in the squirrels’ tale. An additional purchase for large collections.

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