Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Wide Awake World

Yesterday morning the exchange of chickadees' conversations and the buzzing of insects serenaded my furry friend and me on our morning walk.  Hours later in the evening the view during a thirty minute drive had altered considerably.  The change was stunning and unbelievable with shades of green and patches of color spread over the landscape.  It was as if a magic wand had been waved over everything.  A group of five deer scampered across the road.  Later a lone doe casually walked in front of the car and stopped to watch.

Each day the changes expand and are more startling. This morning the arrival of returning Sandhill cranes was announced with their signature bugling.  Spectacular Spring: All Kinds Of Spring Facts And Fun (Henry Holt And Company, February 27, 2018) written and partially illustrated by Bruce Goldstone acquaints readers with an array of seasonal sensations.


Green plants and colorful
flowers begin to grow.

Animals shake off the cold
of winter.

People start spending more
time outdoors.

The additional length of daylight and the shorter nights are leading us day by day to the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. We get to shed our warmer clothing and exchange it for proper spring attire.  The snow squalls are replaced with thunderstorms and rain showers.  How many of you have carried an umbrella on a windy day to have it suddenly turn inside out?  (Although the results leave you rather wet, it is funny to see happen.)

If you are fortunate to be outside in the rain, with the right conditions, a rainbow will arch across your view.  As you continue to examine this new season try, with caution and knowledge, to experience the sensory perceptions.  We are asked to feel soft new grass, the warm wind and the squishy mud.

What kind of blossoms do we see?  Is that forsythia?  Gardeners' bulbs planted in the fall pop through the dirt in the form of tulips, hyacinth and daffodils, to name a few.  You will be rewarded if you take the time to smell each one.  Seeds, having traveled by a variety of methods or planted by machine or hand, move the soil aside to grown.

With spring come animal babies.  If you are lucky a bird will build a nest nearby so you can watch the evolution of new life.  Other animals wake up from their winter rest or return home.  Every living thing is stirring anew, even you.

With the first three sentences, three facts reveal noticeable truths about the season of spring.  Bruce Goldstone continues to challenge us with observable shifts from winter to spring.  He speaks about the differences in light and darkness, our clothing and the weather.  He asks us to use our senses by focusing on how things feel, what we see, how they smell, the shapes found in spring and sounds heard in spring. He contributes more than one page on seeds and baby birds.  His information is easy to understand and reads as if we are in conversation with him.  Here is a paragraph with the heading


Spring is a great time to 
close your eyes and sniff.
Smells travel more easily
in warm air than in cold
air.  As spring days get
warmer, you'll find many
fresh new smells when 
you walk outdoors.

The matching dust jacket and book case are a vibrant collage of sights seen in spring.  On the front we are given a view of spring bulbs blooming, and ladybugs creeping framed in an assortment of leaves.  It's clever to have the letters look as though cut from leaves.  To the left, on the back, amid green grass are five flower shapes.  They show other highlights of spring and the two previous seasonal titles by Bruce Goldstone, Awesome Autumn and Wonderful Winter.

A bright, bold nearly neon green covers the opening and closing endpapers.  Another seasonal scene similar to the front of the jacket and book case frames the text on the title page.  Each page turn reveals marvelous photographs, some taken by the author and others from shutterstock.com.  Many of them span two pages.  Others are placed on a crisp white background drawing attention to the individual elements.

Cutouts are used to frame photographs.  Some of them share space with individual pictures.  Each composed collage invites readers to pause as if taking a walk outside.  The design is as fresh and new as the season, illuminating, respectful and playful.

One of my many favorite pictures spans two pages.  A downpour of rain on a dark surface provides a canvas in dark colors with crystal drops.  The large text on the left and right is a single sentence divided in two.  Beneath the second section is a virtually black umbrella.  It supplies a place for the text describing why we get rain instead of snow in the spring.

This title, Spectacular Spring: All Kinds Of Spring Facts And Fun, written and partially illustrated by Bruce Goldstone is a companion title in one of my favorite series on the seasons.  It welcomes readers to the narrative, information and the changes this season brings.  At the close of the book, Bruce Goldstone includes six activities and how to do them.  You will certainly want a copy of this title for both your personal and professional book collections.

To learn more about Bruce Goldstone and his other work, please visit his website by following the link attached to his name.  At his website there is a place where Bruce gives you the opportunity to contact him.  He states:  I love to hear from readers.  At the publisher's website you can view eight wonderful interior pages.

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