It seems overwhelmingly optimistic to be talking about Spring today, particularly given that I’ve just shivered my way across town to the train home, head down, shoulders hunched against the rain battering on my hood, teeth chattering despite themselves. Right now I want nothing more than dry feet and perhaps a hot chocolate to wrap my fingers around and spread a little warmth where it is so very needed.
But optimism is a wonderful thing, and for all the rain that won’t turn into snow despite my very best wishing, Spring is on its way.
And Elma (and Kitty, H and I) will be ready.
Gerda Muller’s Spring is a picture book, pure and simple. There are no words, no prescribed story, just beautiful pictures.
Every classic image of spring is there, from daffodils, to newborn lambs, rainbows after showers, and a roof being re-thatched after the winter, but they aren’t saccharine cliches; there’s so much humour and reality in the pictures, from the lamb eating the little girls’s scarf, to the puppy running off with a slipper.
They are both idealistic and relatable, which is quite a feat of illustration.
And what illustration – the colours are deliciously saturated, and the pictures are just so soothing to the eye you could quite happily look at them for hours.
Elma I think mostly likes the pages for being very sturdy and turneable by little fingers, but she’ll also sit and slide her fingers across the pictures, drinking in the colours and shapes.
When I bought it I wondered a bit how it would read, whether I’d be relegated to page turner, whether I’d be able to link the pictures together into a cohesive story, or whether the girls would check out because each telling of that story would be different. I’m sure I could tell a story, but in the event it’s become more of an interactive read. Elma chooses a picture, and I talk about what we can see, and Kitty will lean her head over the arm of the sofa to point out some detail that I haven’t spotted yet. It seems to have become a conversation starter to launch us into such topics as when we’re next going to do some painting, and what we would do if a lamb tried to eat our scarves.
It’s become a book I reach for again and again, without objection from either daughter.
It’s also one of a series, and although I’m beginning to wonder whether we should have started with Winter, I’m looking forward to adding the rest of the series to the library as the year goes by.
Thank you so much to Mummy Hearts You and Great British Family for joining in last week. I loved both of your suggestions – they were both Julia Donaldson and they were awesome! And if you have a favourite why not share it here; each linky will stay open for a week so there’s plenty of time to join in. And so, without further ado, it’s over to you. I’ve told you what we are reading, now tell me what we should be reading!