and then it’s spring (9781596436244) written by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Many times a Caldecott is won by someone known to the industry. It might be surprising, such as in 2008 when Brian Selznick won with The Invention of Hugo Cabret (a 533 page highly illustrated novel) however rarely is the name not known by children’s librarians. This made the 2011 winner a delightful discovery for me of someone new to watch for: Erin E. Stead. I don’t know what work she might have done before A Sick Day for Amos McGee (9781596434028) and I haven’t seen her work anywhere else since – until now. A new book is coming out in February and it is illustrated by Stead. Written by Julie Fogliano, and then it’s spring (9781596436244), is about the joy and frustration of planting a garden and waiting for something . . . anything . . . to grow. The detailed illustrations by Stead, created using woodblock printing techniques and pencil in muted palate, are absolutely delightful to pore over. I especially appreciate one in which the boy and a bunny rabbit are both ear to ground listening for the “greenish hum” of the plants starting to grow. With boy, dog, turtle, bunny, and various other animals above and below ground, I can spend quite some time appreciating each fine detail. Definitely keep your eyes open for this one.
Standard disclaimer: I get to see advance copies of books through my job, however this review was unsolicited and unpaid for . . . opinions are completely my own.