And Then It’s Spring
Julie Fogliano, author
Erin Stead, illustrator
Roaring Book Press
Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book

(update 6/12/12: BG-HB Honor) Megan and I have a “thing” for restful illustrations. We aren’t opposed to flashy, vibrant, fluid pictures…but the quiet books are increasing hard to find. Some of my favorite books–and my children’s favorites–are the ones that say, “Come, spend some time exploring my pages and pondering me for a while…. take me to rest time with you and look at the intricate details of the pictures…. enjoy some rest from your busy day by reading me slowly one more time….” Thank you, Julie Fogliano and Erin Stead, for giving us another gem in the quiet picture book lineup.

This book is by no means dull or boring. But it is restful. Quiet. Contemplative. Patient. A book that invites you to listen to the world around you, to notice the world around you, to describe the world around you. And that is a marvelous lead-in to studying and marveling at Creation.

A small boy is waiting for spring and for his precious seeds to grow. He wonders if birds have eaten them? Have bears stomped on them despite his small warning sign to “please not stomp”? In the beauty of understatement, Fogliano gives us descriptions of the varying shades of brown in early spring: brown that has a “greenish hum” or brown that you almost think is green. The illustrations are so perfectly matched to the feel and pacing of the text–making for one near perfect picture book in my humble opinion.

Book checked out from my local library; cover image from goodreads

What are your favorite “quiet” picture books?