A small boy with a red cap and scarf surveys his brown world and when it is time, plucks seeds from the bag in his red wagon. Soon the rain comes, “and it is still brown,/but a hopeful, very possible sort of brown” that gradually makes way for seedlings. The boy senses
“a greenish hum
that you can only hear
if you put your ear to the ground
and close your eyes”
Erin Stead’s tender, humorous illustrations, created with woodblock prints and pencils, show not only the boy, but his dog, a turtle, and a bunny with their ears to the ground, listening for that special hum of life. And beneath the dirt, mice and squirrels, worms and ants join them in listening. I can’t imagine illustrations that might more perfectly enhance the hopeful, patient spirit of Fogliano’s poetic words. One wonders if Ms. Stead will land another Caldecott so soon after her 2011 award for A Sick Day for Amos McGee.
And now, in the spirit of that nature-loving child, let’s find a tire swing and enjoy the sweet spring day. We’ve waited long enough.
More Spring Books