In Blossom

In Blossom
Yooju Cheon
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

Spring is in the air. A gentle breeze is blowing and blossoms are blooming as Cat sits down on a bench beneath a tree with a picnic basket.

Singing a little song, she begins to eat her lunch.

Soon after, along comes Dog with his book.

Cat makes room for him; he sits down and starts reading.

Suddenly the breeze blows a singe petal onto Cat’s nose causing a tickle, a sniff,

and a ‘Poof!’

The petal drifts across onto Dog’s nose. Another tickle, a sniff and Poof! …

A little later, Cat’s offer to share her lunch is accepted and thus, one assumes a friendship begins to blossom.

Yooju Cheon’s telling is spare and it’s definitely her exquisite, delicate inky illustrations that steal the show here. Look out for another developing friendship between two little birds as well.

Short and sweet and beautifully expressive sums up this gentle offering from an author/illustrator who is new to me.

Welcome Spring

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David A. Carter
Abrams Appleseed
Spring quite simply explodes into life in this small, vibrantly coloured pop-up book.
As the rain falls pitter-pat rippling the surface of the pond, tadpoles emerge to take their chance as the koi carp swim around and a dragonfly hovers.

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Away from the pond a cherry tree bursts into bloom and tree frogs croak to acknowledge the rain as it waters the blossoms that give food for the bees.

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The flowers are alive with visitors and an adult bird feeds its young.
Half a dozen spreads, each one a visual treat, with a brief accompanying text and lots of labels, some of which are indicative of the book’s US origins, there’s plenty to enjoy and discuss with young children herein.

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Abracadabra, It’s Spring
Anne Sibley O’Brien and Susan Gai
Abrams Appleseed
‘Sun warms a patch of snow.
Where did it go?’

Thus begins a simply gorgeous evocation of the arrival of spring as we watch bulbs popping up …

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and opening …

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pussy willows bursting out, leaves unfurling, birds arriving and nesting, eggs …

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butterflies emerging and blossoms opening to adorn the trees. It’s time to shed those heavy winter boots and embrace all that’s bright and new now that winter’s gone.
Both words and pictures are uplifting. The text is a mix of the gentle poetic and contrasting lively effervescent magical invocation orchestrating the change: take for instance:
Grey cocoons/hide a surprise. Abba zaba!/ (open gatefold)/Butterflies!

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There is so much to see in the illustrations each of which has a gatefold opening. Every spread unfolds to reveal an aspect of spring’s new life in dazzling layered collages alive with colour and creatures.
In addition to being a delight to share, this will surely inspire children to get creating themselves.

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