Finding Spring is not the first book illustrated by the marvelous Carin Berger that I have reviewed, but it is the first one written and illustrated by her, and it is a delight. Berger is a multi-media collage artist who worked in a 3D shadowbox style for Jack Prelutsky's Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems. As she notes in her interview at 7 Impossible Things, for Finding Spring, she wanted to give readers a sense of intimacy that also captured the magical quality of having a solo adventure, so she opted for the 3D collage again, letting readers feel like they were peering into another world. She had to cut and create each character and setting for the book, which was then photographed. Because of this intricate, detailed work, I wanted to share my favorite illustrations from the book in the largest format possible.
The story of Finding Spring is sweet and simple and has been visited many times before in picture books. There is something about bears and hibernating that seems quintessential to picture books, although I am not sure why. Hibernating happens in a cozy den, which gives children a sense of security and parents a sense of nostalgia for those wonderful times when children sleep. And of course there is the Christmas-morning feel to waking up at the end of Winter to the beauty and rebirth of Spring. In Finding Spring we meet young Maurice, curious about and excited by the prospect of his first Spring as he fills up on berries and wonders what it will look like.
His mother tells him to be patient, but Maurice just can't drift off to sleep. He crawls from his den, past his sleeping mother, and heads out to find Spring, ending up at the Great Hill.
Convinced he has found Spring, when what he really discovers is snow, Maurice carries it home in his scarf, excited to share it with his mother. However, when they awaken from hibernation, the ball of "Spring" is gone. Maurice grabs his mother by the paw and hurries back to the Great Hill where he truly does find Spring.
Berger's book is the perfect pairing of story and pictures. You will be asked to read Finding Spring over and over, and I guarantee that you will be happy to have another opportunity to pore over Berger's stunning illustrations. Then you will want to run out and buy her other books!
Other books illustrated by Carin Berger:
Stardines Swim High Across the Night Sky and Other Poems by Jack Prelutsky
(click HERE for my review)
Written & Illustrated by Carin Berger:
Source: Review Copy