“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

How Robin Saved Spring

BOOK How Robin Saved.Written by: Debbie Ouellet

Illustrated by: Nicoetta Ceccoli

Published by: Christy Ottaviana Books, Henry Holt and Co, New York USA, 2009

Ages:   4 – 8 years

Theme:  changing seasons, persistence,

Opening Lines: Long ago, in a little cottage, there lived two sisters, Lady Winter and Sister Spring. The day came, as it had every year since the beginning of time, for Lady Winter to step aside.

Synopsis: (from the jacket flap)- If Lady Winter has her way, the world will stay covered in blankets of snowy white and icy blue. Sister Spring will slumber forever and the winter will never end. Can Lady Winter really keep spring from coming, or is there something the animals might do to help? Led by harbinger Robin, the animals are determined to wake Sister Spring, but what price will they each have to pay? Through beautiful words and pictures, this enchanting tale about the battle of the seasons highlights one special bird who saves more than just the day.

Why I like this: The cover alone is a scene stopper. Nicoletta an award winner of the Silver medal by the Society of Illustrators and recipient of the Andersen Prize, honouring her as the best children’s book illustrator in Italy (no wonder), where she lives, gives this beautiful story its romantic, lush, whimsical feel. Soft edged rich colours abound in this, what could be called a folk tale. Some of the illustrations even made me think of the movie, Frozen. Debbie cleverly combines Winter’s plot to keep Spring from waking up so the world will stay white and cold for ever, with the failed attempts of the forest animals to wake her, leading to their natural hibernation and price they must pay. Eventually the little brown Robin comes up with a plan and why today we see little red-breasted robins singing in the morning sun. This is Debbie’s first picture book and I became aware of her good use of three’s in sounds and use of animals and lyrical text. While there are some full-page spreads most of the text is on the left page and the beautiful illustrations on the right. Debbie lives in Ontario, Canada.

Resources/Findings: Here is Debbie’s website and info about her writing and other projects…   http://www.debbieouellet.com/howrobinsavedspring.htm

Here is a link to Nicoletta’s world of exquisite work. I love that often the expressions are very moody….   http://www.nicolettaceccoli.com/index.php

This is the final in Picture Book reviews for a short while, while the northern hemisphere have their summer break.  I thought this was a fitting choice as they now enjoy spring and early onset of summer, while I wrap up warm in front of the fire and enjoy a good book.

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.

About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
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24 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

  1. Catherine Johnson says:

    Sounds lovely, Diane.

  2. What a beautiful cover. It certainly grabs your attention. I love the clever plot to keep
    Spring from coming. This would be a beautiful book to use with kids to ask them what they think would happen if it was winter all the time. Must find a copy of this wonderful book.

    Yes, as we deal with 90 degree weather, you are cuddling by the fire in New Zealand. But, I’m glad our winter is over. Strange year for us.

    • Yes it is a beautiful looking book. The story is quite unique and very clever. Reminded me of “Frozen” 🙂 Enjoy your summer as our southern mountain ranges gets dumps of snow. Only another three months till spring for us 😉

  3. Darlene says:

    A lovely book! Enjoy your winter break. It is hot and sunny here in Spain.

  4. Nicoletta Ceccoli’s work is mesmerizing! I’ll have to look for this one too!

  5. Yes, I agree. The cover pulled me right in. And the lyrical nature of the storytelling holds me. Will put this on my summer reading list. Thanks!

    • I agree the lyrical text is beautifully crafted and a great concept of what if? The beautiful cover illustration caught my eye at our local library and I couldn’t resist bringing it home. Glad you liked it Jilanne.

  6. Joanna says:

    Beautiful artwork and I love how mature this book sounds, too.

  7. Brave robin! When I was in the UK I was surprised that their robins have much less red on them than our robins across the pond.

  8. I love tales like this… and the artwork looks gorgeous. Will look for it.

  9. This looks interesting. I love Nicoletta’s work on Oscar and the Moon Cats. Add it to the list!

  10. Tina Cho says:

    That IS a beautiful cover! Happy Summer to us and Autumn to you!

  11. I stumbled across this post today, Diane. Thanks so much for your kind words. Debbie Ouellet.

  12. Thank you so much for stopping by Debbie. I loved your beautiful writing style and this book was such a treat with gorgeous illustrations and whimsical text that really took you to another world. I love your blog and have taken note of writing resource links you shared. thank you. Canada is a lovely country which I have had the pleasure of visiting some years ago visiting friends who have family spread from Toronto, Quelph and Niagara. Thanks again for stopping by.

    • Niagara is my favourite spot having grown up only about 15 minutes away. We get down there as often as we can. My daughter goes to university in Guelph and I love that spot too.

      Thanks again Diane,

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