How Robin Saved Spring
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.