Cover image for When Spring Comes
When Spring Comes
Publication Information:
Greenwillow Books 2019/02
General Note:

On Order

Bob Harkins Branch2On Order
Nechako Branch1On Order



From Caldecott Medalist and New York Times-bestselling author Kevin Henkes and the acclaimed painter Laura Dronzek, the bestselling and award-winning creators of Winter Is Here and In the Middle of Fall, this beautiful paperback edition of When Spring Comes is perfect for the very youngest readers.

Watch the world transform when spring comes! In a starred review, School Library Journal called this delightful picture book, "A must-have, joyful seasonal title for the youngest listeners."

Before spring comes, the trees are dark sticks, the grass is brown, and the ground is covered in snow. But if you wait, leaves unfurl and flowers blossom, the grass turns green, and the mounds of snow shrink and shrink. Spring brings baby birds, sprouting seeds, rain and mud, and puddles. You can feel it and smell it and hear it--and you can read it!

In this beautiful paperback edition, Caldecott Medalist and Newbery Honor author Kevin Henkes uses striking imagery, repetition, and alliteration to introduce basic concepts of language and the changing of the seasons. And acclaimed artist Laura Dronzek's gorgeous, lush paintings show the transformation from quiet, cold winter to the newborn spring. In a starred review, The Horn Book said, "This joyful reflection is as welcome as spotting the first brave crocus."

Author Notes

Kevin Henkes was born in Racine, Wis. in 1960 and graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. One of four children in his family, Henkes grew up with aspirations of being an artist. As a junior in high school, one of Henkes's teachers awakened his interest in writing. Falling in love with both writing and drawing, Henkes realized that he could do both at the same time as a children's book author and illustrator.

At the age of 19, Henkes went to New York City to get his first book, All Alone, published. Since that time, he has written and illustrated dozens of picture books including Chrysanthemum, Protecting Marie, and A Weekend with Wendell. A recurring character in several of Henkes's books is Lily, an outrageous, yet delightful, individualist. Lily finds herself the center of attention in the books Chester's Way, Julius, the Baby of the World, and Lily's Purple Plastic Purse.

A Weekend With Wendell was named Children's Choice Book by the Children's Book Council in 1986. He recieved the Elizabeth Burr Award for Words of Stone in 1993. Owen was named a Caldicott Honor in 1994. The Year of Billy Miller was named a Newbery Honor book in 2014.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

With lyricism and an eye for drama in small things, the husband-and-wife team of Henkes and Dronzek introduce and examine the unfolding of spring, "Before Spring comes,/ the trees look like/ black sticks against the sky," he begins. "But if you wait/ Spring will bring/ leaves and blossoms." Dronzek's cozy paintings combine the simplified shapes of plants, creatures, and children, outlining them in heavy black and filling them in with scumbled brushstrokes. A seed sprouts in the dirt, seen in cross-section as the roots grow first and leaves emerge. An egg shows a hairline crack, from which a pink, featherless bird hatches. Henkes is honest about spring's more trying moments, weaving themes of waiting and patience throughout: "Spring can come quickly or slowly," he writes, above a vignette of daffodils in full bloom. "It changes its mind a lot," he continues as the flowers wilt under the weight of wet snow. Readers, especially those who live in regions that experience the full range of changing seasons, will warm to this catalog of familiar joys. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Before Spring comes, / the trees look like / black sticks against the sky. // But if you wait, / Spring will bring / leaves and blossoms. In a gently rhythmic text and lush, vibrant paintings, this husband-and-wife author-illustrator team (Birds, rev. 3/09) ushers in spring, capturing the seasons sights, sounds, and surprises. With emphasis at first on waiting, Henkess poetic text focuses on details in which young children delight: the last snowman melting slowly away until suddenly -- [its] gone; April showers -- mud, puddles, and all (I hope you like umbrellas); pussy willows and new kittens. Likewise, Dronzeks illustrations show a childs-eye view of the world (and those white kittens have to be litter-mates of Henkess first-full-moon-admiring one). Her palette is a celebration of springtime hues, from earth tones and soft pastels to bright primary and secondary colors. Single pages, double-page spreads, and a few time-lapse sequences are satisfyingly varied. The narrative follows springs fickle progress, including an unexpected snowfall that weighs down some hopeful daffodils. Several stylistic devices (repetition, alliteration, line breaks) help create mood, and the page design perfectly marries text and art. When Spring is finally here to stay, the text teases that were not done waiting: Now, you have to wait for Summer. The back endpapers show whats in store. This joyful reflection is as welcome as spotting the first brave crocus. kitty flynn (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.