About the Holiday
Today, we celebrate the first day of spring! What makes the equinox so special? On this date, day and night are equally long around the globe. With longer days and warmer weather, thoughts turn to nature and renewal. For many this means gardening for ourselves and for the returning bees and butterflies. Today’s book takes a look at one of nature’s most inspiring creatures – the monarch butterfly.
When Spring Comes
Written by Kevin Henkes | Illustrated by Laura Dronzek
This beautiful tribute to spring is as surprising as new buds pushing through the earth or tiny hatching eggs. Using repeated phrasing, lyrically expressed facts, and poetic rhythms, When Spring Comes echoes the anticipation that sunnier days bring after a long winter. The book opens with a simple, evocative sentence: “Before Spring comes the trees look like black sticks against the sky.” Children will immediately agree—they see trees in this way out their windows and draw them like this in art class.
The following sentence is equally as true: “But if you wait Spring will bring leaves and blossoms.” The book’s contrasting lines that explore conditions “before Spring comes” and “If you wait” gradually reveal more and more of springtime’s wonder, like the melting snows that usher in rainy days: “Spring comes with sun and it comes with rain and more rain and more rain. Do you like mud? Do you like puddles? I hope you like umbrellas.”
As Spring wakes more fully, it takes on a personality of its own: “Spring will call out the pussy willows and new kittens too. Spring can come quickly or slowly. It changes its mind a lot. But when Spring is finally here to stay, you will know it…There will be buds and bees and boots and bubbles.” And there is much more to discover about this season of rebirth as well as the future within these pages.
When Spring visits it brings many wonderful smells, sounds, activities, and creatures, all of which are gorgeously depicted in Laura Dronzek’s radiant illustrations. The early gardens, blooming cherry trees, frolicking kittens, and profusions of flowers are as bright and welcome as the springtime sun. As the sweet-faced boy and girl in the book play, they are surrounded by birds, bunnies, dogs and kittens, and even ponder a little worm poking its head from the garden. Brilliant blues, pinks, greens meld with lush browns to create a joyful celebration of the newness of the season.
When Spring Comes is not only a book about a particular season or even for a particular age. The book is a wonderfully gentile and uplifting way to introduce or discuss the idea of waiting for good things to happen. Everyone, even the smallest child, has “winter days” when life doesn’t look so bright. But if you wait, spring comes with new life and surprises.
Ages 4 – 8
Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins, 2016 | ISBN 978-0062331397 (Hardcover, 2016) | ISBN 978-0062741677 (Paperback, 2019) | ISBN 978-0062741660 (Board Book, 2018)
Discover more about Kevin Henkes and his books on his website.
Spring Equinox Activity
These paper flowers will brighten any room and come in a rainbow of colors. Make a bouquet for yourself or share them with a special friend.
- Tissue paper in many colors
- Green paper
- Green wire for stems
- Tape or glue
To make the stem
- Bend a 1 ½ -inch loop in the top of the wire
- Squeeze the wire together so it will fit tightly over the tissue paper
To make a flower
- Cut 6 or more 7-inch squares from tissue paper, mixing colors (you can make various sizes of flowers by making the squares larger or smaller and adding more squares)
- Gather all the squares together and fold them together accordion-style in 1-inch folds
- Slide the folded tissue paper under the wire loop, and tighten the wire
- Gently fan the tissue paper out on each side
- Beginning on one side, gently pull each sheet of tissue paper up toward the center
- Repeat step 5 on the other side
To make leaves
- Cut leaves from green paper, leaving a stem to wrap around the wire flower stem
- Fold the leaf stem around the wire and tape or glue
You can find When Spring Comes at these booksellers
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million
To support your local independent bookstore, order from
Picture Book Review